Refugee Camps as Conflict Zones

Jennifer Hyndman

in Sites of Violence

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780520230729
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937055 | DOI:
Refugee Camps as Conflict Zones

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This chapter explores the refugee camps as conflict zones and the operations of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in particular. It contends that no gender approach to humanitarian operations is viable without consideration of the contingencies of political geography and history. Then, it turns to politics in the Horn of Africa to situate the refugee camps in Dadaab, Kenya, within a larger geopolitical context. UNHCR's gender policies provide a grid of intelligibility for field officers and other staff working with displaced populations. Furthermore, a different strategy for assisting refugee women who face threats of sexual violence is evaluated. The Women Victims of Violence (WVV) project is not the only UNHCR initiative that aims to identify vulnerable segments of the refugee population. This project highlights the dangers of subscribing to or unintentionally reproducing categories of difference without attending to their practical implications.

Keywords: refugee camps; conflict zones; Women Victims of Violence; gender; humanitarian operations; Dadaab; sexual violence

Chapter.  7972 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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