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Human Rights Defenders, community leaders and church leaders were reminded of the importance of “human dignity, human life and equality,” during a two days’ workshop in Wabag, Enga Province.

The advocacy workshop was centered around human rights and addressing the ongoing impacts of election related violence in the province, including sorcery accusation-related violence (SARV).

This initiative was through the partnership of the United Nations Population Fund Country Office and the Catholic Diocese of Wabag, with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Advocates discussed how best to identify and assist women and girls who have been displaced and raise awareness on gender-based violence (GBV), sexual and reproductive health and rights, and sorcery accusation-related violence in Porgera, Laiagam and Kompiam-Ambum districts.

Women and girls displaced by violence in these areas have been seeking refuge in nearby communities.

Program Coordinator for Caritas at the Catholic Diocese of Wabag, Dickson Tanda said, “women and girls are more at risk of facing GBV and SARV when they are displaced and seek refuge in other villages. It is our job as advocates to protect the dignity of these women and this can only be done through proper awareness and educating our communities of the real issues that lie in our communities like sickness, malnutrition, unhealthy livelihoods, and other issues.”

These advocates will now work with communities across the three districts affected by election-related violence and raise awareness on GBV & SARV, with the aim of creating safe spaces for women and girls to seek shelter without the fear of abuse or accusations.

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