Home > WHO ethical and safety recommendations for researching, documenting and monitoring sexual violence in emergencies.

World Health Organization. (2007) WHO ethical and safety recommendations for researching, documenting and monitoring sexual violence in emergencies. Geneva: World Health Organization.

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It is generally accepted that the prevalence of sexual violence is underreported almost everywhere in the world. This is an inevitable result of survivors’ well-founded anxiety about the potentially harmful social, physical, psychological and/or legal consequences of disclosing their experience of sexual violence. In emergency situations, which are characterized by instability, insecurity, fear, dependence and loss of autonomy, as well as a breakdown of law and order, and widespread disruption of community and family support systems, victims of sexual violence may be even less likely to disclose incidents.

This document applies to all forms of inquiry about sexual violence in emergencies. In total, eight recommendations are offered (see Part III). Collectively, these recommendations are intended to ensure that the necessary safety and ethical safeguards are in place prior to commencement of any information gathering exercise concerning sexual violence in emergencies. In each case, accompanying text sets out key safety and ethical issues that need to be addressed and the questions that must be asked when planning any information collection exercise involving sexual violence. These should also inform decisions about whether such an exercise should be undertaken. Wherever possible, the discussion is supported by boxed examples of good practice drawn from experience from the field in both emergency and non-emergency settings.


Date:2007
Call No:Ref, WHO
Pages:33 p.
Publisher:World Health Organization
Corporate Creators:World Health Organization
Place of Publication:Geneva
ISBN:978 92 4 159568 1
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB 4546 (Available)
Related URLs:
Subjects:VA Geographic area > International aspects
R Research > Data collection method
R Research > Research ethics
R Research > Research and evaluation method

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