Every year on 25 November we celebrate International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women which runs up until 10 December, on the commemoration of International Human Rights Day.
In Asian countries with histories of conflict and mass violations, women and girls have endured many types of gender-based violence. Gender-based violence is commonly used as a tool of oppression, where there is likely a high level of under-reporting cases, due to the stigma attached to the violations. Victims and survivors are left with the scars of violence even years and decades after the conflict ended. The impact of GBV includes physical and mental health, social stigma and exclusion, and lack of access to economic resources. Long term impact (and root cause) of conflict also includes poverty, or more accurately the impoverishment of the powerless.
Reparations as part of transitional justice framework are measures that acknowledge the experiences of victims of human rights violations, and that seek to heal the damage and harm done by those violations. Reparations should be designed to help restore the dignity and physical integrity of victims, compensate them for their losses, and recognize the irreparable harm they have suffered. In addition, reparations should contribute to changing the social and economic conditions that may have led to individual’s victimization.
This year, AJAR and our partners will share the stories of survivors of gender-based violence during conflict in Indonesia, Southern Thailand, Philippines, Timor-Leste and Myanmar and highlight the healing process through reparations that have taken place. With the absence of reparation programs by the government, community-based reparation programs initiated by civil societies have ensured that survivors are empowered and resilient in dealing with their everyday lives that have been damaged by the conflict.