Girls in conflict: Sexual Violence
Sexual violence is increasingly a characteristic of conflict and is often perpetrated against girls in a rule of law vacuum. In some instances sexual violence has been used as a tactic of war designed to humiliate a population or force displacement.
Children who experience sexual violence suffer from long-term psychological trauma, health consequences including transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS and early pregnancies.
Their reintegration is even a greater challenge as communities often stigmatize girls who have been associated with armed groups and are suspected of having been raped.
Rape and other forms of sexual violence against children are human rights violations, and may amount to grave breaches of international humanitarian law. If committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population, sexual violence can constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Under Security Council resolution 1882 (2009), the Council designated sexual violence committed against children as a critical priority and called on parties to armed conflict to prepare and implement action plans to address the violation.