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Chad: Internally Displaced Persons

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on incidents involving sexual violence in internally displaced persons’ sites and refugee camps in eastern Chad; and when he last raised this matter with the government of Chad. (226080)

The recent report of the UN Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Chad (August 2008) highlights the prevalence of rape and other grave sexual violence in Chad. Both armed groups and community members are reported as perpetrators of such violence. Most reported cases concern attacks and rapes of girls carrying out domestic activities outside Internally Displaced Persons sites. However, stigmatisation and taboo mean that the true extent of the problem is not known, although anecdotal evidence suggests that it is widespread. The report of the UN Secretary-General states that the Chadian Government have not been able or willing to prevent rape and ensure child protection against sexual violence.

We have not raised this issue directly with the Chadian Government. We do, however, support multilateral efforts to address sexual violence in Chad. For example, the UK is a member of the UN Working Group on children and armed conflict. The Working Group is finalising a letter to the Government of Chad, urging them to address impunity for perpetrators of sexual violence.