Haiti: A theatre project to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse

29 Mar 2019

Haiti: A theatre project to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse

Soukaïna Prosper (translated by Frederic Fath)

As part of the United Nations effort to prevent and eliminate sexual exploitation and abuse by its staff, the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) and the UN agencies in the country have organized a theatre experience in the capital Port-au-Prince and major provincial towns.

This awareness-raising project aims to inform the local population of ways to prevent cases of sexual exploitation and abuse and on the various complaint mechanisms that exist in the UN system.

The theatre experience, also known as “Theatre of the Oppressed” (Théâtre de l’opprimé) is an interactive exercise which allows spectators to come on stage to offer solutions to discussed issues.

“In Haiti, where verbal transmission is of great importance, we encouraged the mission to use theatre and radio to inform and sensitize communities,” said Sophie Boudre, who is leading the project.

“We will be able to fight, in a sustainable way, against the scourge of sexual exploitation and abuse by working simultaneously with the UN personnel on prevention and by dialoguing with the communities who are the most affected,” she said.

Funded by the United Kingdom and implemented in four peacekeeping operations, this project aims to provide communication tools to the communities to promote the UN’s zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse.

The other objectives are to help communities to know and identify acts of sexual exploitation and abuse, to be able to report allegations, and to get important information and assistance to the victims.

The actors of Association Tamise, who are putting on the experience, will tour four cities in Haiti:  Gonaïves, Cap-Haitien, Miragoane, and Port-au-Prince.