Sexual violence is common in humanitarian settings. It may become more acute in the wake of a natural disaster, and it occurs at every stage of a conflict. The victims are usually women and adolescents, whose vulnerability is exacerbated in the chaos of a crisis. Breakdown in law and order mean that perpetrators often abuse with impunity.
Guidelines on Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings
Gender-based violence | UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund
Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. It knows no social, economic or national boundaries. Worldwide, an estimated one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. Gender-based violence undermines the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims, yet it remains shrouded in a culture of silence. Victims of violence can suffer sexual and reproductive health consequences, including forced and unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, traumatic fistula, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, and even death. The issue of gender-based violence reaches every corner of the world.
Sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment violate human rights and are a betrayal of the core values of the United Nations. UNFPA conducts rigorous pre-employment checks of staff and personnel to prevent the rehiring of known offenders. UN staff members are not covered by immunity for acts that constitute crimes, and the Organization does not protect staff who commit such crimes. Sexual exploitation and abuse refers to all forms of inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature committed by UN personnel against recipients of assistance and other members of local communities.