Ms Guro Vikoer
Addressing Sexual and Gender based violence is integrated in the MFA Action Plan for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Foreign and Development Policy 2016-2020 and a key element in our Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security 2015-2018.
The document that most directly describes our policy and standards in humanitarian planning are the guidelines for the implementation of the Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security:
Norway supports humanitarian organizations that recognize the need to prevent and protect women against sexual violence,The MFA explicitly requires NGOs and IGOs receiving financial support for humanitarian interventions to integrate the gender perspective in their activities and to report separately on the topic.
NGOs/ IGOs are also required to evaluate the relevance of their activities and projects with regard to Security Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. This has been an important driver behind the inclusion of the gender perspective in their work.
A preliminary MFA Report for 2016 shows that 88 % of Norwegian Embassies in conflict and post conflict countries provide financial support for initiatives for improved protection for women.
The Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security 2015-2018 has been translated into a number of tasks for the Norwegian armed forces within operations, education & training, as well as recruitment. These tasks are currently in the process of implementation.
Norway supports the ICRC Special Appeal against sexual and gender based violence (15 mill, NOK in 2016 and same amount in 2017). Combatting sexual violence is also a thematic area for the financial support that the Norwegian Red Cross
receives from the MFA to build capacity in various national red cross organizations (4 mill. NOK 2016, 4 mill. NOK 2017))
The MFA allocated more than 100 million NOK in total from humanitarian budget lines in 2016 to combat sexual and gender based violence.
The Norwegian Defence University College, in close coordination with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and other partners, is developing a handbook on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, aiming to enhance military capacity to prevent and respond to CRSV by providing practical tools that can be used in mission areas. The handbook will become available to all UN Troop Contributing Countries and NATO Allies that are deployed to peace operations across the globe, enabling them to be better prepared tackling the challenges related to CRSV and hence effectively implement Protection of Civilians mandates. The handbook will be launched in March 2018, in collaboration with UN DPKO and other partners. Attached is a fact sheet on guidelines related to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) for Norwegian armed forces´ participation in UN peacekeeping operations.
As a donor the MFA does not meet any particular challenges in promoting action against sexual and gender based violence, but our implementing partners may face different challenges in their areas of operation.
The Norwegian armed forces report that the following aspects have proven to be somewhat challenging in their activities, and are working to overcome this:
• Sufficient strategic leadership competency about gender and SGBV in operations.
• Insufficient/inadequate gender/SGBV competencies among military personnel deployed in operations.
• Enough scenarios developed for training and exercise with an SGBV perspective
• Conceptual framework available is not applied sufficiently
• Adequate operational planning aimed to prevent, or protect against, acts of SGBV
• Adequate reporting mechanism to develop best practice in operations, lack of systematic lessons learned in this area
• Pool of subject matter experts available
The Norwegian armed forces are open to partners to help provide guidance and examples of best practice in the field. This includes assistance in developing relevant scenarios for use during training and exercises. There is also a need for competent partners to assist in producing education modules in which SGBV and gender – as well as international law and human rights - are included.