Our Research

Sexual exploitation and abuse, trust in Organisations

In the Horn of Africa, the  AWL’s past research as part of what AWL researchers shared on Date, 28.04.2021. AWL’s research has shown that there is a lack of trust in national authorities and foreign organisations that affects African Women and girls including African women migrants’ willingness to seek assistance. However, evidence on the factors shaping African women’s trusts in national authorities and foreign organisations and how the national authorities can effectively transfer the support to the African women and girls are  very  limited. 

  • This research, therefore, provided an important understanding of how, when, and why African Women and girls including migrant women’s trust in INGOs, and how this affects access to them. The results of this research are based on 21 groups interviews with women and girls, and qualitative in-depth phone-based interviews with 500 women in origin, transit and destination countries (Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Egypt, Eritrea and Ethiopia- Tigray region) We find that:
  • Out of 500 respondents, 401 said they have no trust in both governments authorities and foreign organisations, 52 said they have high levels of trust, and 47 said they are in between either had mixed trust or were undecided.
  • Women and girls who expressed a total lack of trust combined it their perceptions that national authorities in their origin countries may not defend or give them justice, while in transit women emphasised that authorities may deport them to their origin countries whereas in the destination countries, women expressed that authorities may divide their family and take their children away from them. 
  • Cooperation with African INGOs and Diasporas were critical factors in shaping trust. The behaviour of field actors from African INGOs and Diasporas were critical in shaping trust.
  • Information from families in origin and destination countries and other women migrants, who are main sources of information, influenced women’s and girl’s trust at different stages of their struggle.
  • More comprehensive knowledge about women’s rights and available assistance to Women through governments, international actors and African INGOs, helped mitigate high or unrealistic expectations of the services that these organisations can render.
  • This study showed a particular connection between women’s trust in organisations and their willingness to improve their trust in governmental and international organisations and to reach them. Women and girls who believed there were further risks linked with trusting authorities that women and girls fear from injustice and inequality, fear of concerns that governments would not get for them justice and equality, and fears of poverty, abuse and unemployment may force them to uncertainty. Many women and youth were unwilling to seek assistance and actively avoided real communication with government authorities. At least 7 African migrants have committed suicide in Egypt. Limited trust and silence to not contact governments authorities and foreign International Organisation often meant that African women and youth waited for real help for too long until they had no alternative, and were extremely vulnerable.

Do you have questions or feedback on the AWL’s study summary above?  Please contact us for more information. Do you want to talk to us about the results in brief?  Please contact one of the AWLs researchers by filling this form