Selected links on Gender Based Violence
In 1993, the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women offered the first official definition of the term “Gender-based Violence”:
“Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including
threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” Gender-based violence has become
an umbrella term for any harm that is perpetrated against a person’s will, and that results from power inequalities that are based on gender roles.
Around the world, gender-based violence almost always has a greater negative impact on women and girls. For this reason the term "Gender-based Violence"
is often used interchangeably with the term "Violence against Women" (VAW). GBV principally affects those across all cultures. GBV can occur throughout a
woman's lifecycle, and can include everything from early childhood marriage and genital mutilation, to sexual abuse, domestic violence, legal discrimination
In what way should we meet women who have been victims of gender-based violence? It is extremely important to meet women who have been victims of
gender-based violence in a respectful and dignified manner.
Below we have collected some useful links about GBV:
Definitions and basic terms to Gender Based Violence
Guidelines and Tools
Human rights and Gender Based Violence - law, legal texts, resolutions etc
Gender Based Violence in the context of war and conflict
Male GBV as a weapon of war
Female Genital Mutilation
Organisations and sites
Definitions and basic terms to Gender Based Violence
This presents a collection of articles, websites etc. You’ll find a wide choice of
more general documents - statements and definitions of the WHO or UN, as well as more specific ones
addressing f.ex the situation in some countries. Some cover Gender-based Violence all over, also included
is domestic violence against women (occurring all over the globe, also in “peaceful” countries). Some are more
specific concerning GBV in the context of war or conflict.
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- Defining Gender-Based Violence
As a part of a resource package - Strengthening Health System Responses to Gender-based Violence in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The resource package is a collaboration between WAVE and UNFPA.
- WHO Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women This study analyses data from 10 countries and sheds new light on the prevalence of violence against women in countries where few data were previously available. It also uncovers the forms and patterns of this violence across different countries and cultures, documenting the
consequences of violence for women’s health. No specific focus on GBV in the context of conflict and war. - UN 2005
- UNWOMEN – facts and figures on VAW (violence against women)
General overview on VAW, definitions, terms, facts.
- Violence against Women,
its causes and consequences
Overview over VAW, also in the context of war and conflict zones, and suggestions of topics in need of further attention. -
Printable version of a speech by the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, 2011.
- Shattered lives - Definition of terms, overview over immediate medical care for sexual violence victims
This booklet includes both an overview over the topic, the necessary procedures concerning the victims/survivors (mostly medical) in the field, as well as explanations by means of presenting the situation in some chosen countries. - Mèdecins Sans Frontieres 2009
Mental health and psychosocial support for conflict-related sexual violence: 10 myths
World Health Organization 2012
- The Economic Cost of Gender Based Violence Survey Egypt 2015
UNFPA, CAPMAS 2015
The first national survey measuring prevalence of the different types and forms of gender based violence inflicted on women and girls and its impact on women’s health,
and it measures the associated economic costs on their families, society and state as a whole. The survey is expected to guide policy-makers and planners to formulate
evidence-based strategies and action plans to combat gender based violence in Egypt.
- What Social Workers should know about Gender Based Violence
Definitions, background, implications on intervention. - NASW 2001
- Rape as a Method of Torture
Especially chapter 2. Psychological Approaches to Working with Political Rape and chapter 6.
Rape and Mental Health: the Psychiatric Sequelae of Violation as an Abuse of Human Rights are relevant for the mental health aspect.
Edited by Dr Michael Peel - Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture 2004
- Definitions of Sexual and Gender-based Violence
IRIN. Part of a report-cluster which covers a wide range of aspects on GBV. - UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2004
Guidelines and Tools
This represents a collection of manuals and guidelines, which try from different points of view to help field workers to cope with the aftermath of
GBV, the traumas and injuries of the survivors. Very often the focus here is aimed at situations during or after war/conflict. Therefore most of these
manuals are targeting more practical aspects of fieldwork, as for instance organizing a field camp. Some provide a lot of information about GBV.
Some try also to set focus on communication with the survivors, as the topic GBV is a very sensitive one and therefore sometimes difficult to approach
in contact with the survivor.
The effects of GBV are manifold and always severe. There are physical injuries that may remain, as chronic pain syndromes, muscle and skeleton damages,
infections, sexually transmitted diseases. In the recent years it has come more in focus that also the psychological effects are severe, sometimes more
serious than the physical ones. To name here PTSD (post traumatic stress disease)
in all its varieties, depression, panic disorders.
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Mental health and gender-based violence
Helping survivors of sexual violence in conflict – a training manual
HHRI 2014, revised in 2016 - This training manual has been developed for helpers who provide assistance and support to women who survive gender-based violence (GBV) and sexual trauma during disasters,
conflicts and emergency situations, where access to health professionals with psychological or psychiatric expertise is limited. It is also avalable in Arabic, Russian
and Spanish versions. If you would like a hard copy, we will send it to you free of charge.
