Addressing sexual and gender-based violence – the challenges of a global pandemic

December 2020

Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is rising in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has been estimated by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) that, in the first six months of lockdown, as many as 31 million new incidents of SGBV may have occurred. As the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, we are more than ever aware of the continued discrimination and inequality that can drive increased risks to women, girls, boys, men and sexual and gender minorities, including persons with disabilities, of facing SGBV in crises. The Movement resolution on joint action for SGBV prevention and response, adopted at the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 2015, highlighted the continued and urgent necessity to address this issue. On the occasion of the 16 Days of Activism against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, the ICRC and IFRC operational teams shed light on where we should go from here.

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Mental health and psychosocial consequences of emergencies – A call for global action

November 2020

The current COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the relevance, appropriateness and necessity of Resolution 2, “Addressing mental health and psychosocial needs of people affected by armed conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies”. Adopted unanimously at the 33rd International Conference by States and National Societies, this resolution calls for increased efforts to respond to mental health and psychosocial needs. With the pandemic causing uncertainty, additional stress and anxiety, new light has been shed on mental health and psychosocial needs in the public debate. Now, more than ever, multiple and complex humanitarian needs demonstrate the importance of a holistic and integrated response that addresses the diverse mental health and psychosocial needs of people affected by armed conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies.

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The story of a resolution in the time of COVID-19

September 2020

This story is about the wisdom and courage of adopting a resolution at the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IC33), only a few months before the rise of a global pandemic that changed the world. It is about its value and relevance in real-life emergencies, and how it became one of the most important tools to position National Societies at the center of COVID-19 operations, and as allied and supported members of a global movement. It also reflects on how the Movement has had to change, connect, and adapt in the midst of this crisis.

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