Expert Roundtable on Children Born of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

Breaking Down Barriers to the Rights to Identity and Nationality

27 June 2023, Geneva

Last month, CBOW Project Managing Director and Chairwoman, Ingvill Constanze Ødegaard, participated in a roundtable event, hosted by Global Survivors Fund (GSF), which included diverse stakeholders from humanitarian, transitional justice and child protection sectors, as well as civil society representatives, victim/survivor activists, academics and a range of UN bodies. The mission was to create a solution-oriented roundtable focusing on breaking down barriers for children born of CRSV accessing their rights to identity and nationality.

From GSF: ‘A lack of legal identity may prevent children born of CRSV  from accessing their right to reparations, and under international law, victims of CRSV, including child survivors and children born of CRSV, have a right to a remedy and reparation for the harms they have suffered. Yet, victims often face many obstacles in seeking access to reparation. For children born of CRSV, such barriers often stem from their difficulties in accessing their right to a legal identity. In addition, reparations programmes may require beneficiaries to be identified as victims of CRSV. However, governments do not always include children born of CRSV as a category of victims eligible for reparations. Therefore, raising awareness and building a greater understanding of the legal, administrative, social, financial and other barriers preventing children born of CRSV from accessing their rights to a legal identity and nationality is critical for facilitating their equal access to other rights, including their right to reparation.’

As part of its own commitments under the Platform for Action on Children Born of CRSV, of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI), Prof. Ødegaard represented the CBOW Project, giving a key address on the evidence to date on needs and outcomes of children born of war, and specifically children born of CRSV, and presenting the vision of our foundation for the future; a  (virtual) CBOW hub that will facilitate systematic collaboration and information sharing, prevent siloes and ensure the rights and needs of CBOW are at the centre of evidence, advocacy, training and policy efforts from researchers, survivor organisations, CBOW organisations, governments, courts and non-governmental organisations.