Please send us an e-mail explaining what kind of work you are doing and how you can use it for your work.
We will also like to introduce you to our Gender based violence manual – website.
This website is concentrated on our manual "Mental health and
gender-based violence Helping survivors of sexual violence in conflict – a training manual”. On this web site, you can download
the manual and have a closer look at the pilots –trainings that we organized prior to the completion of the manual. We have edited the
Butterfly- woman story into one continuous story, as well presented the other tools, such as the grounding exercises, the helping the helpers
part and ideas as to how you can conduct training in your context.
We have also made a small toolbox - boklet where we have gathered all the tools in the manual, easy to translate into yur own language to make it easier to hold your own trainings.
This website is also translated to Spanish. If you are interested in organizing training at your workplace, in your organization or other relevant contexts,
please send us an e-mail and we will provide you with more information and advice.
IASC Guidelines for Gender- based Violence interventions in humanitarian settings
Guidelines (334 p.)
with focus on practical aspects and approach ( f.e. shelter, security, food). Nothing in specific about mental health.
- “Prevention of and response to sexual violence in emergencies” The GBV Guidelines have been revised from the
2005 version by an inter-agency Task Team led by UNICEF and UNFPA, and endorsed by the IASC in 2015
Training package for health care professionals on strengthening health system responses to gender-based violence
The training package aims to strengthen the knowledge and skills of health care professionals to understand GBV, to
identify patients who have experienced GBV and to provide survivors with appropriate care, support and referrals. It seeks to
provide trainers with a ready-made and user-friendly tool to deliver trainings to health care professionals in the EECA region,
packaging the comprehensive background information included in part I into ten practical training modules. UNFPA & WAVE 2014
SGBV Prevention and Response
The Training Package is designed to help facilitators deliver introductory, interactive training on
the prevention of and response to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Facilitators should
have field-experience working on SGBV prevention and response, mainstreaming gender equality,
working with communities affected by displacement, and be familiar with UNHCR’s approach to
addressing SGBV. -UNHCR 2016
Mental health and psychosocial support for conflict-related sexual violence: principles and interventions1
This is a summary of the report from a meeting on Responding to the psychosocial
and mental health needs of sexual violence survivors in conflict-affected
settings, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), with United Nations
Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on
behalf of United Nations Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict (UNAction),
on 28–30 November 2011 in Ferney-Voltaire, France.
A practical approach to gender based violence – a programme guide for health care providers & managers
Manual (74 p.) which tries to provide health care providers with the necessary information about GBV.
This manual has some focus on how to approach a difficult topic to talk about, as GBV represents for most of
the survivors, in a psychological way. It tries to arouse sensibility and improved interviewing skills. - UN Population Fund 2001
Guidance for mediators: Addressing conflict-related sexual violence in ceasefire and peace agreements
This guidance offers advice to aid the mediator and his/her team in addressing a frequently used method and tactic of warfare:
conflict-related sexual violence. It provides strategies for including this security and peace building concern within ceasefire
and security arrangements and in framing provisions for post-conflict justice and reparations. -UN Department of Political Affairs 2012
Handbook for Coordinating GBV interventions in humanitarian settings
A quick-reference tool that provides practical guidance on leadership roles, key responsibilities and specific actions to be
taken when establishing and maintaining a GBV coordination mechanism in an emergency. The handbook is based on the IASC Guidelines for GBV- Interventions
in Humanitarian Settings (2005) and also takes into account lessons learned, good practices and emerging resources related to GBV coordination
within the cluster approach/humanitarian reform process as well as relatively recent global initiatives on GBV in emergencies.
Gender-based Violence Area of Responsibility Working Group (2010, 348 p.).
Gender-based Violence Tools Manual
This manual (207 p.) tries to cover most of administrative and organizational considerations required to establish help. Lots of form-sheets useful to organize help practically. Form-sheets for structured interviews etc. “For Assessment & Program Design, Monitoring & Evaluation in conflict-affected settings” RHRC 2004
Facilitator's Guide - Training Manual for Multisectoral and Interagency Prevention and Response to Gender-based Violence
This manual includes and provides information and (interactive) training to create workshops and seminars, for planning interventions to
address GBV in displaced settings around the world. Most focus on administrative and practical issues, some information about mental (psychological) damage after GBV. - RHRC 2004
Camp management toolkit
Most of the topics in the Camp Management Toolkit are interconnected and have
relevance for and explicit links to other sectors and chapters. Such topics as GBV, protection, participation and community involvement, information management and
environment are cross-cutting in nature and their messages are integral to the Toolkit
as a whole, chapter 10, tries to cover most under practical aspects the challenge to focus on GBV, with basic examples. Nothing specific about mental health. Norwegian Refugee Council 2008, 598 pages.
