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Weapon of war: Sexual violence against children in armed conflict

Save the Children, in collaboration with researchers from the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), 2018

This report presents the very first quantitative analysis of the risk of sexual violence against children in conflict for the period 1990–2019. The report flags remaining data gaps, shortcomings in child-centred and gender-responsive service delivery, and impunity for these crimes. Our findings also show the urgency of the broader call for gender equality and child rights, including increased focus on girls’ empowerment initiatives, recognising that girls are disproportionately affected. Sexual violence in conflict is a weapon, whether it is used tactically or opportunistically. While children face increasing risk of sexual violence in conflict, the international community struggles to adequately address this human rights violation. The scale and gravity of sexual violence against children in armed conflict call for immediate and concerted action by the UN, states, donors, the humanitarian community, researchers and civil society to meet their obligations to ensure children are safe from harm.

Updated February 23, 2021.