Answer to Written Question: Sexual violence against children as a weapon of war in conflict zones

(Source: European Parliament)



Answer given by Mr Lenarčič

on behalf of the European Commission


The Commission has a zero tolerance approach to sexual violence against children and is particularly committed to supporting children in armed conflicts.

In accordance with the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy[1], the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child[2], the EU Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security[3], the EU support to the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325[4] and the EU Strategy for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse[5], the Commission emphasises child protection in its humanitarian and development support, addressing all forms of violence against children.

In 2020, the Commission allocated almost EUR 93 million to child protection in humanitarian settings through its partners, including non-governmental organisations. The EU also supports a EUR 10 million project to strengthen child protection mechanisms, including in conflict-affected countries, and is committed to strengthening its child protection capacities in EU Delegations[6].

The Commission continues to monitor and collect data disaggregated by gender and age by means of its humanitarian Gender-Age Marker[7].  

In addition, the EU will intensify work to prevent and address grave violations against children affected by armed conflict, including with advocacy activities promoting compliance with International Humanitarian Law.

The Commission will continue its efforts to protect the safety and security of humanitarian workers in armed conflicts, so that they can continue their critical work. From March to June 2021, it organises a Discussion Series of four meetings with States and organisations on ‘Ensuring the protection, safety, and security of humanitarian workers and medical personnel in armed conflicts’[8].






[6] EIDHR/2020/416-442 ‘Joining Forces for Africa (JOFA) – protecting children during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond’ implemented by a consortium of 15 NGOs (lead applicant is Plan International Germany).

[7] in place since 2014.

[8] The Discussion Series is organised through the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations.

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