Together with the UN and other partners, Norway will host an international pledging conference to strengthen efforts to combat sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian crises. The conference will take place in Oslo on 23-24 May.
Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is a major problem in many areas affected by humanitarian crises. Sexual and gender-based violence has a severe and long-lasting impact on survivors, their families and the surrounding community. Despite this, humanitarian efforts in this field are often underfunded, and affected by a lack of capacity.
‘Much more needs to be done to protect and assist all those who are subjected to sexual violence in humanitarian crisis situations – women and girls and men and boys. We intend to play a leading role internationally to strengthen efforts in this area,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
The purpose of the conference is to focus political awareness on the humanitarian response to SGBV, and to increase funding for humanitarian efforts in this field through UN-coordinated appeals. The conference will also facilitate dialogue on how humanitarian efforts should be designed to ensure the best possible results. It will focus in particular on sexual violence in humanitarian crises caused by conflicts.
‘Protecting people against sexual and gender-based violence is a key priority in Norway’s new humanitarian strategy. We are seeking to promote increased respect for international humanitarian law in this area. Sexual violence is not a side-effect of war – it is used as a weapon of war, and all too often the perpetrators are not prosecuted,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
The high-level segment of the conference will be held on 24 May. Those invited will include ministers from donor countries and developing countries, leading UN officials, and leaders of humanitarian organisations. The civil society segment of the conference will be held on 23 May and will be hosted by Norwegian Church Aid and its partners.
(MFA – Norway)