Malawi: Refugees Falsify GBV Insecurity in Malawi to Justify Resettlement in Europe

Refugees and asylum seekers residing at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa are ‘cooking up’ sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) cases against fellow refugees to claim insecurity in Malawi.

Police in Dowa have disclosed that the refugees and asylum seekers use police reports arising from false SGBV claims to justify their application for resettlement in Canada and other Western countries.

Dowa Police Station Criminal Investigations Officer, Assistant Superintendent Chance Sibale, made the revelation during a daylong engagement for magistrates and the police from Dowa and Ntchisi districts.

The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) organized the workshop with funding from UN Women through Spotlight Initiative Project to provide stakeholders a platform to brainstorm on the best practices for combating violence in Dowa and Ntchisi districts.

Sibale stressed that some of the refugees at Dzaleka are in Malawi to secure resettlement in Europe.

“So, basically, what they do is to fake up an incident of defilement, claiming that their children have been defiled by their neighbours (who are also refugees). But when we take alleged defiled child to the hospital for medical examination, we find that they were not defiled,” he said.

“Even when you critically interrogate the child, you find that the child denies being defiled yet the neighbor has already spent days in police cells. So, in such cases, what we do is to file the docket and forward it to the court for disposal,” he added.

CCJP Lilongwe Archdiocesan Coordinator Enock Kamundi Phiri described the development as unfortunate and suffocating to the government and its development partners who are working hard to tackle the vice.