Violence Against Children in Nyarugusu Refugees Camp: Reporting and Perceptions Across Generations
Seth R. Gitter
Department of Economics
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Taylor-Hibbard Seminar Room (Rm103)
12:00 pm-1:30 pm
There are over two million displaced children worldwide living in established refugee camps. Many of these children have escaped violent conflict in their country, but still are vulnerable to and victims of violence in camps. Little is known about the social norms around violence in these camps particularly with respect to reporting. We study this issue using a sample of over 300 child parent pairs in Nyarugusu camp in Tanzania. The camp consists of over 130,000 refugees mainly from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We find that parents have limited acceptance of physical violence and essentially no acceptance of sexual violence against children. Parents are slightly more likely to report physical violence against their sons. Parents seem equally likely to report sexual abuse at school for boys and girls. We also use vignettes of hypothetical violent situations against children to measure parents’ and children’s perceptions of when children will report violence. Characteristics of the situations are randomized. We find a strong relationship between a parent and their child’s beliefs of when the hypothetical victim would report violence. We show that for both parents and children there is a belief that young victims will report violence in school. These results suggest that parental attitudes may influence children and that schools may be a good place for new interventions.