Global efforts to end gender-based violence should strengthen their focus on adolescent girls in humanitarian settings, finds a new study.

“Despite the fact that we know that violence against adolescent girls increases in humanitarian settings, this remains an under-researched and underfunded area of intervention,” says Lindsay Stark, associate professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

“Such focused attention is essential to meeting international commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Stark is coauthor of the paper on the topic in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. The study presents a novel framework for gender-based violence risks facing adolescent girls in emergencies, synthesizes the limited evidence for relevant prevention and response, and identifies barriers to effective and ethical measurement and evaluation.

“We have few evidence-based models for how to keep girls safe,” Stark says. “This reality not only has relevance for many of the global settings in which I work, but also communities closer to home who are currently being hit hard by the COVID pandemic.”

Sexual violence against girls and women is common in humanitarian settings, mainly due to their combined vulnerabilities related to age, gender, and factors associated with conflict or disaster.

Read the full article about gender-based violence by Neil Schoenherr at Futurity.