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Department of Political Affairs

Sexual Violence in Conflict


2014 Report of the Secretary-General

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Guidance for Mediators

  Guidance for Mediators: PDF

Guidance for Mediators: English, French, Russian,

Spanish, Chinese, ArabicGerman



Sexual Violence in Conflict: Guidance for Mediators

The United Nations is enlisting its peace envoys in stepped-up efforts by the organization to combat the scourge of sexual violence in warfare, unveiling new guidelines to help mediators address the problem in peace agreements and cease-fires. 

Sexual violence to be included in ceasefire and peace agreements

The guidance by the Department of Political Affairs was issued to all UN mediators and mission chiefs and incorporated in training and briefing materials for envoys and their teams. Key principles for mediators include an obligation to engage parties in discussion on this issue and to work towards firm commitments in peace accords to cease all acts of conflict-related sexual violence. The guidelines also require sexual violence to be included in the definition of acts covered by a ceasefire and monitored for.

Conflict-related sexual violence has been used as a tactic of warfare in many armed conflicts around the globe from Bosnia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone – affecting both women and men, girls and boys.

Since 2008, the UN Security Council has considered sexual violence a threat to security and an impediment to peace.  If left unaddressed, this risks undermining ceasefire agreements and possibly the mediation process itself.

Guidance for Mediators: English, French, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, German





The Department of Political Affairs is grateful to our partners in this initiative - UN Women and UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict for their contributions and support.

Experts Welcome New Guidance

Q&A with UN Mediation Experts on Twitter

TwitterOn 9 March 2012, the UN Department of Political Affairs launched its Guidance for Mediators on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence. On the sidelines of the event, UN Mediation Experts answered your questions about addressing conflict-related sexual violence in ceasefire and peace agreements (Twitter: #sexualviolenceinconflict).

Read the answers to your questions

Follow the UN Department of Political Affairs on Twitter @UN_DPA

Video: Bosnia - Healing the Wounds of War

The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina may have ended more than fifteen years ago, but for many of the nation's women, the legacy of wartime rape lives on. Witness one woman's emotional journey to confront her past.


Credits: UNTV, 21st Century