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 gender-based 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.