You are currently using an unsupported browser which could affect the appearance and functionality of this website. Please consider upgrading to the latest version or using alternatives such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

FIGO global initiative sets out focused actions to end conflict-related sexual violence

11 Oct 2023

The RCOG has joined a global coalition of organisations supporting the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (FIGO) ‘The Red Line Initiative’, calling for an end conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV).

The Red Line Initiative aims to create the focused action needed to address this systemic problem and to establish a clear legal framework for strong and timely action. It has three core aims:

  • Evoke a clear moral rejection and outcry against the use of CRSV in all its forms, including as a method of warfare.
  • Strengthen and clarify the legal obligations on states to prohibit the use of sexual violence in conflict, prevent and punish it, as well as to repair the harms it causes.
  • Build political will to ensure a more robust and timely response by states in line with their international obligations.
Dr Ranee Thakar, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:

“As an organisation dedicated to improving women’s healthcare across the world, we stand in solidarity with all people and health professionals impacted by conflict-related sexual violence.

“Women and girls are disproportionally affected by conflict, and our members see first-hand the severe and often lifelong consequences of sexual violence in war. It is vital we all work together to end sexual violence, and the College strongly supports the core aims of this important initiative.”

“The College is committed to supporting women to access treatment without the threat of violence, intimidation, prejudice or shame. It is also vital that healthcare staff have the support and freedom to continue treating those in need, including those in need of gynaecological and obstetric care, without fear of reprisal or harm.”

Gender-based violence impacts one in three women worldwide, and healthcare professionals have an important role to play in preventing and detecting it, as well as in supporting survivors. The College is committed to supporting our members in this, including through providing training and advocacy programmes. In setting global standards for obstetrics and gynaecology, we also remain focused on eliminating forms of gender-based violence within healthcare, such as obstetric violence and medicalised female genital mutilation (FGM).

Notes to editors

  • To find out more about the work of the College to tackle Gender-based violence, click here
  • To read the Green-top Guideline on Female genital mutilation and its management, click here
  • Careers and workforce
  • Gynaecology