The Karen Women’s Organization (KWO) has released Salt in the Wound: Justice Outcomes and SGBC Cases in Karen Refugee Camps 2011 – 13 – a report detailing the systematic barriers to justice for Burmese refugees living in the Karen camps in Thailand.
According to the report, there are inadequate and inconsistent justice outcomes for rape survivors. In 63% of the cases, perpetrators of violence are not being held accountable for their actions and in many cases, responses to sexual violence are varied. For example, in some cases perpetrators are imprisoned for rape while in others perpetrators are only required to sign a piece of paper saying that they won’t rape again.
Despite the fact that the Karen camps have existed for over 20 years, the report also notes that there are no systems in place to systematically document sexual violence in the camps and no comprehensive legal codes for the camps, including lack of training for justice officials. The report provides extensive recommendations for stakeholders and outlines necessary actions to stop sexual violence crimes, hold perpetrators accountable, and respect international law.
The KWO is a community-based organization of Karen women working in development and relief in the refugee camps on the Thai border and with Internally Displaced Persons and women inside Burma. For over 65 years, they have advocated for women’s rights in Burma on the international stage.