Beyond Codes and Protocols

Solutions discussed:

Implement the Murad Code on collecting information from survivors of systematic and conflict-related sexual violence

1. At the political level, the presidency of the UN Security Council launched the working version of the Murad code and emphasized the need for all of the states that participated in the open debate on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) to take the Murad code forward in their work. This is to ensure they are taking a survivor-centred approach to the collection of evidence from survivors and its application in investigations.

2. Translating the Murad code into Ukrainian to support its implementation in that region and further languages to support with its uptake. The Murad code has already been translated into English, Spanish, French, and Arabic.

3. The Murad code has been discussed with the Metropolitan Police war crime team that interviews survivors in the UK to support with investigations looking at how they can ensure that the standards in the code are reflected in their standard operating procedures. 

Presented by: Olivia Head

Reflect culture beliefs and norms in implementation of the Murad code

1. Provide cultural briefs to investigators on the country that they are investigating and the culture that the survivors and witnesses are from.

2. Investigators need to seek clarification on what is meant by certain terms or by certain ways in which the survivors or witnesses are saying what they have experienced.

3. Investigators need to be open to unexpected outcomes, whereby the ways they explain some things are not how survivors would explain them. They should not make assumptions and recognise their own biases and neutralise them. 

Presented by: Dr. Annelies Vredeveldt

Implementation of the Murad code by international Organisations

1. Introduce the Murad code to those who are on the ground, before, during and after conflict takes place, to respond to the needs of survivors and strengthen systems and institutions, and capacity to deliver services.

2. Apply the Murad code in different sectors including the health sector and social services to provide entry points to address the needs of survivors.

3. Develop systems that help those who are at the front line providing psychosocial support, medical support and legal aid to help them facilitate the way they document cases of all forms of gender-based violence.

4. Fund research on what works and support initiatives that map out how the Murad code can be implemented effectively.

Presented by: Diana Jimena Arango

Gender-based Violence Information Management System

The Gender-Based Violence Information Management System (GBVIMS) is a multi-faceted initiative that enables humanitarian actors responding to incidents of GBV to effectively and safely collect, store, analyze and share data reported by GBV survivors.

Presented by: Diana Jimena Arango

Gender-Based Violence Information Management System

Capacity building for the implementation of the Murad code

1. Provision of capacity building for law enforcement officers on the content of the Murad code, its provisions and practising the principles of the code such as ensuring no harm to sexual violence survivors during investigations.

2. The capacity building has to be multisectoral which includes training police officers, healthcare providers, lawyers, magistrates and judges, and all involved in interacting with survivors.

Presented by: Naitore Nyamu

Information on Physicians for Human Rights

Utilise the full range of national and local resources in addressing gender-based violence

1. Existing standards and protocols for addressing gender-based violence can be used as a resource at the local levels.

2. Survivors are also resources as they support other survivors to report cases of sexual violence.

3. Institutions working at the national level to address gender-based violence often offer good resources in terms of documentation of cases of conflict related sexual violence.

4. Localisation of the Murad code by making the code available in simplified version in local languages.

Presented by: Naitore Nyamu

Form partnerships and collaborations for the implementation of the Murad Code

Through partnerships and collaborations with state actors, there are opportunities to either adopt the Murad code as it is or use the existing legal framework to adopt provisions of the Murad code in documenting and investigating cases of CRSV.

Presented by: Naitore Nyamu

Provide shelter and safe spaces for survivors of gender based violence including conflict related sexual violence

In the survivor's network in Kenya, there are 5 survivors that have set up safe spaces for other survivors and are working with survivors to protect them from threats and intimidations. The survivor's network is also used as a social protection mechanism for survivors due to the unavailability/inadequate number of shelters and safe spaces.

Presented by: Wangu Kanja

Domesticate the Murad Code and amplifying survivors' voices at the grassroots level

The Murad code should be domesticated at the grassroots level where the first responders are human right defenders, community health volunteers, or gender defenders. Also, build the capacity of survivors by providing them with information to enable them decide how the information they provide will be used for their cases.

Presented by: Wangu Kanja

Building capacity of first responders for providing support to survivors of gender-based violence

Build the capacity of community health volunteers, human rights defenders, gender defenders, and members of survivor networks in simple skills like interviewing survivors. This is important because when survivors present information to them as their first point of contact, they will be able to interview them to get the right information and preserve the memory and evidence of the survivors so that their stories in court are consistent.

Presented by: Wangu Kanja

Provide resources to strengthen community structures and ensure the sustainability of response measures to sexual violence in conflict and non-conflict settings

Resources are needed to strengthen the available and existing community structures that are already working to protect and support survivors. This is more effective in comparison to setting up parallel structures that are new, not conversant with the context, and might not be sustainable.

Presented by: Wangu Kanja

Need for political will and domestic funding for effective adoption and implementation of models on addressing gender-based violence

The National Police Service in Kenya adopted a model called "POLICARE" from Rwanda. POLICARE has been coined from two English words: “POLICE” and “CARES”. POLICARE is a National Police Service integrated response to Sexual and Gender Based Violence. It is designed as a multi-agency victim centred “one stop centre” service provider. The service providers include but are not limited to police, forensic investigators, health providers, psychologists, DPP representatives, a magistrate on call, medical-legal, gender experts, and correctional personnel among others all under one roof. There is a need for political will and domestic funding to ensure the effective implementation of such a model.

Presented by: Wangu Kanja


Designing survivor-centred programmes and interventions

Survivors must be engaged when designing programs and interventions that are tailored toward providing survivors with support. This fosters collective ownership and response where survivors feel accommodated and appreciated. There should be platforms for dialogues between service providers and members of survivors' networks to express their challenges and proffer solutions.

Presented by: Wangu Kanja


Provision of holistic and comprehensive support to survivors of not just conflict-related sexual violence but gender-based violence

Building the capacity of service providers to work before, during, and after conflict. Services providers should not limit themselves to providing services to not just survivors of conflict-related sexual violence but to all women and girls that are experiencing gender-based violence. Women in conflict experience multiple forms of conflict such as intimate partner violence and sexual violence, hence, service provisions should not be in silos focusing on just one form of gender-based violence.

Presented by: Diana Jimena Arango