Civil Society Declaration on Sexual Violence

On 26 September 2019, Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice launched the Civil Society Declaration on Sexual Violence during a meeting with Call it what it is campaign partners based in The Hague. We are grateful to the 550 survivors, 525 survey respondents, 54 NGO campaign partners and more than 30 expert reviewers contributed to the Civil Society Declaration, making it a unique guidance document to better understand sexual violence.

La Déclaration de la société civile sur la violence sexuelle est maintenant disponible en français. Téléchargez votre copie ici.

The Declaration explains what may constitute an “act of sexual nature” and indicates when an act of sexual nature may become an “act of sexual violence”. It is a document that is firmly grounded in the lived experience of survivors and informed by a wide range of actors who are engaged firsthand in the field of sexual violence.

Besides the Declaration, the Call it what it is campaign will develop two documents:

  1. The International Criminal Law (ICL) Guidelines – The guidelines will explain when acts of sexual violence as set out in the Civil Society Declaration amount to international crimes, as well as practical elements (e.g. mens rea, modes of liability, gravity) to inform the international criminal prosecution of these acts;
  2. Key Principles for Policymakers – a tool to implement the Civil Society Declaration for a wide array of policy makers around the world.

The three documents (the Civil Society Declaration, the ICL Guidelines and the Key Principles for Policy Makers) will together form The Hague Principles on Sexual Violence, to be launched at the PSVI International Conference in London in November 2019.