Alice Farmer


This Article advocates for better access to justice and a more

comprehensive accountability system in refugee camps. Refugee women

are frequently subject to sexual violence and sexual exploitation in the

country of refuge, and find themselves without ways of redressing these

fundamental rights violations. This Article uses the sexual violence and

sexual exploitation that was documented in refugee camps in Guinea in

2002 as an illustrative case study of the protection problems faced by

refugee women in many parts of the world. The author argues that the

host government, UNHCR, and various non-governmental organizations

operated together to fulfill state-like functions in long-term refugee

camps, but their efforts left accountability, access to justice, and

enforcement of women's human rights laws sorely lacking. The

movement toward rights based refuge -embraced in varying forms by the

aid providers in Guinea - provides a theoretical and practical framework

for greater rights recognition, but has not yet delivered a complete

response to the specific human rights violations faced by refugee women.

If rights-based refuge is to succeed in refugee settings like Guinea, aid

providers must make the protection of women's human rights a central

concern by instituting a robust, multi-layered system of accountability to

which all refugee women have access.