Oslo Conference on Ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Crises: Co-Host Outcome Statement

GBV in Humanitarian Crises

Oslo Conference on Ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Crises: Co-Host Outcome Statement
24 May 2019
The Governments of Norway, Iraq, Somalia and the United Arab Emirates, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with invaluable support from Norwegian Church Aid, hosted the international conference “Ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Crises” in Oslo, Norway on 23-24 May. This is the first time States, the United Nations and the ICRC have come together to end sexual and genderbased violence (SGBV) in humanitarian crises, in conflict and disaster.

The conference brought together SGBV survivors and specialists, members of 167 national and 76 international civil society organizations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, representatives from 100 nations, global leaders and regional and international organizations. It was agreed that strengthening SGBV prevention and response must be a humanitarian priority. Participants aimed to mobilize stronger political commitment and raise financial resources to prevent and protect people at risk of SGBV in humanitarian crises. The event re-energized the commitment of all participants to combat gender inequality and scale up prevention and response to SGBV, always taking a survivor-centred approach. It gave visibility and recognition to the key role of national and local organizations, including local women’s organizations.

In addition to the close to 50 actors – States, UN agencies, NGOs and others – which submitted written political, policy and best practice commitments, many others outlined specific measures and political will to end SGBV. The several hundred commitments made relate to standards and legal frameworks, operational support, SGBV prevention and response services, leadership and coordination, and others which are specific to country contexts and areas of work. Particular focus was given to implementation of legal frameworks and strategies, as well as an increase in operational support to ensure that survivor-centred services and care are available in all crises. Media also committed to amplify the voices of women, not only as victims but as agents of change, to avoid sensational reporting.

States committed to provide a total of over US$ 363 million to SGBV prevention and response in 2019 and beyond. In addition, we take note of generous unearmarked and core funding to humanitarian partners working to prevent and respond to SGBV, as well as funding to the Central Emergency Response Fund and country-based pool funds….

…In order to put survivors at the centre, we agreed that:
:: Women and girls are key actors in humanitarian response and must be acknowledged as powerful agents of change in their own lives and communities. Local women are often the first responders to SGBV in emergencies and are at the forefront of SGBV programming.

:: Women and women’s organizations may shift power dynamics in communities in positive ways and challenge norms that condone discrimination against women and girls and the violation of their human rights.

:: Local women’s organizations, including those working with women with disabilities, must be engaged in identifying protection risks, finding solutions, strategic planning and decision-making across all sectors.

:: Adolescent girls and women and girls with disabilities are at particularly high risk of sexual and gender-based violence and deserve particular attention. Children born of war often experience discrimination and stigmatization by family and society.

:: While the need for continued emphasis on addressing SGBV affecting women and girls cannot be overstated, we also must take into consideration the needs of male survivors of sexual violence, as gaps in services have become more apparent.

:: We need to improve access to gender-sensitive, age-appropriate, non-discriminatory and comprehensive healthcare, including sexual and reproductive health and psychosocial support, and we need to ensure the dignity and safety of survivors. The conference stressed the importance of confidentiality and privacy, the need to end the social stigmatization of survivors, and an increased focus on livelihoods…