Gender Based Violence in Humanitarian Action

GBV Help Desk

UNICEF is present in most countries before, during and after an emergency hits and is able to respond to humanitarian needs and achieve results for affected populations in a number of different programme sectors. This is UNICEF's key comparative advantage, and presents us with an opportunity to provide a more holistic and timely response to the needs of affected populations. To maximise the impact of our sectoral interventions, an integrated programming approach should be used. The manner in which this is implemented on the ground may vary depending on the context, but can include delivery of multi-sector programmes by shared partners, convergence of programme delivery to identified priority areas or population groups, or the integration of relevant components of a sector into another sector's programme. With humanitarian response increasingly coordinated in sector-specific fora (as under the cluster approach), UNICEF Country Offices need to ensure that additional steps are taken internally to ensure joint identification of UNICEF programme priorities, partnerships, and opportunities for integrated programme delivery.

  • Ending gender-based violence (GBV) against women and children, girls in particular, lies at the heart of UNICEF’s mandate, and is also critical to achieving UNICEF’s Equity Agenda;
  • Making good quality, life-saving, multi-sectoral services and systems for survivors available;
  • Scaling up GBV prevention and protection programming - Stopping GBV in emergency contexts involves a four-pronged approach:
  • 1 - Reducing children and women’s vulnerability through targeted resilience and empowerment activities;
    2 - Mitigating risk of GBV across all humanitarian assistance and sectors;
    3 - Ensuring that duty-bearers and other actors responsible for protecting children and women and girls act in accordance with relevant legal norms and standards;
    4 - Implementing evidence based primary prevention initiatives promoting gender equality and social norm change;
  • Making sure that GBV prevention and response is prioritized and coordinated as a co-lead of the GBV Area of Responsibility.

(for details see: GBV in Emergencies Issue Brief)

Guidelines and Tools

Gender-Based Violence Case Management Guidelines, Inter-agency, 2017
Provisional Guidance Note: Intersections between the Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Arrangements (MARA) & the Gender-Based Violence Information Management System (GBVIMS), UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR, IRC, IMC, UN Action, 2016
UNICEF Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies Programme Resource Pack (forthcoming)
Guidelines for Integrating Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action, IASC, 2016
   Guidelines for Integrating Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings: Reflecting on Two Years of Implementation, IASC, 2017
   Guidelines for Integrating Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings: A Map of Global Implementation, IASC, 2017
Caring for child survivors of sexual abuse - Guidelines for health and psychosocial service providers in humanitarian settings, 2012 [En.] [Fr.], IRC, UNICEF, 2012
Handbook for coordinating gender-based violence interventions in humanitarian settings , GBV AoR,2010
Guide for establishing GBV Standard Operational Procedures (SOPS), IASC, 2008
Guidelines for gender-based violence interventions in humanitarian settings, focusing on prevention and response to sexual violence in emergencies, IASC, 2005
Institutionalizing the IASC GBV Guidelines: Highlights from UNICEF in 2017, UNICEF, 2017
Training Material
Caring For Survivors of Sexual Violence in Emergencies: Training Guide, IASC, GBV AOR, 2010
GBV SOP Workshop Package (Facilitator’s Guide), GBV AOR, 2010
GBV SOP Workshop Package (Participant Manual), GBV AOR, 2010
Ongoing Initiatives
GBV Help Desk, UNICEF, 2017
Building the Evidence: UNICEF Communities Care: Transforming Lives and Preventing Violence Programme, UNICEF, 2017
Leading the Field: Transforming Households: Reducing Incidence of Violence in Emergencies (THRIVE), UNICEF, 2017

Additional Resources

Adolescent Girls

Child Survivors

Reproductive Health

Working with Men and Boys


Relevant UN Security Council Resolutions

Relevant Web Links