On 19 June 2015, the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/69/293) proclaimed 19 June of each year the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, in order to raise awareness of the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence, to honour the victims and survivors of sexual violence around the world and to pay tribute to all those who have courageously devoted their lives to and lost their lives in standing up for the eradication of these crimes.

The date was chosen to commemorate the adoption on 19 June 2008 of Security Council resolution 1820 (2008), in which the Council condemned sexual violence as a tactic of war and an impediment to peacebuilding.



10-Year Anniversary of the Mandate

2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of the establishment of the mandate and Office of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. Over the past decade, there has been a paradigm shift in the understanding of the scourge of conflict-related sexual violence and its impact on international peace and security, the response required to prevent such crimes and the multidimensional services needed by survivors. Despite this paradigm shift, it remains essential to recognize and tackle gender inequality as the root cause and driver of sexual violence, including in times of war and peace.

Survivor-Centred Approach

The effects of conflict-related sexual violence echo across generations through trauma, stigma, poverty, poor health and unwanted pregnancy and are carried on by the survivors and their children. In an effort to counter these effects, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2467 on 23 April 2019 which, for the first time, endorses a survivor-centred approach to counter, prevent, and alleviate conflict-related violence in conflict and post-conflict situations.

The survivor-centred approach has several facets, including guaranteed justice for survivors and their children and the end of impunity for perpetrators of conflict-related sexual violence. A survivor-centred approach calls for greater attention to the physical and economic security of survivors, which includes mental, physical, and sexual health. Furthermore, this approach guarantees the provision of livelihood support through trained service providers, in collaboration with both international and local civil society organisations.

Panel Discussion: "The Importance of a Survivor-Centred Approach"

Wednesday, 19 June 2019 (10:00 a.m. — 11:30 a.m.)
Trusteeship Council, United Nations Secretariat, NY

A public event will be organized on 19 June 2019 to mark the fourth annual International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.


Survivors of Sexual Violence in Conflict: Women and their Children

On the international day for the elimination of sexual violence in conflict, we strive to foster solidarity with survivors who endure multiple, intersecting stigmas in the wake of sexual violence, including the stigma of association with an armed or terrorist group, and of bearing children conceived through rape by the enemy. The survivor-centred approach, aimed to alleviate stigma and mend the social fabric, should therefore infuse all post-conflict reconstruction and recovery efforts through Resolution 2467. With the survivor-centred approach, the women are assured to receive much of the aid they need and allows for the countering of stigmas throughout society for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and their children.

This occasion provides an opportunity to amplify the need for a survivor-centred approach, as well as sharing how the approach is being implemented across the world.

Follow the conversation on social media #EndRapeinWar.


Why do we mark International Days?

International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. More information available here.