Minimum Standards for Prevention and Response to Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies 

During emergencies such as conflicts or natural disasters, the risk of violence, exploitation and abuse is heightened, particularly for women and girls. At the same time, national systems and community and social support networks may weaken. An environment of impunity may mean that perpetrators are not held to account. Pre-existing gender inequalities may be exacerbated. Women and adolescent girls are often at particular risk of sexual violence, exploitation and abuse, forced or early marriage, denial of resources and harmful traditional practices. Men and boys may also be survivors. GBV has significant and long-lasting impacts on the health and psychological, social and economic well-being of survivors and their families.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has committed to scaling up humanitarian response and increasing its organizational capacity to prevent gender-based violence and ensure multi-sector services for survivors. To advance this strategic objective, and support partners in the IASC, UNFPA has developed the Minimum Standards for Prevention and Response to Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies. The objective is to provide clarity on what constitutes effective and appropriate GBV prevention and response in emergencies by offering concrete actions that can be applied across various emergency contexts. The Minimum Standards are based on international best practice and, while primarily intended for UNFPA staff and partners, may also be used to guide other agencies’ efforts to address gender-based violence in emergencies. 

Published 2019-01-07

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