- Clinical management of rape survivors
Guidelines how to approach survivors of GBV, clinical management on basic level (“how to examine..”). - UNHCR 2004
- Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons
Guidelines with an overview over the topic GBV, with some considerations about prevention and response. - UNHCR 2003
- Mental health of refugees
Manual (96 p.)to help those who work with refugees/displaced persons. Here is the focus on to enable the helpers themselves to cope with the traumas of the survivors, and to raise skills in approaching the mental health problems. 10 units, suitable to set up workshops. Very useful. - UNHCR/WHO 1996
- Checklist for Action - Prevention & Response to Gender-Based Violence in Displaced Settings
Short checklist approaching mainly practical considerations how to cope with the aftermath of GBV and the survivors.
- Researcher Trauma, Safety and Sexual Violence Research
Briefing paper- Working and researching with victims of sexual violence can be traumatic to the researcher and can result in secondary
traumatic stress or vicarious traumatisation. This paper explores the experiences of
sexual violence researchers from different countries, identifying the issues that traumatized them and the protective strategies they found effective. - SVRI 2010
- Communication skills in working with survivors of GBV/workshop
A 5-day-training in communication/Trainers Workshop (194 p.). Enables participants to emphasize better in communication with survivors, and make them capable to organize
a setting that takes care both of the survivor and the field-worker. Can be used to set up a workshop with examples of form-sheets, info-leaflets and hand-outs.
- Sexual and Gender-based Violence - Overview
A field manual on reproductive health in refugee situations,
which provides with considerations and advice concerning prevention, responding, monitoring. - UNFPA
- Guidelines for medico-legal care for victims of sexual violence
Solid manual (154 p.) which provides with knowledge about GBV and mostly focuses on necessary settings, but strongly practical (f.e. how to physically examine, about documentation, poorly focus on counseling). - WHO 2003
Trauma Treatment Manual
A guide in text-form to raise understanding for the topic GBV and trauma,
and improve communication-skills for field workers helping trauma-survivors, communication examples for approach. -
Ed Schmookler PhD, 2001
Preventing Gender-based Violence, Building Livelihoods Guidance and Tools for Improved Programming
New livelihood strategies can increase the risk
of gender-based violence (GBV). Women often have
no safety net; they usually flee with few resources and
little preparation and may become separated from or
lose family members. A lack of access to economic
opportunities while displaced often forces women and
girls to resort to harmful measures to survive. Women’s Refugee Commission 2011
Managing Gender-based Violence Programmes in Emergencies e-learning course.
Developed by the UNFPA and World Education, Inc., in consultation with a wide range of
GBV experts and humanitarian and development actors worldwide, the goal of this course is to improve
the knowledge of programme managers to better address the issue of gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies. 2011
Clinical Care for Sexual Assault Survivors A Multimedia Training Tool Facilitator’s Guide
International Rescue Committee
with production by the UCLA Center for International Medicine 2008
The goal of this multimedia educational program is to improve clinical care for and general treatment
of sexual assault survivors by providing medical instruction and encouraging competent, compassionate,
confidential care. The program is intended for both clinical care providers and non-clinician health facility staff. It is
designed to be delivered in a group setting with facilitators guiding participants through the material and
directing discussions and group participation as appropriate.
Passing the test. The experience of Liberian school students.
Judy L. Postmus and Rebecca Davis, 2014
Gender Based Violence (GBV) in and around schools is now
widely recognized as a serious global phenomenon that is a
fundamental violation of human rights and a major barrier to
the realization of all children’s rights to education.
Human rights and Gender Based Violence - law, legal texts, resolutions etc
Here we try to present a collection of legal framework, which already exist. Especially The United Nations
agreement on some resolutions, which define the topic in a very solid mode, including suggestions on how to proceed.
Implementing these resolutions and agreements in the reality of
war-situations and preventing GBV from happening is the issue that is to be focused on. In response to persistent advocacy from civil society the UN Security Council has so far, adopted five resolutions on "Women, Peace and Security".
These resolutions are: Security Councils Resolution 1325 (2000); 1820 (2009); 1888 (2009); 1889 (2010) 1960 (2011) 2106 (2013); 2122 (2013) and 2242 (2015).
The eight resolutions should be taken together under a single umbrella, as they comprise the Women, Peace and Security international policy framework.
They guide work to promote and protect the rights of women in conflict and post-conflict situations. Additionally, as binding Security Council resolutions, they should be implemented by all Member States and relevant actors, including UN system entities and parties to conflict.
