In a landmark decision in 2008, the UN Security Council unanimously passed resolution 1820, which recognized conflict-related sexual violence as a tactic of war and a matter of international peace and security. This resolution reclassifies sexual violence in conflict as a security issue in breach of UN member states’ commitment to the protection of civilians, demanding “that all parties to armed conflict immediately take appropriate measures to protect civilians, including women and girls, from all forms of sexual violence”. Historically, conflict-related sexual violence has been framed as a “random and opportunistic act, committed by undisciplined soldiers exploiting the chaos of war – or as a legitimate spoil of war”. As such, it has been overlooked in peace talks. While sexual-based violence is primarily seen as a form of violence against women, it is vital that this lens is broadened, as men have also been victims of sexual-based violence in conflict.
Ahmad, Neven & Pinar Tank (2021) Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Peace Negotiations. GPS Centre Gender and Mediation Backgrounder. Oslo: PRIO.