The voices of survivors must be heard and placed at the heart of efforts to tackle sexual violence in conflicts around the world, the ICRC's president told a major conference on 26 March 2019.
Peter Maurer was speaking during the inaugural 'Stand, Speak, Rise Up' event in Luxembourg, attended by those affected by sexual violence as well as other leaders and experts from the international community.
Organizers hope the conference, convened by the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, will 'build new partnerships, scale existing efforts, and identify innovative and lasting solutions'.
ICRC President Peter Maurer, who spoke at the conference, said: "You can't separate healing the body and healing the mind, so an integrated approach is needed which also recognises the unbearable stigma that many people face in their communities.
"Organizations need to balance a behavioural approach which seeks to alter the actions of perpetrators, and a justice-driven approach which prioritises accountability for victims."
Sarah Cotton, policy adviser at the ICRC UK and Ireland who attended the event, said: "Sexual violence in conflict is far from inevitable - nobody commits this horrific crime, which tears lives and communities apart, by accident.
"So much more needs to be done as we strive for accountability and justice. This includes authorities and armed actors taking responsibility taking responsibility to live up to their obligations under the law."