The Hague Principles
on Sexual Violence

The Call it what it is campaign gathered input from more than 500 survivors, civil society, legal practitioners, academics, and policy makers to develop The Hague Principles on Sexual Violence. The Principles give an enhanced understanding of the many various forms of sexual violence to allow for more inclusive and survivor-centered justice-based responses to these crimes. Designed to inform all practitioners engaged in addressing crimes of sexual violence, the Principles seek to ensure that violence is not overlooked or trivialized by those who may not always recognise such acts, and to provide survivors with recognition and validation of their experiences. As sexual violence is better understood, laws, policies, and practices can be developed to address sexual violence more effectively.

The Hague Principles
on Sexual Violence consist of:

The Civil Society Declaration on Sexual Violence 

providing general guidance on what makes violence ‘sexual’, especially to survivors; now available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic

International Criminal Law (ICL) Guidelines on Sexual Violence

a tool for ICL practitioners explaining when acts of sexual violence in the Civil Society Declaration amount to international crimes

Key Principles for Policy Makers on Sexual Violence

10 key principles derived from the Civil Society Declaration to incorporate in policy development and implementation, legislative strategies and legal and judicial procedures




  • Civil society or expert? State representative?
    Read what you can do here.

Women’s Initiatives is currently consulting with various stakeholders, including prosecutors, investigators and legal representatives of victims, to discuss keyways in which The Hague Principles on Sexual Violence can be used to advance survivor-centred justice for sexual violence crimes.

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