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Sexual Violence against Men and Boys: Progress, Challenges, Next Steps

Please join us on Wednesday, April 14, for a discussion of the progress, challenges, and next steps in addressing sexual violence against men and boys in conflict and displacement settings. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. EDT (13:00 UTC | 15:00 Geneva | 16:00 Nairobi | 20:00 Bangkok).



  • Sarah Chynoweth, Founder and Director/Consultant of the Sexual Violence Project, Women’s Refugee Commission
  • Joanina Karugaba, Senior Government Liaison Officer, Regional Bureau for East and Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes, UNHCR
  • Kyle Knight, Senior Researcher, Health/LGBT Rights, Human Rights Watch
  • Maria Margherita Maglietti, GBViE Programme Specialist, Refugee and Migrant Response in Italy, UNICEF


In 2018 and 2019, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) conducted landmark research on sexual violence against men and boys in three refugee settings—Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh; the central Mediterranean route through Libya into Italy; and in urban Kenya. The research found that some men and boys, including young men, unaccompanied boys, and detainees, appear to be targeted for sexual violence in conflict-affected settings, during flight, and in refugee contexts. WRC’s research also documented clear gaps in addressing sexual violence against persons with diverse gender identities and sexual orientations, who we found to be particularly vulnerable, with few services available.

Despite progress, challenges remain. Practitioners still lack tools and resources to effectively respond to male survivors. Service provider attitudes, biases, and misconceptions are major deterrents for male and LGBTIQ+ survivors to access care. Sexual violence services for survivors of all genders remain grossly under-resourced.

Join the discussion to learn more about the progress and next steps around this issue, including WRC’s recently released Guidance Note on Addressing Sexual Violence Against Men, Boys, and LGBTIQ+ Persons in Humanitarian Settings.