Geneva Call brought together 23 participants, representing eight armed non-State actors (ANSAs) from Myanmar/Burma, Philippines and India, over four days in December 2010, to discuss the prevention and prohibition of sexual and gender-based violence linked to armed conflict. It was the first time that such a meeting of ANSA representatives has taken place to discuss this topic, and to seek to take steps towards concrete, practical solutions.
For Geneva Call, this workshop was the first step in a longer-term engagement process with ANSAs, on the issue of conflictrelated, gender-based violence. As a result of its original work on anti-personnel (AP) mines, Geneva Call has established strong relationships of trust with numerous ANSAs.1 Several of the armed actors already engaged by Geneva Call in Asia had expressed their willingness to discuss these issues further; to learn more about international standards, notably with regard to the protection of women in conflict; and to actively review their own policies and practices.
To help move this discussion forward, Geneva Call created a unique platform where ANSAs could meet safely, and freely review the ways in which their respective movements are addressing the issue, and how acts of violence perpetrated by their own members could be prevented or sanctioned. The participants also explored how they might improve their policies and practice and, where necessary, bring them in line with relevant international standards.
The present report draws upon information and insights that came from the participants during plenary and working group sessions of the workshop. The report also benefits from observations made by the facilitators and organizers of the workshop.