Health & Sexual Violence Courses

Thematic Short Course - Sexual Violence in Conflict Settings and Emergencies

Thematic Seminar: Sexual Violence in Conflict Settings and Emergencies
Bukavu, Panzi hospital. Women victims of sexual violence await consultation with a psychologist © CICR / LEMBRYK, Wojtek

Next sessions:

March 19 - 23, 2018 (Geneva) - Open

Sexual violence is the most immediate and dangerous type of gender-based violence that occurs in acute emergencies. While women and girls are by far the most frequent victims of sexual violence, emerging evidence shows that men and boys are also often affected. Sexual violence is a serious, life-threatening issue that primarily affects the most vulnerable populations. It is a social, cultural and public health problem, and a violation of the victims’ human rights.

Sexual violence requires specific humanitarian approaches in order to save lives, alleviate suffering and maximize protection. Humanitarian staff directly engaged in assistance and protection are often among the first to confront and witness sexual violence, and they require robust strategies and adequate support. An effective response demands a multidisciplinary and systemic approach.

While some organizations have specific projects on sexual violence, others favour an integrated approach. However, as programmatic responses are relatively recent, there is a lack of trained and experienced staff in this area. CERAH's one-week intensive course on Sexual Violence in Conflict Settings and Emergencies is designed to fill this gap.

This course is organised with the support of  the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Handicap International, OHCHR, UNFPA and UNHCR are further partners collaborating in the development of the course. 

Course Objectives

The overall objective of the course is to provide mid-level or senior managers (heads of mission, programme coordinators, protection advisers) with the skills required to develop a multidisciplinary approach to prevent and mitigate sexual violence, to adapt this approach to specific contexts, and to integrate it into assistance programmes.

By the end of the seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the phenomenon of sexual violence in conflict and emergencies
  • Identify and assess the extent and causes of sexual violence in a specific context
  • Select ethical and “do no harm" options to improve the operational response in terms of prevention, assistance and protection activities for victims


2 ECTS - Credits recognized by the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.