Read caption Illustration photo: A woman recovers from rape in a hospital in Goma, DR Congo, in the days following the city’s capture by M23 rebels. Sexual violence has been used by armed parties on all sides of the conflict. Photo: OCHA/Kate Holt

NORCAP Statement in relation to the international conference to end sexual violence in humanitarian crises

Published 21. May 2019
Statement by Executive Director of NORCAP Benedicte Giæver ahead of the international conference: “Ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Crises” which takes place in Oslo, Norway, 23-24 May:

“When a woman has been raped, she has three days to access care to prevent potential HIV, five days to prevent unwanted pregnancy, and in some cases just hours to ensure that life-threatening injuries don’t become fatal. But amidst the chaos of an emergency response or humanitarian crisis, these vital support mechanisms can get overlooked and deprioritised.

“Sexual violence and other forms of gender-based violence against women, girls and boys are major symptoms of conflict and this should never be accepted or normalised. We are urging politicians, government representatives, UN agencies, civil society organisations, all those involved in a humanitarian response to take definitive action towards ending violence in a crisis and prevent fragile communities from becoming cesspits for abuse.

“Local communities protect the people from the outset and are key to ending sexual and gender-based violence whenever a conflict breaks out. They must be heard, engaged and empowered before, during and after a humanitarian crisis. Therefore, those with a significant role in determining what gets funded in a humanitarian emergency response plan, must take this into account. They must embed the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence into every single plan.

“Efforts to end extreme violence in a humanitarian crisis saves countless lives. If not recognised as such, gender-based violence will continue to have devastating effects on families and entire communities.”

About the conference:

- The international conference on “Ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Crises” will take place in Oslo, Norway on May 23-24, 2019. 

- The aim is to mobilize stronger political commitment to prevent SGBV in humanitarian crises, mobilize financial resources and highlight best practices and lessons learned from SGBV prevention and response in humanitarian situations.

- The first day of the conference on 23 May (Thursday) is focused on the work of civil society organizations and organized by Norwegian Church Aid and partners. The outcome of these discussions will feed into the high-level day of the conference on 24 May (Friday). Media advisory can be found here.

- Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, and Director of NRC’s global provider of expertise, NORCAP, Benedicte Giæver, will be in attendance.

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