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Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative Strategy

Volume 723: debated on Monday 28 November 2022

Today we have presented our vision for ending the scourge of conflict-related sexual violence. With this strategy, the UK is stepping up our ambition: we will deliver a step change in the international response, working with our partners to support survivors, hold perpetrators to account and put an end to these heinous acts for good.

Progress has been made to support survivors and strengthen accountability but sexual violence continues to be widely used in conflict, as demonstrated by the appalling reports from Ukraine. We need a stronger international response for all those affected.

The Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative strategy will support the delivery of the international development strategy and the integrated review. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon is the Prime Minister’s special representative on preventing sexual violence in conflict.

There are significant challenges including reliable data collection, gathering evidence on what works, securing justice and providing holistic survivor support.

This strategy will seek to change this by delivering four key objectives:

Strengthening the global response to CRSV;

Preventing CRSV, including by addressing root causes such as harmful gender norms;

Improving justice for all survivors and holding perpetrators to account;

Enhancing support for survivors and children born of sexual violence in conflict, including tackling the stigma they face within their communities.

We will strive to deliver these objectives by showing UK leadership to strengthen the global response. This will include working with partners to deliver the commitments made at the PSVI international conference and the political declaration launched there. We have launched a new initiative on accountability that will strengthen the ability of national authorities to end impunity for CRSV. This aims to bring together expertise and best practice, build capacity, improve national implementation in focus countries, and increase support to survivors.

We will drive concerted action on the Crimes Against Humanity Convention to strengthen international law in this area, including on some forms of CRSV.

Key policy initiatives:

The Call to Action to Ensure the Rights and Wellbeing of Children Born of Sexual Violence in Conflict;

The Murad Code, a global code of conduct to ensure that the documentation of the experiences of CRSV survivors is effective and upholds survivors’ rights;

The Declaration of Humanity, a faith and belief-based call for the prevention of sexual violence in conflict that denounces the stigma faced by survivors and children born of rape; and

Increasing the UK’s focus on conflict and atrocity prevention to tackle the drivers of conflict before violence becomes widespread.

We will use our development budget to deliver change, including through:

The £67.5 million committed to the What Works to Prevent Violence: Impact at Scale programme, which pioneers and rigorously evaluates scalable solutions to prevent gender-based violence, including sexual violence in conflict settings;

Up to £12.5 million of new funding that the PSVI team will use over the next three years to tackle CRSV. This funding will be complemented by wider CRSV programming across FCDO.

The £12.5 million will include:

a contribution of up to £5.15 million to the Global Survivors Fund, which aims to enhance CRSV survivors’ access to reparations, including through the provision financial support, livelihood assistance, education, and health care; and

continued funding to the UK’s PSVI team of experts, a group of independent specialists deployed to support the work of national and international bodies and NGOs to strengthen their response to CRSV.

Delivering on our commitments under the Call to Action on Protection from GBV in Emergencies, including working with our operational partners to prevent, mitigate and respond to GBV, including CRSV, from the earliest stages of a humanitarian crisis.

We will continue to work closely with international and UK partners to put an end to the scourge of sexual violence in conflict.