SGBV in Conflict/Post Conflict and natural Disasters

Women and men experience fragility, disaster, conflict and transition differently. Women frequently bear disproportionate burdens including the brunt of widespread sexual- and gender-based violence (SGBV) and sole responsibility to care for children and the sick, while they are often excluded from the decisions that determine their future. SGBV, which includes rape, sexual slavery, domestic and intimate partner violence, sexual exploitation, transactional sex and early/forced marriage, often increases during and after an emergency, while protection structures and services (i.e. medical, psycho-social, legal assistance) for survivors tend to break down. In wars and conflicts, sexual violence may be used as a systematic weapon of warfare and amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity. While the majority of victims are women and girls of all ages, men and boys are also deliberately targeted, which is even a stronger taboo. SGBV is a life-saving issue: it has devastating effects on the health and well-being of the survivors and negatively affects the community as a whole. Although SGBV is often invisible, humanitarian and development actors need to be ready to respond to SGBV in a comprehensive and effective manner, combining short-term, live-saving measures with long-term interventions addressing root causes of SGBV and building sustainable national response mechanisms.

Protection from and response to SGBV is a priority of the FDFA and SDC. For the Humanitarian Aid Department, SGBV becomes one of our priority topics with the Message for International Cooperation 2017-2020. Protection from SGBV is anchored in key international legal frameworks (CEDAW, human rights treaties, etc), including UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, which recognized the destructive impact SGBV in conflict has on communities, and acknowledged that this crime undermines efforts to rebuild peace and security following a conflict.  Thereby including men and boys for transformative changes and working with both victims and perpetrators is crucial for any conflict prevention strategy. Switzerland is also partner to the Call to Action on protection from GBV in emergencies, which seeks to ensure an effective response to GBV from the onset and throughout all phases of an emergency.


 „Violence against and individual is violence against society, the family as a whole". SDCs experience in addressing Sexual and Gender-based Violence (2016)

"La violence contre und individu est une violence contre la société, et contre la famille en général". Rapport sur le travail de la DDC en matière de lutte contre la violence sexuelle et basée sur le genre. (2016)

Face to Face 2016 on Gender Equality, Justice, Peace- and Statebuilding

UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security

Swiss National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 (2013 - 2016)

Working Group 1325: Women Peace Security – reloaded. Civil Society Alternative Report on the Nation-al Action Plan 1325 as seen from the Gender Perspective. (2016)
Call to Action on protection from GBV in emergencies with roadmap
Gender-based violence Area of Responsibiltiy
IASC Guidelines for Integrating Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action (2015)

UNFPA minimum standards for prevention and response to GBV in emergencies (2015) 


Further thematic publications and resources on gender, fragility and conflict you find here.