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Women, Peace and Security international policy framework - the resolutions
UN Security Council Resolutions, with overview and insight to each of the eight resolutions, useful to check the "speak local" links - Peace Women
- UN-Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security
Essential and fundamental UN-resolution about that topic – “impact of armed conflict on women and girls”, with proposals how to realize targets. - UN 2000
Strengthening the protection of Women from Torture
UNHCR, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel,
inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, A/HRC/7/3, 15 January 2008. The term “torture” seen in connection with “violence against
women”, and some conclusions to be drawn international, with implications on justice, reparation, other (human) rights.
- Indicators on Violence Against Women and State Response
Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences / Human Rights Council, 2008
- Women’s Rights are Human Rights
This publication provides an introduction to women’s human rights,
beginning with the main provisions in international human rights law and
going on to explain particularly relevant concepts for fully understanding
women’s human rights. UN 2014
- Nairobi declaration on women`s and girl`s right to a remedy and reparation
Conclusion/declaration as a result of an international meeting on “Women’s and Girls’ Right to a Remedy and Reparation”, held in Nairobi from 19 to 21 March 2007. Participants have been women’s rights advocates and activists, as well as survivors of sexual violence in situations of conflict, from Africa, Asia, Europe, Central, North and South America. Here`s the focus on remedy and reparation for the survivors of GBV. - Nairobi 2007
- Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women
A declaration elaborated as a result after an international meeting on the topic about “violence against women”. An attempt to define women`s rights, duties of the states, etc. - Belèm/Brazil, 1995
- Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Gender-based violence seen in different contexts, with the goal to present some of the most important topics: in combination with poverty, reproductive health, HIV, in conflict situations.
Issues and challenges with all these topics. - UN Women, 2017
- Gender based violence
and the law
Jeni Klugman, Georgetown University, World Development Report 2017
The Sustainable Development Goals include a specific target to “eliminate all forms
of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres.” A recent
special series of The Lancet on addressing violence against women provides an
excellent overview of the current evidence, and highlights that while growing
international recognition creates opportunities for renewed government
commitment, solutions will not be quick or easy.
Thematic Prosecution of International Sex Crimes
FICHL, Morten Bergsmo ed. 2012
Deals with the topic of thematic prosecution of core international crimes. Its focus is on international sex crimes. It is important to
justify the singling out of a narrow range of criminality for prosecution, whether in internationalized or national criminal jurisdictions.
Thematic prosecutions should be explained to the public. Absent proper justification, the thematic prosecution of core international crimes
is likely to generate increasing controversy. This timely publication will hopefully raise awareness and generate discussion about the possibilities and
challenges of the use of thematic prosecution among those working in criminal justice agencies, academia, civil society, and the media (474 pages).
Changing the Criminal Justice System’s Response to Sexual Assault/Gender Based Violence in Canada
ISP EMPLOYMENT LAW, Jennifer Canas 2017
Trauma Informed Sexual Assault Investigation and Adjudication Training.
Justice, for survivors of sexual assault/gender based violence, demands that Trauma-Informed Sexual Assault training and education about the impact of trauma
on the brain, complexities and dynamics underlying a survivor’s response to such assault, the myths and stereotypes of sexual assault, and including investigative/questioning
skills be provided within the whole of the criminal justice system across Canada, otherwise we will continue to see justice denied.
Gender Based Violence in the context of war and conflict
There are many articles covering the topic of GBV in a more general meaning, here also
including domestic violence (occurring also in “stabile” countries). We are trying here to
collect some essays and articles, which are highlighting the specific problems concerning GBV in war and conflict zones
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- Report of the Secretary-General on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence
The present report, which covers the period from January to December 2016, is submitted
pursuant to Security Council resolution 2106 (2013), in which the Council requested me to report annually on the implementation of resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1960 (2010) on
conflict-related sexual violence. UN april 2017 | s/2017/249
- Our Bodies - Their Battle Ground: Gender-based Violence in Conflict Zones
“GBV – A silent, vicious epidemic”. An overview about GBV (definitions), with focus on war and conflict-zones. Some examples are given, to illustrate difficulties in approaching the problem and dealing with consequences. - UN Office for the coordination of human affairs, 2004
- Ending sexual violence in Darfur: An advocacy agenda
This booklet gives a great overview over the impact of sexual violence under the conflict in Darfur. With focus on the impact on rape, and emerging issues as protection and health response. - Refugees international 2007
- Sexual Violence and its Consequences among Displaced Persons in Darfur and Chad
Presenting the situation in Darfur and Chad, with some focus on the social, psychological, medical/clinical consequences of VAW. Short presentation of preferable, necessary standards for response and caretaking. - Human Rights Watch, April 2005
- ”Shattered lives - Sexual Violence during the Rwandan Genocide and its Aftermath”
Long and solid report about the incidents during the genocide in Rwanda in 1994/95. Background, facts, description of events and crimes, recommendations for response. - Human Rights Watch 1996
- Promising democracy imposing theocracy - Gender Based Violence and the US war on Iraq
This report highlights the situation for women in Iraq, and the role the US and the US-military has played in establishing the existing situation. - MADRE 2007
- Prevalence of Gender-Based Violence: Preliminary Findings from a Field Assessment in Nine Villages in the Peja Region, Kosovo
Long and solid report/essay describing the situation for women, with lots of detailed examples how GBV impacted to women then and there. - RHRC Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the University of Arizona.
