The Hague Principles on Sexual Violence

The Hague Principles on Sexual Violence

Meaningfully addressing sexual violence starts with understanding all the forms it can take. The Hague Principles on Sexual Violence, developed with input from more than 500 survivors, 60 civil society organisations but also legal practitioners, academics, and policy makers, give an enhanced understanding of the various forms of sexual violence, to allow for more inclusive, survivor-centred, forward-looking and culturally sensitive responses to these crimes.

Designed to inform and give guidance to all practitioners engaged in addressing sexual violence, The Hague Principles seek to ensure that sexual violence is not overlooked or trivialized by those who may not always recognise such acts, and to provide survivors with recognition and validation of their experiences. When sexual violence is better understood, laws, policies, and practices can be developed to more effectively address this form of violence.

The Hague Principles on Sexual Violence consist of:

The Civil Society Declaration on Sexual Violence

providing general guidance on what makes violence ‘sexual’, especially to survivors

International Criminal Law Guidelines on Sexual Violence

a tool for ICL practitioners explaining when acts of sexual violence amount to international crimes and providing practical elements to inform their prosecution

Key Principles for Policy Makers on Sexual Violence

ten key principles derived from the Civil Society Declaration to incorporate in policy development, legislative strategies, and legal and judicial procedures


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