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Publication - Shining a Light: How Lighting in or around Sanitation Facilities Affects the Risk of Gender-Based Violence in Camps

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Title
Shining a Light: How Lighting in or around Sanitation Facilities Affects the Risk of Gender-Based Violence in Camps
Publisher
Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) at Loughborough University, Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) & OXFAM
Author
Brian Reed, Jeanne Vidal, Julie Fisher, Kerry Akers, Rachel Hastie, Julie Lafreniere, Corrie Sisso & Marion O’Reillyns
Published in
June 2019
Abstract
Camps are places of refuge for people fleeing conflict and disaster, but they can be dangerous, especially for women and girls. In their first months, many camps rely on

communal sanitation facilities – a quick and cost-effective way of meeting immediate needs and minimizing public health risks until a better solution can be developed. Sharing latrines and bathing areas with large numbers of strangers, however, can be frightening. One of the main – and unavoidable – reasons women and girls leave their shelters after dark is to go to the toilet, including to manage their menstruation, yet for many it is a risky enterprise.

In 2016, the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) set up a research challenge asking: Does lighting in or around sanitation facilities reduce the risk of gender-based violence (GBV)? During 2017 and 2018, Oxfam and researchers from the Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) at Loughborough University carried out research to try to answer this question.

The objectives of the research challenge were to identify factors that affect usage rates of sanitation facilities – including those relating to dignity and privacy, as well as risks of GBV – and to assess whether, how and to what extent lighting could mitigate such risks. The research comprised a literature review, three field studies, and the compilation of eight short case studies focusing on lighting.

This report presents the main findings from this research.
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