- A psychosocial model of healing from the traumas of ethnic cleansing the case of Bosnia
Article about the situation of traumatized women
in Bosnia, and programs to help. – 2001, Marta Cullberg Weston, The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation
- Sexual and Gender Based Violence against refugees, returnees, and internally displaced persons
This is a solid long (168 s.) guideline about GBV. It includes an overview about GBV, guiding principles, considerations on preventing sexual and gender-based violence, as well as thoughts about responding to GBV (health, psychosocial, legal aspects). - UNHCR 2003
- Take five: Uncovering the untold stories of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict
The experience from the ad-hoc tribunals has shown that recognition in the form of a judgment, acknowledging the experiences of
survivors and the responsibility of perpetrators, is valuable and can help with healing on a number of levels. With the first few reparation orders
at the International Criminal Court, we are starting to see how reparations for such crimes can and should benefit survivors.
Male GBV as a weapon of war
Male victims of sexual violence: war's silent sufferers
Allan Ngari, Institute for Security Studies (ISS). 2016
Sexual violence is a tactic of war, used to humiliate, dominate and instill fear. It is also increasingly being used as a tactic of terrorism. While the focus has largely been on women and girls as victims of sexual violence, boys and men are equally at risk. Sexual violence against men and boys takes on a range of heinous acts, including anal and oral rape, genital torture, castration and coercion to rape others. Many of these acts are seen as emasculating, and while many male victims are willing to give accounts of what they witnessed, they are less likely to express what they themselves had experienced in conflict.
Identifying and Responding to Urban Refugees’ Risks of Gender-Based Violence Men and Boys, Including Male Survivors
Women´s Refugee Commission (WRC). 2016
Throughout 2015, WRC conducted a research in urban settings, the first phase of a multi-year project to improve the humanitarian
community’s understanding of and response to GBV risks in urban contexts. Quito, Ecuador; Beirut, Lebanon; Kampala, Uganda; and Delhi, India, were chosen because they are host to diverse refugee populations, have different policy environments for refugees, and are at different stages of humanitarian response. The project looked separately at the GBV risks of different urban refugee subpopulations: women; children and adolescents; LGBTI individuals; persons with disabilities; and male survivors of sexual violence.
“We keep it in our heart” Sexual violence against men and boys in the Syria crisis.
Dr. Sarah Chynoweth, UNHCR 2017
This exploratory study examined sexual violence against men and boys in the Syria crisis and their access to services in Jordan,
Lebanon, and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). In addition to a review of the literature and an online survey completed by 33 key
informants, in-country data collection was undertaken in October 2016. Key informant interviews with 73 humanitarian personnel
from 34 agencies were conducted as well as 21 focus group discussions with 196 refugees (82 pages).
Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Christopher Anderson, American Psychological Association. 2015
Common Types of and Prevalence Estimates for Exposure to Traumatic Stressors. Within the U.S. as many as 1 in 4 males will
experience some form of sexual abuse during their lifetime. The number of males who are sexually abused during military service
is greater than the number of female service members. As many as 50% of the children who are sex trafficked in the US are males.
Male Rape Victims in the Lord’s Resistance Army war and the Conflict in Eastern Congo
Linda Lanyero Omona, International Institute for Social Studies. December, 2014
Sexual violence against men in Uganda is an underreported crime. Sexual violence against men is considered a taboo in most cultures. It is an issue not talked about because many consider the rape of men nearly impossible. It is clear that men have also been victims of rape in armed conflicts all over the world. The laws that define rape should be revised to include men and boys as victims of rape.
Working with men and boy survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in forced displacement
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 2012
Refugee men and boys can be subjected to sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). Survivors have
specific health, psychosocial, legal, and safety needs, but often find it hard to discuss their experience and access the support they need.
The objectives of this note are to emphasise that programmes on SGBV need to include men and boys, and to provide guidance on how to access survivors,
facilitate reporting, provide protection and deliver essential medical, legal and social services.
International Human Rights Law and Sexual Violence Against Men in Conflict Zones
Tom Hennessey and Felicity Gerry, Halsbury´s Law Exchange.
