Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Crises in South Sudan

Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Crises in South Sudan
Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Crises: IOM launches Institutional Framework in South Sudan (Source: International Organization for Migration (IOM) | APO Group

JUBA, South Sudan, May 10, 2019/ -- Working to ensure a consistent and robust approach in addressing gender-based violence (GBV), and that measures to mitigate risks of, respond to and prevent GBV are integrated in IOM’s crisis operations worldwide, IOM has launched its Institutional Framework for Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Crises (GBViC) Framework in South Sudan on 8 May 2019. The GBViC Framework, which was initially launched in Geneva in September 2018 and is the first such dedicated Framework for the Organization, articulates why and how IOM tackles GBV in crises, while at the same time, defining the scope of the organization’s approach. It will help IOM safeguard the safety, dignity and well-being of all crisis-affected persons, especially women and girls. 

Like in many other places experiencing crises globally, GBV is widespread in South Sudan. A recent study conducted by International Rescue Committee and CARE International, revealed that 65 per cent of women and girls in South Sudan have experienced some type of GBV.  

Addressing GBV in crisis situation therefore needs a coherent and integrated approach. With the support of the governments of the United States and United Kingdom, IOM is undertaking concerted efforts to address GBV in its crisis programming in South Sudan. Interventions focus on risk mitigation and building partnerships with local actors, but also contribute to strengthening the overall response to and prevention of GBV, as articulated in the GBViC Framework. 

“The Framework reinforces IOM’s commitments to tackle GBV not only at the global level, but also here in South Sudan, and will continue to guide us in our efforts to ensure the safety, dignity and well-being of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence,” says Jean-Philippe Chauzy, IOM’s Chief of Mission in South Sudan. 

He reiterated the need for partnerships in tackling gender-based violence in crisis situations. “It is through our collective and sustained efforts that we can ensure effective protection from GBV in and beyond crises.” 

Globally, IOM has been addressing GBV within emergency and post-crisis programmes for many years. However, these interventions were not systematically integrated into the organization’s crisis operations. Four years ago, with the support of the governments of the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, IOM embarked on a global, institution-wide journey to ensure that actions to mitigate, address, and ultimately prevent GBV are put into action in a manner appropriate with the prevalence and severity of this violence. 

The GBViC Framework also identifies how IOM can most effectively contribute to the collective efforts of the humanitarian system in addressing gender-based violence. The GBViC Framework seeks to foster a more coherent approach to addressing GBV in humanitarian crises and reinforces the Organization’s accountability to its donors, partners and the crisis-affected population. 

Jane Kiden, the Deputy Director for Women, Peace and Security at the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare noted that IOM’s Framework will not only guide service providers on dealing with GBV related issues, but also empower women and girls who are disproportionately affected by violence. 

The National GBV Sub-Cluster Coordinator, Andrea Cullinan praised IOM’s commitments to tackle GBV in South Sudan, particularly in ensuring that the humanitarian system addresses the issue in a strategic manner.