CRSV Course improves peacekeepers' response to sexual violence
The Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) Course enhanced the skills of 32 uniformed and civilian personnel in UN peacekeeping missions in the monitoring, reporting, and prevention of sexual violence perpetrated by parties to the conflict. The training took place at the Regional Service Centre Entebbe (RSCE) between the 8th and 10th of November, organized by the UN Department of Peace Operations (DPO) in partnership with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NORCAP) and funded by the Government of Norway.
“It gave me a great understanding of how we can prevent and respond to cases of sexual violence. And allowed me to network with colleagues from other missions working on CRSV, enabling us to better coordinate a collaborative response”, said Lieutenant Commander Lisa Steel, Military Gender and Protection Advisor at the UN Mission in South Sudan.
CRSV Focal Points and Women’s Protection Advisers from the missions in Mali (MINUSMA), the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), and South Sudan (UNMISS) attended the course.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, there were a lot of travel restrictions in mission areas that prevented colleagues from monitoring conflict-related sexual violence and other violations. It was hard to report those cases, which are already under-reported", explained Chloe Silvestre, CRSV Team Leader at DPO.
In 2021, the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) documented 1,016 cases of CRSV against women, girls, boys, and men. In Mali, despite widespread allegations of sexual violence perpetrated by unidentified armed groups, extremist groups, and smugglers, verified cases stood at 47.
For Oshcard Kouadio, Women Protection Advisor at MINUSMA, those figures do not reflect the reality in the field:
“Due to social pressure, there is stigma. We also face a shortage and insufficiency of resources, which don’t give victims the chance to report as many crimes are perpetrated".
Access to multi-sectoral care and justice for survivors of CRSV in conflict-affected areas remains minimal. The UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict network organized a round table in 2021 with 20 Member States calling for funding of USD 100 million by 2026.