NCGM holds Expert Meeting on Training Military to Combat Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

Key experts from the UN, NATO, military training centres, national armed forces, civil society and academia came together at the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations (NCGM) on 24-25 November to share experiences on training military to prevent and respond to conflict related sexual violence.

Photo:
Ms Caroline Vaudrey, Mr Tonderai Chikuhwa and Ms. Charlotte Isaksson Photo: JOHANNA JANEMON

“The meeting was a great success”, says Linda Engvall, subject matter expert at NCGM. “Not only did we meet and share our experiences and training materials, we learned, were inspired and realized the need for coordination and information sharing.” The meeting resulted in the adoption in plenary of 22 specific recommendations on training military to combat conflict-related sexual violence.

Col. Christer Tistam, Commander of the Life Guards Regiment, underlined in his opening statement that conflict-related sexual violence is a grave violation of human rights and humanitarian law which could constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. He stated “As we understand the extent of sexual violence in conflict, and how it is sometimes used as a tactic of war, there is no escape from addressing this as a security threat. Military have a key role in preventing sexual violence. If military have a mandate to protect civilians, it should protect civilians against sexual violence.” Col. Tistam emphasized that sexual exploitation and abuse by military personnel must never be tolerated.

Mr Tonderai Chikuhwa, Team Leader at UN Office of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, said "This is a critical moment in the global battle to eradicate conflict-related sexual violence. We have an unprecedented opportunity to reverse the tide of history on this crime, and to redirect the stigma of sexual violence from the survivors to the perpetrators where it belongs. Towards this end, our meeting this week represents a crucial discussion that will help to focus our action in the security sector."

The Expert Meeting resulted in an inventory of current training materials, research and policy, a meeting report and the Recommendations on Training Military to Combat Conflict-Related Sexual Violence”.
Please find the recommendations here.