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HRC49-Joint NGO Statement on Comprehensive approach to promoting, protecting and respecting women’s and girl’s full enjoyment of human rights in humanitarian situations

Comprehensive Approach to Promoting, Protecting and Respecting Women’s and Girl’s full Enjoyment of Human Rights in Humanitarian Situations

Comprehensive approach to promoting, protecting and respecting women’s and girl’s full enjoyment of human rights in humanitarian situations

49th session Human Rights Council

Thank you, Mr. President,

This is a joint statement, delivered by Save the Children International 

Girls are facing increased risks of violations to their rights as a result of intersectional forms of discrimination, including due to their age and gender, and their situation is worsened in times of crisis.

Girls in humanitarian settings are at higher risk of gender-based violence, including child marriage and face significant barriers in accessing essential sexual and reproductive health services and information. Girls affected by conflict and displacement are more than twice as likely to be out of school than boys and are directly targeted through attacks on girls’ schools, abduction, rape, and harassment by armed forces and groups within or on the way to schools.

Despite a welcome increase in attention and commitments on addressing the needs and rights of women and girls in humanitarian settings, there remains a continued gap between girls’ needs and concrete action.

Girls are not consistently recognized and treated as key stakeholders and decision-makers in their own lives, despite their right to be heard and participate in decision-making enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Similarly, adolescent girls in particular, are often invisible in data collection in humanitarian contexts, with little recognition given to their age specific needs and rights.

We call on the UN and Member states to urgently address gaps in addressing the needs and rights of girls in humanitarian settings through multi-sectoral policies and programme interventions, with a specific focus on:

  • Ensuring that girls living in humanitarian settings are able to safely and meaningfully participate in decisions affecting their lives, including in international and national policy making and accountability processes that affect them.
  • Addressing ongoing data gaps on adolescent girls in humanitarian settings, particularly child marriage through better coordination between humanitarian actors, the development of new data collection tools and adaption of currently used tools as needed.
  • Prioritize funding that addresses the distinct rights violations experienced by girls in humanitarian settings, by increasing funding asks for gender-based violence prevention and response, protecting girls from attacks on education, for child protection, psychosocial support, health and mental services, as well as funding to support economic opportunities for girls and matching them with concrete commitments and action.  
Thank you for your attention.
Download the Statement Here