Sexual violence occurs in times of peace and of war. It takes place within committed relationships and between strangers,
between people of any gender and sexuality, and for reasons that can be complex. However, despite common misconceptions, it is widely accepted amongst
academics and charities that rape and other forms of sexual offences are usually about dominance and control rather than sexual gratification; a form of physical violence
that has the power to fundamentally undermine the victim’s confidence and self-identity. Because of this, sexual violence is a common feature of war zones. As armies or militias struggle
to assert their dominance, civilians within contested areas often find themselves subjected to widespread sexual abuse. The result is fear, humiliation and trauma.
Working with men and boys survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in forced displacement
Refugee men and boys can be subjected to sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). Survivors have specific health, psychosocial, legal, and safety needs, but often find it hard to discuss their experience and access the support they need. It is important that UNHCR and its partners take steps to address these difficulties. The objectives of this note are to emphasise that programmes on sexual and gender based violence need to include men and boys, and to provide guidance on how to access survivors, facilitate reporting, provide protection and deliver essential medical, legal and social services.
In some refugee groups, more than one in three men are said to have suffered sexual violence
Katie, Nguyen, Thomson Reuters Foundation. May, 2014
Sexual violence against men is one of the least told aspects of war. Yet men and boys are victims too of abuse that is frequently more effective at destroying lives and tearing communities apart than guns alone. It can take the form of anal and oral rape, genital torture, castration, gang rape, sexual slavery and the forced rape of others. It is so taboo that few survivors have the courage to tell their story. Besides feeling ashamed and afraid of being ostracised, many victims dare not challenge powerful myths about male rape in their cultures, experts say. A common belief is that a man who is raped becomes a woman.
Hope in the Shadows: Male Victims of Sexual Assault in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Miya Cain, Harvard Kennedy School. 2014
As a result of ongoing conflict, poverty and instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congolese men and women have been subjected to various forms of sexual violence by warring rebel militia, government forces, and noncombatants. Most humanitarian aid, money, and international attention supports female victims of sexual violence, but male victims are largely left in the shadows. Simplified narratives of gender violence often define men as “villains” and women as “victims.” This narrative aligns with traditional conceptions of gender roles; however, the oversimplification often leaves male victims overlooked by policy responses designed to address sexual violence.
UNHCR issues guidelines on protection of male rape victims
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). October, 2012
Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) against men and boys has generally been mentioned as a footnote in reports. There are no detailed statistics on the number of male victims of SGBV but, the phenomenon is increasingly being recognized as a protection concern in conflict and forced displacement situations. Despite the prevailing taboo, there had been progress over the last decade in reporting of incidents.
Access to Justice for Male Victims of Sexual Violence; Focus on Refugees in Uganda
Meg McMahon, Legal Aid Board.
Sexual violence against men has garnered increasing publicity in recent years but still remains extremely under-researched and under-reported. This paper will examine the challenges facing male victims of sexual violence. The paper will look at the broad international framework, including definitions of sexual violence and international jurisprudence in the area as well as generally looking at how the term sexual or gender based violence has come to be associated with violence against women.
The rape of men: the darkest secret of war
Will Storr, The Guardian. July 2011
Sexual violence is one of the most horrific weapons of war, an instrument of terror used against women. Yet huge numbers of men are also victims. In this harrowing report, Will Storr travels to Uganda to meet traumatised survivors, and reveals how male rape is endemic in many of the world's conflicts. Of all the secrets of war, there is one that is so well kept that it exists mostly as a rumour. It is usually denied by the perpetrator and his victim. Governments, aid agencies and human rights defenders at the UN barely acknowledge its possibility.
Male Rape and Human Rights
Lara Stemple, Program for the Study of Sexuality, Gender, Health and Human Rights, Columbia University. 2009
For the last few decades, the prevailing approach to sexual violence in international human rights instruments has focused virtually exclusively on the abuse of women and girls. In the meantime,
men have been abused and sexually humiliated during situations of armed conflict. Childhood sexual abuse of boys is alarmingly common.
Masculinity and Experiences
of Sexual Violence: Case study of Male Congolese Refugees in Kampala Uganda
Jacqueline Mukasa Nassaka ISS 2012.
Uganda, as any other countries receives refugees yearly from its neighbours. Among the issues reported occasionally are incidences related to sexual violence.
These issues are generally ignored without taking into consideration the different aspects of sustainable development.
