During the Intersessional Meetings to the APMBC being held in Geneva on 7 and 8 June, GMAP launched a new publication: Operational Guidance – Victim Assistance Responsive to Gender and Other Diversity Aspects.
The number of mine and ERW casualties has been on the rise since 2013, and mine action funding dedicated to victim assistance is at an all-time low. The reality of survivors, indirect victims and persons with disabilities is that they face physical, financial, legal, social and cultural barriers to access information and services. Many of those barriers will differ if the victim is a woman, a girl, a boy or a man, because of different gendered patterns of isolation, stigmatisation, discrimination and exposure to poverty.
The operational guidance published by GMAP is one way to address the complexities of gender and diversity in victim assistance. Indeed, the guidance explores the many ways in which victim assistance services can be adapted to the different needs of different groups. The operational guidance on victim assistance is based on best practices as reviewed and collected through an extensive literature review and interviews conducted in 13 different countries, with the notable collaboration of Humanity & Inclusion. The guidance is addressed at all organisations providing victim assistance services, affected states with responsibilities towards victims, and finally donors. They are available in English, French, Spanish and Arab, and they are accessible.
The side event on victim assistance that launched the publication was hosted by Italy and GMAP and was chaired by Amb. Gianfranco Incarnato, the Permanent Representative of Italy to the Conference on Disarmament. Among the panellists, GMAP Director Arianna Calza Bini and GMAP Programme Officer Marion Provencher introduced the guidelines. Murielle Marchand, Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations in Geneva and Chair to the APMBC Committee on Victim Assistance, Farzana Mursal Alizada, representative from the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, both discussed the importance of considering gender to answer the needs of all beneficiaries.
GMAP hopes that the operational guidance will be useful to all targeted actors and strongly encourage organisations, programmes, and institutions that they review and implement all relevant recommendations to their own work, so that we can ensure that victim assistance benefits all.