Gender-Based Violence and Human Rights in (Post)Conflict Zones: The Narratives of Internally Displaced Persons in Zamboanga City

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 11:00
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Diana Therese VELOSO, De La Salle University, Philippines
This paper presents the findings of a research project on the experiences of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who resided at the Joaquin F. Enriquez Grandstand in Zamboanga City, and who have since relocated to other evacuation sites and transitory sites in the city.  Focusing on the experiences of people displaced by the September 2013 Zamboanga Siege, the researcher examines women’s and men’s heightened risks for gender-based violence in conflict zones and the ongoing challenges in the promotion of their human rights in post-conflict settings.  The researcher examines the dynamics of violence, conflict, and war from a gendered perspective and illuminates the extent to which gender-based violence exists on a continuum from personal, to community based and/or state-sponsored violence during war and conflict.  Drawing upon interviews and focus group discussions with residents and community workers, the researcher discusses the trends and nuances in women’s and men’s experiences of private and community and/or state-sponsored violence and the challenges in the promotion of IDPs’ human rights.  The researcher exposes the numerous incidences of violence and human rights violations experienced by IDPs during their displacement and prolonged stay at the Grandstand, the vulnerability of women and children to domestic violence and trafficking, and the attempts to recruit men into extremist groups.  The researcher also highlights the links between racial, ethnic, gender, and social class inequality in the Philippines and the vulnerability of IDPs due to dismal living conditions, their struggles for dignity and subsistence, the absence of normalization in their lives nearly two years after the siege, and neglect in the provision of decent housing and other basic needs due to limited interventions by government authorities.  This paper highlights the intersections between private and public violence, the human rights issues confronting IDPs in Zamboanga City, and the local and international responses to their situation.