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 (Argentina, Chile and South Africa) or to pursue government policies (Cambodia).
All Survivors Project (ASP) supports global efforts to eradicate conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) and strengthen national and international responses through research and action on CRSV against men and boys, including those with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and/or sex characteristics (SOGIESC), as well as other people with diverse SOGIESC.
Rape and other forms of sexual violence are prevalent in most contemporary armed conflicts. While disproportionately affecting women and girls, CRSV involving men and boys has been documented in over 25 different situations of armed conflict in recent decades. CRSV specifically targeting people with diverse SOGIESC has also occurred, but widespread discrimination against such individuals and other barriers to monitoring have left their cases relatively unreported.
Survivors of CRSV typically experience profound physical and mental health consequences, as well social and economic harms. The consequences differ according to sex, gender, age and other variables, including an individual’s SOGIESC. Timely access to quality, survivor-centred medical care and other essential support is also impacted by such factors. In the case of male and LGBTI+ victims/survivors, these factors can include negative social and cultural attitudes toward sexual violence involving males, structural discrimination against people with diverse SOGIESC, including discriminatory laws that criminalise consensual same-sex conduct, and/or diverse gender identities and expressions. Access to justice remains constrained for the vast majority of CRSV victims/survivors, with men, boys and people with diverse SOGIESC often facing specific gender-related legal and procedural barriers to realising their right to justice.
ASP seeks to complement and reinforce existing work on CRSV against women and girls, recognising the disproportionate impact of CRSV on them and the way in which gendered inequalities, institutions and identities drive this form of violence. Our work in relation to men, boys and people with diverse SOGIESC is aimed at enlarging the scope of research, policy, prevention and response to include those survivors who are not always easily identified or supported within existing responses to CRSV.