April 2019, 49th Session of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture


Surviving Torture and Fighting Stigma: The road to recovery for victims of sexual and gender-based torture

In the framework of its 49th session, the Board of Trustees of the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture held its fifth Annual Expert Workshop on sexual and gender-based torture.

The event was inaugurated by a Public Panel discussion, on 3 April 2019, from 11:00 to 12:30 pm. Ms. Jane Connors, Assistant-Secretary General, Victims’ Rights Advocate, Peggy Hicks, Director of the Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division - OHCHR together with survivors and practitioners assisting victims of torture, discussed challenges, best practices and lessons learned related to the provision of rehabilitation and redress

The theme for 2019 Public Panel and Annual Expert Workshop stems from the endemic practice of sexual and gender-based violence amounting to torture worldwide. In 2019, 134 of the 155 projects financially supported by the Fund provide rehabilitation and redress to torture victims that have been subjected to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

In 2018, 4,400 SGBV victims, including 600 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) victims received specialised assistance from organizations supported by the UN Torture Fund

  The Expert Workshop focused on:

  • Best practices for the identification of victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) amounting to torture.
  • Lessons learned on the inclusion of a gender-based and victim-centred approach to the design and implementation of services for victims of SGBV amounting to torture;
  • Specialised assistance for specific groups of victims who are in more vulnerable situations, such as LGBTI, persons with disabilities, minority groups and indigenous peoples.

For more information about the Public Panel and Expert Workshop, access the Concept Note, the Poster, Panellist Biographies of Public Panel.

An associated Photo Exhibit, in partnership with Fundación Círculo de Estudios Culturales y Políticos, titled "The Right to Voice" was also displayed on the corner between buildings A and C in Palais de Nations. Access the brochure.

Report of the Expert Workshop 2019