To Displace & Destroy: Sexual Violence in Haiti & the Darién Gap

By USCRI April 26, 2024

Content sensitivities: the following policy brief contains detailed language about sexual violence.


An estimated one in three women and girls globally will experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. Gender-based violence (GBV), including sexual violence, is a widespread threat for women and girls in peacetime, but in times of conflict, crisis, and displacement, the risk becomes exponentially higher. As reported by UNHCR, “GBV disproportionately affects women and girls, and in situations of displacement, their risk of exposure to GBV increases.”

When people are forcibly displaced due to conflict, crisis, or natural disasters, they face environments of instability and protection systems that have been severely weakened or destroyed. In displacement contexts—where access to protection and essential services is limited—safe spaces disappear, particularly for women and girls who may have already had little privacy and safety in society.

In recent months, two situations in Latin America and the Caribbean have demanded urgent attention and action from the global community as sexual violence is wielded as a weapon and attacks on women and girls have spiked. This report discusses the systematic use of sexual violence as a driver of displacement and an ongoing threat in migration for women and girls in Haiti and the Darién Gap.


Click here to download the full brief.


USCRI, founded in 1911, is a non-governmental, not-for-profit international organization committed to working on behalf of refugees and immigrants and their transition to a dignified life.

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