CPMS Standard 9: What Is SGBV and How To Address It in Humanitarian Settings


This video explains what sexual- and gender-based violence (SGBV) is, how it affects both girls and boys in humanitarian crises, what are its contributing factors, and how humanitarian workers can address it. The video looks at key actions to implement in three phases of humanitarian response: preparedness, prevention, and response. The emphasis is on a survivor-centred approach. There is a Facilitator’s Note in English available here


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Sexual- and gender-based violence is any act perpetrated against a person’s will that is based on gender norms and unequal power relationships. It encompasses threats of violence and coercion. It can be physical, emotional, psychological, or sexual in nature, and can take the form of a denial of resources or access to services.

Examples of SGBV include acts that inflict physical, sexual and mental harm, such as female genital mutilation, child marriage, sexual exploitation and abuse, trafficking, and sexual violence against girls, boys and children who identify as LGBTQI. SGBV is one of the most widespread forms of human rights abuse.

During humanitarian crises, it gets worse but is often hidden and under-reported. All work with SGBV should have a survivor-centred approach, creating a supportive environment by prioritising safety, respect, non-discrimination and confidentiality for the survivor at all times.

Humanitarian workers need to understand the context and existing social norms to know which children are particularly vulnerable to SGBV, and what harmful coping mechanisms may have worsened because of the crisis.

We must also provide holistic support to caregivers and families through education, life skills training, parenting programmes and economic empowerment.

To help stamp out SGBV in humanitarian contexts, we need to increase our work in three key areas: Preparedness, Prevention, and Response.

Language of materials
Child Protection Minimum Standards (CPMS)
Gender-based violence
Minimum Standards