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  • Ciara Laverty

Round Table on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Sudan: Reparation Prospects and Next Steps

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

By Ciara Laverty, September 27th 2023

Flyer for the Round Table on 9 October on CRSV and Prospects for Reparations

Please join us on Monday 9 October 2023 10.00-12.00 CET at the Geneva Press Club for a Round Table on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence and Reparation in Sudan, Key Challenges and Next Steps.

Register to attend in person here or online here

Registration for online participation closes 10am CET Friday 6 October

Decades of armed conflict and violence have had a devastating impact on the prevalence of conflict-related sexual violence in Sudan. In conflict areas, women, girls, men and boys have suffered rape and abduction by all sides. Since the outbreak of the current conflict on 15 April 2023, reports have emerged of sexual violence inflicted on civilians on a large-scale, including rape, sexual slavery and other forms of sexual violence. Sexual violence is once again being used to exploit, terrorise and dominate the civilian population.

This event will launch the findings of the new collaborative Study on the Status of and Opportunities for Reparations for Survivors of Conflict-related Sexual Violence in Sudan. It will highlight how the impacts of conflict-related sexual violence in Sudan have been devastating for decades, with the current conflict seeing new dimensions of the use of rape as a weapon of war.

The current violence is wide-ranging. Women and girls are being attacked inside their homes and when on the move. Sexual violence is being used as a tool to force civilians from their houses and to target vulnerable groups. Female civilians have been abducted, detained and subjected to rape and sexual violence in conditions which may amount to sexual slavery. Reports have emerged of sexual violence being inflicted on men and women in detention. In the Darfur region, the violence has taken on an interethnic dimension, with the RSF and allied militias targeting individuals based on their non-Arab ethnic background.

The round table will offer an opportunity to examine the key challenges in preventing and addressing conflict-related sexual violence in the current conflict and to consider next steps, recommendations and how to keep opportunities for reparation alive.

It will share key findings from the Study on Reparations for Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Sudan, which presents and analyses survivors’ views and expectations for reparations as well as potential legal avenues for reparation prior to the outbreak of conflict in April 2023. The Study offers practical, concrete, and context-specific recommendations to policymakers and other relevant actors at national and global levels despite the ongoing violence, informing the design and delivery of survivor-centred reparations in Sudan.

Round Table discussion and Q&A

Moderator: Mariana Goetz, Director of Rights for Peace

  • Esther Dingemans, Global Survivors Fund: The Global Reparations Study

  • Sulaima Ishaq, Head of Combating Violence against Women and Children Unit, Sudan Ministry of Social Development: The Current Situation

  • Reem Alsalem, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and Girls: This 54th HRC Session: where we are at now

  • Madeleine Schwarz, Senior Women’s Protection Advisor, UNITAMS: Prevention of CRSV: The role of UNITAMS

  • Ghada Shawgi, Senior UN Gender/Women Peace and Security Advisor & International Human Rights Law Expert: Prevention and key recommendations

  • Najlaa Ahmed Elkafia, Sudan Legal Advisor, Rights for Peace: Are we repeating the past? Lack of accountability, Next Steps and Recommendations

  • Radhouane Nouicer, UN Expert on Human Rights in Sudan: Mandate next steps and objectives

  • Meritxell Regue Blasi, Appeals Counsel, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court: The Office of the Prosecutor and its mandate in Darfur

Conclusions from the Moderator

Key recommendations of the Study:

  • The UN Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council should mandate an immediate inquiry into all human rights violations committed since the 25 October 2021 coup, as well as since the outbreak of conflict on 15 April 2023, with a specific emphasis on CRSV.

  • The Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces should publicly condemn and demand cessation of sexual violence against civilians and should immediately hold perpetrators in their ranks to account.

  • Flexible funding must be made available to support training and documentation of violations, including conflict-related sexual violence.

  • The warring parties, other armed groups, and a new civilian Transitional Government should commit to the UN Framework Agreement on the Prevention and Response to Sexual Violence against Women and Girls during Conflict signed on 10 March 2020.

  • A new civilian Transitional Government and political parties should ensure that CRSV survivors are included in discussions on transitional justice in any new agreement.

  • Any political agreement after the conflict should ensure accountability and facilitate reparation, including urgent interim reparation for survivors of CRSV and other victims in need.

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