Statement by UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem on Sexual Violence in Sudan
17 May 2023
17 May 2023
UNFPA has received reports of horrific gender-based violence in Sudan. Using rape and other forms of sexual assault to terrorize and destabilize communities is an egregious violation of human rights and of international humanitarian law.
Gender-based violence increases in times of conflict and Sudan is no exception. The conflict has brought new dangers for women and girls just as the conflict has forced protection services to break down and critical medicines supplies to run low.
UNFPA leads the coordination of humanitarian efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. Despite the volatile and unpredictable operating environment, UNFPA and its partners are responding to reports of sexual violence wherever we can by providing medical treatment, case management and counseling services to survivors. We also raise awareness of the risk of sexual violence among vulnerable populations.
Providing survivors the essential services they need to heal and recover is the critical first step. Ultimately, all perpetrators must be held to account for their heinous crimes if we are to break the cycle of impunity. UNFPA continues to stand with the women and girls of Sudan.