Gender equality cannot be achieved without the involvement of men and boys. But change is slowly taking place,
and men are increasingly working alongside women to support gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
- Engaging Boys and
Men in GBV Prevention and Reproductive Health in Conflict and Emergency-Response Settings
A Workshop Module
The ACQUIRE Project, USAID
This module is for personnel working in conflict and other emergency-response settings who are interested in engaging boys and men
in gender-based violence prevention and reproductive health. This includes those managing or staffing reproductive health, HIV and AIDS,
and/or GBV prevention projects in emergency-response settings or conflict zones. Specific audiences to consider targeting are NGO project
managers, field staff, health sector coordinators, health promoters, donor representatives, local representatives of ministries of health,
and community liaisons working for UNCHR or other U.N. agencies (pdf. 60 pages).
- Partnering with men to end gender-based violence practices that work from Eastern Europe and Central Asia
UNFPA - This publication is about five UNFPA-supported projects in South and Eastern Europe that have
made monumental strides in engaging men in the prevention of gender-based violence. The
people responsible for these projects are on the cutting edge of development efforts, yet
they often feel they are fighting an uphill battle. Violence remains pervasive in the region,
with estimates showing that one woman in three still experiences abuse in her lifetime.1
Attitudes and practices that perpetuate violence against women are accepted as norms, and
countless crimes go unpunished ( pdf, 108 pages).
Engaging Men and Boys in Refugee Settings to Address Sexual and Gender Based Violence
UN Women, Women’s Commission & Sonk - A report from a workshop held in Cape Town, South Africa, 22-25 September, 2008 Prepared by Caroline Aasheim, Dale Buscher, Dean Peacock and Lynn Ngugi
Engaging men and boys has emerged as a vital strategy for ending gender based violence, including in refugee and post-conflict settings. While prevention and response activities are essential, the humanitarian community and host country service providers understand that they must move beyond simply addressing each individual case of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and begin to address the societal, cultural, economic, religious and political systems that either perpetuate or allow for violence based on gender to continue (pdf. 28 pages).
- UNFPA - Engaging men & boys
UNFPA works with men and boys around the world to advance gender equality – with benefits for all.
These programmes are encouraging men and boys to abandon harmful stereotypes, embrace respectful,
healthy relationships, and support the human rights of all people, everywhere.
Challenging sexual and gender-based violence in institutional settings
By immersing the participants in a
programme of dialogue and action that challenge the inherent nature of male privileges and power structures in society – government, academia and workplace –
the men learned a lot about themselves and how they can begin to address inequities. By providing step-by-step tools, discussion topics and stories about the
Mobilising Men participants, the publication acts as a guide for activists to instil change in institutions that impede women’s progress through both subtle and obvious barriers (pdf, 114 pages).
Masculinities & Engaging Men: Training Manual to end GBV
African Women’s Development and Communication Network
The overall goal of the Men to Men Programme is to create a critical mass of African men who are able to
influence communities, organizations and the public to believe in and practise gender equality as a norm. The manual
on masculinities provides rich content for trainers and facilitation tips for each session. The manual is meant to
enhance men's knowledge on the link between masculinities, GBV and the spread of HIV/AIDS, and equip men with practical
skills for training other men on combating GBV and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Gender-Based Violence: An advocacy guide for grassroots activists in Burundi
This guide was developed as a resource for communitybased
activists who are working to eliminate gender-based violence in their communities. Often, activists have several roles. Sometimes activists provide case management,
and sometimes they educate their communities. Some activists do both. The aims is to create an environment that promotes safe, peaceful
and productive families and communities and to envision a Burundi that is free from gender-based violence. CARE’s Great Lakes Advocacy Initiative (GLAI) 2012.
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Female Genital Mutilation
Female genital mutilation – FGM – represents a serious impact both to the physical and mental health of the affected women and girls. It is part of reality for many women around the world, to consider as quite severe not least because it is furthermore seen as “normal” in many ways of many of the involved persons. So it represents a major challenge to face because of the many background aspects which are to consider.
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- Female genital mutilation - fact sheet
Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the
external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. –
- Eliminating female genital mutilation, an interagency statement.
Statement of the WHO about that topic, definitions, consequences and needed actions.
- Changing a harmful social convention: female genital mutilation/cutting
UNICEF-Innocenti Research Centre 2008.
This Innocenti Digest is a contribution to a growing
movement to end the practice of FGM/C around the world. As early as 1952, the UN Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution on the issue
- Female genital mutilation: a handbook for frontline workers
Booklet with examples (f.e. Egypt, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda), impacts on women`s health an situation, possible prevention programs. –
- A statistical exploration on female genital mutilation.
Solid long collection of data, facts and statistics. Socio-economic and demographic facts, underlying causes and attitudes,
conclusions and recommendations.
- Combating Female Genital Mutilation in Europe
Sophie Poldermans 2006
Comparative analysis of legislative and preventive tools in combating female genital mutilation (FGM) in Europe.
