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Refugee Women

Executive Committee Meetings

Refugee Women
No. 60 (XL) - 1989

13 October 1989
Executive Committee 40th session. Contained in United Nations General Assembly Document No. 12A (A/44/12/Add.1).

The Executive Committee,

a) Expressed appreciation for the Report on Refugee Women (A/AC.96/727) and commended the Office of the High Commissioner on progress towards promoting the participation of refugee women as agents as well as beneficiaries in the planning and implementation of protection and assistance programmes;

b) Noted with serious concern that the basic rights of refugee women continue to be violated in a number of situations, including through threats to their physical safety and sexual exploitation;

c) Called for the reinforcement of preventive measures and for States and concerned agencies to strengthen their support of UNHCR's protection activities relating to refugee women, inter alia, by providing resettlement places for women at risk;

d) Noted UNHCR's intention to include the subject of refugee women on the agenda of the Sub-Committee of the Whole on International Protection of the Forty-first Session of the Executive Committee, and on the Sub-Committee on Administrative and Financial matters under the item "Major Trends";

e) Requested the High Commissioner to provide at the Forty First Session of the Executive Committee, a policy framework and organizational workplan for the next stages in mainstreaming of refugee women's issues within the organization with particular attention to the need for female field workers to facilitate participation of refugee women. In addition, requested the High Commissioner to provide a detailed progress report on the implementation of his Office's policies and programmes for refugee women, on both protection and assistance activities. Requested particularly that the High Commissioner prepare a revised and expanded version of the internal guidelines relating to the international protection of refugee women;

f) Reaffirmed the conclusions regarding refugee women of the Thirty-ninth Session of the Executive Committee, and stressed the ongoing need for active senior management support to co-ordinate, integrate and oversee the implementation of those conclusions. In this regard, fully encouraged the participation of senior managers in the forthcoming gender impact and analysis orientation seminar;

g) Noted with satisfaction the recruitment of a Senior Coordinator for Refugee Women, the production of guidelines to field offices to identify the special needs and encourage participation of refugee women, and the publication of the revised bibliography on refugee women;

h) Urged the High Commissioner to develop a methodology for systematically addressing gender issues in refugee programmes and, as a basis for this, requested the High Commissioner to collect and analyze demographic, anthropological and socioeconomic information on refugee populations, in particular, data on gender roles and responsibilities and to ensure that such information is used in planning UNHCR programmes;

i) Encouraged the High Commissioner in his development of training materials and courses to increase awareness of the specific needs and potential of refugee women and his initiative to involve non-governmental organizations in this training; called upon him to expand this area in the future with a view to improved programme and project planning and in particular to further develop components to address the special protection concerns of refugee women;

j) Encouraged the High Commissioner to make additional efforts to raise public awareness of the specific situation of refugee women and recommended the fortieth anniversary as an opportunity to emphasize refugee women as active participants of UNHCR's programmes;

k) Encouraged the High Commissioner to share his experience in this sector with other United Nations agencies and strongly supported him in taking a lead role in presenting the situation of refugee women at the Thirty-fourth Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in 1990;

l) Stressed the need for ongoing attention to the systematic collection and dissemination of documentation with regard to refugee women, both within UNHCR and in co-operation with other organizations;

m) Called on operational partners to support the High Commissioner by: expanding their own activities in gender impact training, including provision for an assessment of impact on refugee women in their project agreements and self-evaluation reports, and exchanging information with other organizations having experience in women's issues.