Sexual violence was widely used by Sri Lanka’s security forces during the armed conflict against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and has continued since that conflict ended in 2009. A UN investigation into serious violations of human rights and related crimes during the armed conflict found that male detainees, primarily actual or alleged members or supporters of the LTTE, were as likely to be subjected to sexual violence as female detainees. It also found that incidents of sexual violence were not isolated acts but part of an institutional policy of torture within the Sri Lankan security forces. Reports of sexual and other forms of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment against mainly Tamil detainees, including males, have continued post-conflict.
Sri Lankan law does not recognise the possibility of male rape, leaving men and boys without legal protection and perpetrators unaccountable. Same-sex consensual relations are criminalised, which acts as a barrier to disclosure by male victims, and facilitates the persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI+) people sometimes involving sexual violence against them. Prosecutions have taken place in a handful of cases involving CRSV, all of them involving female victims/survivors, but judicial outcomes have been largely inadequate.