This project is not only an idea whose time has come but also an idea whose time is long overdue in coming. At the centre of leaving no child left behind should also be the conscious effort to address sexual violence against boys.
Benyam Dawit Mezmur
Former Chairperson, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child — Vice Chairperson of the African Committee on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
My experience in Bosnia and other conflict situations shows that gender based violence against men and boys is even more of a taboo than against women and girls. This seems to be the main reason why there is not enough data available in this respect
UN Expert leading global study on children deprived of liberty. Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment (2004-10)
I have no doubt that sexual violence and abuse against males is one of the most neglected, under-researched and often misunderstood issues. This project fills a gaping need.
Senior Research Policy Advisor, Amnesty International, — Former Deputy Director, Protection Division, OHCHR-Nepal
Sexual violence is a scourge that must be combatted regardless of gender. This long overdue project seeks to ensure that boys and men are not left out.
Executive Director — Human Rights Watch
Sexual violence against men and boys has been documented by the UN and national bodies in the following conflict situations.
This list also includes information on sexual violence against boys and men in countries where it is reported to have contributed significantly to human rights violations in the context of widespread political and ethnic violence (Kenya), as a means to intimidate perceived opponents of the government (Chile and South Africa) or to pursue government policies (Cambodia).
This report is the first in the planned series of reports to be published by the All Survivors Project on sexual violence against men and boys in different situations of armed conflict. Eight years on from the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, and more than two decades since fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) ended, conflict-related sexual violence against men and boys remains one of the least documented and most inadequately addressed of all the human rights abuses that took place during these wars.
The All Survivors Project, hosted by the Williams Institute, commemorates International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict on June 19, 2017, by releasing “Making the Invisible Visible.” The nine minute video highlights ongoing sexual violence against men and boys across situations of conflict and displacement.
“…sexual violence against men and boys, particularly in the context of detention under a previous infamous security legislation, has only recently begun to be recognised as among the numerous abuses that have taken place within the context of the armed conflict. A proposed Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) which is awaiting Parliamentary approval threatens to continue prolonged detention without charge. If approved this counter-terrorism bill could continue to facilitate human rights abuses in detention.” 26 June 2017.
All Survivors Project provides research to improve the global response to every survivor of sexual and gender-based violence in situations of conflict and displacement. We document cases of abuse against men and boys to supplement work on girls and women to support a global response that includes all victims of violence. We are an independent, international research project working with individuals and organizations to strengthen communities by upholding the dignity of each individual.
The global response to sexual violence in situations of conflict and displacement has until now focused on the plight of women and girls. Men and boys are also affected and, in some cases, directly targeted in sexual violence. So far, an inclusive response on the issue of sexual violence in situations of conflict and displacement is lacking. Current research efforts on this issue are sparse, and few programs offer services directly addressing the needs of male survivors.
A culture of silence prevails preventing male survivors from coming forward, and impunity for sexual violence against men and boys continues to be widespread. When acknowledged male sexual violence is typically framed as a form of torture or ill-treatment rather than sexual violence.
This is a pioneering fact-finding effort into sexual and gender based violence against men and boys across situations of armed conflict and displacement.