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Conflict-related sexual violence - Report of the Secretary-General (S/2015/203) [EN/AR]

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I. Introduction

  1. The present report, which covers the period from January to December 2014, is submitted pursuant to paragraph 22 of Security Council resolution 2106 (2013), i n which the Council requested me to report annually on the implementation of resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1960 (2010) and to recommend appropriate actions. The report presents information on parties to conflict credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence. The year under review was marked by harrowing accounts of rape, sexual slavery and forced marriage being used by extremist groups, including as a tactic of terror.

  2. The term “conflict-related sexual violence”, which appears throughout the present report, refers to rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization and other forms of sexual violence of comparable gravity perpetrated against women, men, girls or boys that is linked, directly or indirectly (temporally, geographically or causally) to a conflict. This link may be evident in the profile of the perpetrator; the profile of the victim; in a climate of impunity or State collapse; in the cross-border dimensions; and/or in violations of the terms of a ceasefire agreement.

  3. While conflict-related sexual violence occurs in many settings, the present report focuses on 19 country situations for which credible information is available. It covers 13 conflict settings, 5 post-conflict countries and 1 additional situation of concern. It highlights actions taken and challenges faced by States in attempting to protect civilians from such violence. It also provides an update on the efforts of the United Nations system, including through the work of the inter-agency network United Nations Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict, and on the technical assistance provided by the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict and contains recommendations to enhance collective efforts to combat this crime. The report should be read in conjunction with my six previous reports on conflict-related sexual violence, which provide a cumulative basis for the inclusion of 45 parties in the list of parties credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for patterns of rape and other forms of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict on the agenda of the Security Council (annex), 13 of which appear for the first time.

  4. The report is based on cases documented by United Nations peacekeeping and political missions as well as country teams. As such, it is only indicative of the scale and character of sexual violence globally. It is noteworthy that the increased presence of Women’s Protection Advisers in the field has made a tangible contribution to improving the quality of information and analysis received.1 Moreover, since the establishment of the post of my Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, ground-breaking gains have been made in terms of traction with national authorities, accountability and engagement with armed forces and groups, though momentous challenges remain.