Sexual and Gender Based Violence

SGBV is a violation of human rights. It denies the human dignity of the individual and hurts human development.

SGBV is largely rooted in individual attitudes that condone violence within the family, the community and the State. SGBV has been both a cause of forced displacement and a terrible consequence of the breakdown of family and community structures that accompanies displacement. It has also been perpetrated by some of the very people who have been entrusted with the task of protecting refugees and displaced persons.

As UNHCR, we are mandated to provide international protection to refugees. We, together with States, thus share the responsibility for ensuring that refugees are protected against sexual and gender-based violence.

UNHCR is committed to ending all forms of SGBV by working to prevent SGBV before it happens and responding to the needs of all survivors, who can be women and girls, as well as men and boys.

Through a multi-year strategy and initiatives such as Safe from the Start that bring together numerous sectors, UNHCR is working to reduce the risks of SGBV and to ensure support is available for survivors. We do this by working alongside displaced communities and with different partners across multiple sectors.

Documents and resources

Useful links