Gender-based Violence

What are forms of Gender-based Violence (GBV)? 

Gender-based violence can include sexual, physical, mental and economic harm inflicted in public or in private. It also includes threats of violence, coercion and manipulation. This can take many forms such as intimate partner violence, sexual violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called ‘honour crimes’.

The consequences of gender-based violence are devastating and can have life-long repercussions for survivors. It can even lead to death. 

What is UNHCR doing to end Gender-based Violence?  

Gender-based violence programming (i.e. prevention and response) and risk mitigation across all sectors is lifesaving and an institutional priority for us. We work together with partners, governments and communities to address GBV and to implement quality programming to prevent, mitigate and respond.   

Our primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees and other people who were forced to flee. We support States to uphold their responsibility to ensure that people of concern are protected against GBV.
Across all our operations, we prioritize two mutually reinforcing objectives to address GBV: 

  • Reducing the risk of GBV for all persons of concern 
  • Ensuring all survivors of GBV have adequate and timely access to quality services that meet their needs 

GBV disproportionately affects women and girls, and in situations of displacement, their risk of exposure to GBV increases. We are committed to continuously strengthening coordination and programming to protect women and girls from GBV. We advocate for adequate resources to increase the implementation of quality specialized programmes for women and girls.  

We also work with male survivors of sexual violence and survivors with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities (SOGI) through specialized programming to respond to their specific needs.