Sudan: Gender Based Violence

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered at on 6 June 2023.

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Photo of Baroness Helic Baroness Helic Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, and intend to take, in response to reports of gender-based violence in Sudan.

Photo of Baroness Helic Baroness Helic Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government what recent initiatives or programmes they (1) have funded, and (2) are aware of, to combat gender-based violence in Sudan.

Photo of Baroness Helic Baroness Helic Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government whether they (1) have deployed, or (2) intend to deploy, an expert team to Sudan’s neighbouring countries to assist in (a) responding to, and (b) investigating reports of, gender-based violence in Sudan; and if so, what is that team's mandate.

Photo of Baroness Helic Baroness Helic Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government what partnerships they have formed with other (1) governments, or (2) international organisations, to respond to reports of gender-based violence in Sudan.

Photo of Baroness Helic Baroness Helic Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will take steps, with international partners, to ensure the (1) protection, and (2) support, of survivors of gender-based violence in Sudan, including with regard to access to (a) healthcare, (b) counselling, and (c) legal assistance.

Photo of Baroness Helic Baroness Helic Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government what (1) strategies, (2) best practices, and (3) lessons learned, in addressing gender-based violence in other contexts, they intend to promote and adapt with international partners working in Sudan.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

There has been an escalation of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) against women and girls in Sudan since 15 April. These crimes take place in a broader context human rights violations since the military coup on 25 October 2021, with a further escalation in incidents since 15 April. The UK has consistently condemned these in our public statements, at the UN Human Rights Council and Security Council, and in our diplomatic lobbying. We continue to fund and provide support to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Sudan that provides a crucial role in monitoring and reporting on human rights violations. We are liaising closely with them as they now set up and run their remote working mechanisms. Through the Women's Integrated Sexual Health programme, we are also providing integrated sexual and reproductive services, and provisions of family planning and management of SGBV through 262 facilities, 302 private facilities and 11 mobile health teams to reach the most inaccessible communities, although sadly these programmes are suspended since the 15 April onset of conflict. On 4 May, the UK announced a £5 million initial package of humanitarian support to help address the urgent needs of people fleeing violence in Sudan, with £2.5 million allocated to Chad and £2 million to South Sudan. In South Sudan, £500,000 was allocated to UNICEF for gender-based Violence protection services. The UK is working with its partners to ensure strong gender and inclusion conflict analyses underpin all aspects of the crisis response.

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