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Preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence in disasters

December 9, 2015, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Hosts: Australia and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic

Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is increasingly recognised as an inevitable by-product of many conflicts today. Evidence from the field suggests that SGBV also often increases during and following natural disasters, adding to the physical, psychological and emotional suffering of those affected. However, experiences of SGBV during natural disasters remain largely unseen, unheard and, due to a lack of knowledge on specific contexts, greatly misunderstood.

This side-event will seek to localise the discussion on SGBV in natural disasters, provide a space for local actors to put forward their own perspectives and experiences, and discuss new ideas and ways we can better prevent and respond to SGBV in natural disasters, particularly in the context of the Pacific.

Findings and recommendations from the IFRC report entitled “Unseen, Unheard: Gender-based Violence in Disasters” will frame the discussion, including the similarities and distinctions between the nature, extent and response to sexual violence in conflict as opposed to gender-based violence in disasters.

This side-event proposes to delve deeper into the “sexual and gender-based violence” sub-theme of this year’s Conference.


Dr. Elizabeth Ferris, Lead Researcher Unseen, Unheard report, Research Professor at Georgetown University and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution – moderator

Ms. Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, Coordinator, Femlink Pacific

Ms. Tautala Mauala, Secretary General, Samoa Red Cross Society

Ms. Elisabeth Rehn, former United Nations Under-Secretary General and Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mr. Jamie Isbister, First Assistant Secretary, Humanitarian, NGO and Partnerships Division, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Australia

This post is also available in: French, Spanish, Arabic


December 9, 2015
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Room 2
The International Conference Centre of Geneva (CICG), Geneva, Switzerland