Luanda — MORE than 170 cases of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) have been reported at refugee settlements in Angola since the establishment of the data collection system last July.
Authorities believe the figures might be significantly higher owing to the lower level of reporting especially on cases involving children.
So far this year, ten cases have been reported consisting of physical assault (five cases), sexual violence (2), rape (1), psychological violence (1) and forced marriage (1).
The analysis of the survivors' profile shows that as usual, women were the most targeted by SGBV as 90 of the survivors were females and 30 percent were children following the assessment in Dundo, Fucauma, Luxilo and Nzachi towns.
All the incidents were perpetrated by fellow refugees, apart from the forced marriage case.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said was unfortunate to notice the low rate of reporting for SGBV incidents involving children."
"This situation absolutely challenges the process of the police investigations," said a spokesperson.
In addition, two-thirds of incidents were not reported by the survivors, but by family members or disclosed during field visits by government and refugee rights agencies.
In the only incident of rape, the survivor's father reported the incident.
Angola, Southern Africa's biggest country by size, is home to over 80 000 refugees.
About half of the refugee population is from the conflict-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).