8 July 2020 10:00 - 11:30

Forced to report: Mandatory reporting of sexual violence in armed conflict

Explore the humanitarian impact of mandatory reporting on access to health care for victims/survivors of sexual violence

About the event

Mandatory reporting is the obligation in certain countries for health care personnel to report cases of sexual or gender-based violence to law enforcement agencies, without requiring the consent of the victim/survivor.

While the introduction of mandatory reporting may be well intended to address impunity, prevent future crimes and protect victims/survivors, it is potentially incompatible with international law and medical ethics and creates legal and ethical dilemmas for healthcare providers.

The British Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross are pleased to present the online launch of a joint humanitarian research report exploring the humanitarian impacts of mandatory reporting on access to health care for victims/survivors of sexual violence in armed conflict and other emergencies.

Based on a 12-month research project, the findings show that mandatory reporting can obstruct access to healthcare and may expose victims/survivors, as well as health-care personnel, to further harm.

The report presents recommendations to States with mandatory reporting regimes, donors, health-care providers and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement on how to respond to these dilemmas and better protect the health, safety and well-being of victims/survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

These findings are particularly relevant at a time when reports of SGBV are on the rise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and new barriers are emerging for victims/survivors to access health care and assistance.

Watch our 90-minute online discussion with guest panellists to explore the findings of our report as well as the legal, ethical and operational challenges of working in jurisdictions where mandatory reporting is applied. 

Opening by:

Esperanza Martinez, Head of Health, ICRC
Alexander Matheou, Executive Director for International, British Red Cross
Achan Grace Ogwal, Survivor Advocate and Social Worker


May Maloney, Acting Head of Sexual Violence, ICRC


Jelia Sane, Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers
Camille Michel, Legal Advisor, MSF
Ghida Anani, Founder and Director, Abaad and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Public Health, Lebanon Univeristy

 Read the full reporthttps://www.redcross.org.uk/-/media/documents/about-us/international/forced-to-report-sexual-violence-final-policy-paper.pdf

Date & Time

8 July 2020 10:00 - 11:30