"On the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, we must hear the survivors, and recognize their needs and demands. They are mostly women and girls, but also men and boys, calling for our support to access life-saving health services, justice and reparation."

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 of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General 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 as threat to international peace and security. In addition, it remains essential to recognize and tackle gender inequality as the root cause and driver of sexual violence, in times of war and peace. The response required to address such crimes includes the multidimensional services for survivors.

Survivor-Centred Approach

The effects of conflict-related sexual violence, borne by the survivors and their children, echo across generations through trauma, stigma, poverty, poor health and unwanted pregnancy. In an effort to counter these effects, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2467 on 23 April 2019 which articulates a survivor-centred approach to the prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence.

The survivor-centred approach has several facets, including: medical and psychosocial assistance; sexual and reproductive health care; educational, economic, and livelihood support; justice for survivors and their children; and the end of impunity for perpetrators. 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 calls for support to trained service providers, including international and local civil society organisations, to ensure high-quality services for survivors.

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

Concept note and event details PDF

A public event is organized for the 19th of June to mark the fifth annual International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

This year, the International Day will call attention to the need for a holistic survivor-centred approach that builds the resilience of affected individuals while minimizing the risk of re-traumatization, social ostracism, stigma and reprisals. Such an approach ensures that the safety and welfare of survivors is paramount.

This occasion further provides an opportunity for sharing best practices and lessons learnt in the implementation of a survivor-centred approach.

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.