The paper discusses the possibilities to combat the problem in Europe, where it becomes a concern too, due to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
- The impact of harmful traditional practices on the girl child
Article about the ompact of FGM on girl children. Focus on background, statistics and facts,
as well as on religion, beliefs etc. Discussion of possible interactions.
- Ending female genital mutilation/cutting lessons from a decade of progress
Population Reference Bureau 2013.
This review will focus on a few of the
key successful approaches and interventions that have had a
significant impact on abandonment, identified with guidance
from the experts interviewed. This report pulls together the
lessons learned from the last decade and crafts a roadmap
for how to strengthen programs moving forward.
- Impact of psychological disorders after female genital mutilation among Kurdish girls in Northern Iraq
Jan Ilhan Kizilhan - Eur. J. Psychiat.Vol. 25, N.° 2, (92-100) 2011
This study investigated the mental health status
of young girls after genital mutilation in Northern Iraq. Although experts assume that
circumcised girls are more prone to psychiatric illnesses than non-circumcised girls, little
research has been conducted to confirm this claim. For the purpose of this study, it was assumed
that female genital mutilation is connected with a high rate of posttraumatic stress
- UNFPA-UNICEF joint programme on female genital mutilation-cutting:
The UNFPA/UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting 2017.
UNFPA and UNICEF jointly lead the largest global programme to accelerate the abandonment of female genital mutilation, it highlights some of the achievements, challenges and best practices for the abandonment of FGM/C and emphasizes the
importance of continued partnerships with governments, media, civil society organizations and religious leaders.
- Promoting FGM Abandonment in Egypt: Introduction of Positive Deviance
Pamela A. McCloud, Dr. Shahira Aly, Sarah Goltz 2003.
CEPDA has been working to end the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in
Egypt. CEDPA spearheaded the use of the “positive deviance approach” to FGM abandonment
and has been engaged in a learning experience with many partners and communities in Egypt.
After working through the various phases of the program, a model has been developed to guide
community organizations in implementing FGM abandonment programs. The development of
this innovative model has created a strong base for the current FGM Abandonment Program
“Human trafficking” is called the practice of people being tricked, lured, coerced or otherwise removed from their home or country,
then forced to work with no or low payment, or on terms which are highly exploitative. The practice is considered to be the trade or commerce
of people, which has many features of slavery, and which is illegal in most countries. The victims of human trafficking are used in a variety
of situations, including prostitution and forced labor and other forms of involuntary servitude. The sale of babies and children for adoption
or other purposes is also considered to be trafficking. A wide variety of crimes and human rights abuses are associated with trafficking.
We have focused here on human trafficking concerning women and girls, as this represents a part of Gender-based Violence.
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- The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols
This is considered as the main international instrument in the fight against transnational organized crime. – UN 2000
”Toolkit” to Combat Trafficking in Persons
“Electronic toolkit”, with a solid collection of assessments and links, intended to provide guidance, recommend resources, facilitate the sharing of knowledge. Legal and legislative framework, law enforcement and prosecution, victim assistance and prevention, etc. – UNODOC United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2010
- Trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation in the Americas
Overview over the topic, seen in context with human rights, health, legal framework etc. – PAHO Pan-american health organization
- Poverty, gender and human trafficking in Sub-Sahara
Thanh-Dam Truong, UNESCO 2006
“Re-thinking best practices in migration management”, solid article (141 p.) which tries to unpack the interconnectedness between human trafficking
and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa, based on a critical analysis of migration processes in relation to human rights abuse.
Psychosocial support to groups of victims of human trafficking in transit situations.
This publication highlights the importance of considering the psychosocial approach.
Trafficking for sexual exploitation of Romanian women. A qualitative research in Romania, Italy and Spain
CPE, ADPARE, Expert for Europe, SURT 2016
The current research was conducted in the context of the GIRL – Gender Interventions for the Rights
and Liberties of Women and Girls Victims of Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation project, implemented from 2014 to 2016 and co-funded by the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union.
Why is gender an important factor in the process of trafficking for sexual exploitation?
CPE, ADPARE, Expert for Europe, SURT 2016
Guide for professionals, with a special focus on the trafficking for sexual exploitation of Romanian women and girls.
- The Relationship of Trauma to Mental Disorders Among Trafficked and Sexually Exploited Girls and Women
Mazeda Hossain et al. 2010
Concludes that the need for mental health care for trafficked persons
by highlighting the importance of assessing severity and duration of trafficking-related
abuses and need for adequate recovery time. Therapies for anxiety, PTSD, and mood disorders in low-resource settings should be evaluated.Some articles (online links) collecting considerations about trafficking.
- Trafficking of women
WomenWatch – UN 2004
Some articles (online links) collecting considerations about trafficking.
Organisations and sites
Some useful links to organizations distributing information and working with survivors of GBV.