Preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence in conflict and emergency situations

Philipp Socha
International Law Division


Policy documents and Action Plans:
–    Implementation Report on the Action Plan of the Federal Republic of Germany on the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 for the Period 2013 to 2016 (see file attached)
–    2nd Action Plan for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution “Women, Peace, Security” 2017-2020 (Protection from and response to SGBV one of five focus areas, see document attached)
–    Guidelines “Preventing crises, transforming conflicts, building peace” adopted in June 2017 with a focus on gender responsive crisis mechanisms (see file attached)

International actions:
–    Under German G7 chairmanship: support to G7 Initiative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict
–    International Training on “Investigating and Preventing Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Conflict Environments” at the State Police College of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg in Cooperation with Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC)
–    High-Level Event “The Fight Against Impunity for Atrocities: Bringing Da’esh to Justice” New York, 9 March, 2017
–    Participation in Open Debates of UN Security Council as well as Arria Meetings on 13 25 and Sexual Violence in Conflict
–    Round Table on SGBV with SRSG Rashida Manjoo and NGO Medica Mondiale organized by German Parliament, December 2014
–    Support to the Mandate of SRSG for Sexual Violence in Conflict, project funding of OSRSG
–    Contributions to the Fund for Gender Equality or for the work of UN Women to prevent sexual violence at refugee camps in South Sudan and Mali
–    Germany is national champion of the ‘Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative’
–    Funding of various project and programmes to support survivors of sexual violence, training for lawyers, for further details see implementation report

Humanitarian assistance with a focus on prevention and response to SGBV:
–    In the National Action Plan on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325, Germany has committed to pay particular attention to the prevention and fight against SGBV in humanitarian assistance
–    Since 2014 Germany has been supporting the ICRC Special Appeal “Strengthening the Response to Sexual Violence”. In 2017 Germany has pledged 500,000.00 EUR. The Special Appeal pursues a multidisciplinary approach focussing on prevention as well as on support to survivors, e.g. psychological support, health care, economic (re)integration and revision of the national criminal legislation. In addition, Germany funds UNHCR, ICRC and UN OCHA as organizations with particular protection and coordination mandates annually through unearmarked voluntary contributions.
–    At the World Humanitarian Summit Germany committed to improving the access of pregnant women, mothers and babies to health care in armed conflict, in particular to sexual and reproductive health care. This has proven to be key in the prevention of and fight against SGBV. Furthermore, in August 2016, Germany joined the Call to Action on Protection from gender-based Violence in Emergencies.
–    Germany is taking SGBV and gender aspects into consideration in all humanitarian projects, especially in contexts of conflict. This is reflected in the needs assessment (e.g. Women, girls, women-led households, pregnant and lactating women are considered separately), the implementation (e.g. separate consideration of the special needs of women and girls in the compilation of aid supplies) as well as the monitoring and evaluation (e.g. equal participation by focused feedback mechanisms).
For example: in the Syrian Arab Republic and neighbouring countries, German funding includes measures on prevention, self-empowerment and -defense, psychological and psychosocial support, guaranteed access to primary and secondary sexual and reproductive health care, pre- and antenatal care and safe space for sensitization and awareness raising.

Actions in Germany
–    Resettlement Programme for women and girls from the Iraqi Yazidi community who have survived atrocities committed by Daesh
–    Conference “Rape as a tactic of war – end silence, strengthen survivors” organized by the German Parliament and a Yazidi-led NGO, Hawar, to give greater visibility to the crimes of sexual violence suffered by the Iraqi Yazidi community, Berlin, 29 June 2017
–    Introduction of the hotlines ‘violence against women support hotline’ and ‘pregnant and in need’. Both – available 24/7 and in 18 languages – offer free and anonymous advice.
–    As of the end of March 2016, the Federal Government and the KfW (Reconstruction Loan Corporation) have been providing communities with loans that are currently interest-free to fund constructional safety measures in refugee accommodation. These can include sanitary facilities with separate areas for each gender, housing units with locks as well as building and equipping protected child-friendly rooms, areas and multifunctional spaces. A total of 200 million euros has been made available.
–    The Federal Government has also launched an initiative to protect especially children and women in refugee accommodation together with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the Federal Association of Non-Statutory Welfare (BAGFW) the NGOs Plan International and Save the Children and other partners. The initiative aims to develop protection concepts for women and children in refugee accommodation and to implement these in reception centres and refugee accommodation nationwide. Minimum Standards on the Protection of Children, Adolescents and Women in Refugee Accommodation Centres were drafted and published within the framework of the federal initiative. These minimum standards were redrafted and extended to also include the special protection needs of refugees with disabilities and LGBTI refugees and newly published on 20 June 2017  (federal funds: 2 million Euros, duration: up to the end of 2017, extension sought).