Ethical Engagement with Survivors of Sexual Violence – C4JR Training

May 29, 2024

Duhok — Representatives of member organisations of the Coalition for Just Reparations (C4JR), an alliance of Iraqi NGOs calling for comprehensive reparations for survivors of atrocity crimes perpetrated during the ISIL conflict in Iraq, along with members of C4JR’s Survivors’ Council, on May 25 completed a 5-day training on Ethical Engagement with Survivors of Sexual Violence and Violence Against Women and Girls, organised by the Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights and C4JR.

Held in Duhok over two weekends, the training curriculum followed C4JR’s new Toolkit for Ethical Engagement with Survivors, developed by C4JR consultant and leading expert in the field, Sherizaan Minwalla, with contributions from the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT)’s Yusra al-Kailani. Members of C4JR and the Survivors’ Council contributed to the co-creation process of the Toolkit, which draws on previously endorsed C4JR core documents: 

• Internal Guidelines on Ethical Engagement with Survivors of Sexual and Violence Against Women and Girls https://c4jr.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/A-Internal-Guidelines-on-Ethical-Engagement-with-Survivors-of-Sexual-and-Gender-Based-Violence-ENG-1.pdf]

• Checklist for Media Involvement https://c4jr.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/B-Checklist-for-Media-Involvement-ENG-1.pdf]

By the end of the course, participants of the training are equipped to:

• Explain and apply the survivor-centred and trauma-informed approach, the principle of do-no-harm, obtain informed consent, facilitate media requests, respect confidentiality, autonomy, and the agency of survivors to make their own decisions, and prioritise the safety, well-being, and dignity of survivors;

• Analyse and assess all possible risks to the survivor, their family, and the wider community arising from engagement with survivors and establish measures and structures to counter such risks. Risk assessments will include a preliminary evaluation of requests for survivor engagement followed by a discussion with survivors as they consider possible opportunities;

• Identify red flags and good practices when engaging with survivors;

• Demonstrate how to effectively facilitate a participatory learning exercise;

• Recall where to find C4JR learning resources and support.

Many thanks to all who took part, and those who contributed to the success of the training.

For more on the topic, Listen to C4JR in conversation with Sherizaan Minwalla here.

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