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Preventing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Detention Settings: Principles and Commentary

Such settings include official and unofficial places of detention operated by state security forces, such as armed forces, police, border guards, and others. The Principles also apply to situations of deprivation of liberty by non-state armed groups (NSAGs). Under international humanitarian law (IHL) it is contested whether NSAGs have a legal basis to lawfully deprive people of their liberty. Nonetheless, whenever NSAGs detain people, they must comply with a range of detention-related IHL obligations, including to treat detainees humanely and take measures to prevent and address sexual violence.
The Principles identify preventive and responsive measures applicable to all persons deprived of their liberty in situations of armed conflict. While the Principles are specific to situations of ongoing armed conflict, they are also relevant to the immediate post- conflict phase, when sexual violence linked to the conflict may still be occurring in detention settings.

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