The overall objective of this executive short course is to provide humanitarian mid-level and senior managers with the knowledge, competencies and skills required to conceive and operationalise a multidisciplinary approach in sexual violence prevention and response, both adapted to conflict and emergency settings and as an integral part of humanitarian operations. The course deepens participants’ understanding of sexual violence, its root causes and contributing factors, and its impact on individuals and communities. The content adopts a survivor-centred and comprehensive approach to the core principles, challenges and practices by exploring multi-sectoral responses, including health, MHPSS and justice. Participants will be able to conceive safe and ethical interventions and will be competent to prevent and mitigate risks of sexual violence.

The course is delivered in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), Refugee Law Project (RLP), UNHCR, Utu Wetu Trust, academic scholars, independent sexual violence experts and practitioners and in collaboration with survivor leaders and groups.

More information can be found in this printable “Course-at-a-glance” document.

Read our blog with Laura Pasquero to find out more about the course.

In partnership with:



• Deepen understanding of sexual violence dynamics, its root causes and contributing factors, and its impacts on individuals and communities
• Conceive safe and ethical multi-sectoral interventions centered on victims/survivors’ rights, needs and wishes
• Design activities contributing to sexual violence risk mitigation and prevention.

Structure of the course

  • Core concepts and introduction to a Survivor-Centered Approach
  • Survivors Voices and Networks
  • Ethics and Methods of Data Gathering
  • Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys
  • Medical Care
  • Pregnancy as a result of rape
  • Mental Health and Psychosocial Support
  • Access to Justice
  • Prevention and Risk Mitigation



Around 50 hours of work for the whole course, including:

• Approximately 20 hours of face-to-face teaching (lectures, debate, group work) on Wednesday from 3 to 5 pm CET
• Approximately 30 hours of self-study time (pre-readings, reflexive analysis, case study)

A 3-5-page essay for the participants who would like to earn the 2 credits ECTS


  • Mid-level and senior humanitarian managers currently working directly with victims/survivors of sexual violence, or providing technical advice to or supervision of such programmes.
  • Other participants with relevant experience and expertise may be accepted if space is available.
  • Staff of MSF and ICRC may join for a reduced rate and are asked to apply through their institutional educational programmes.
  • Emilie Venables Emilie Venables Designation: Course Director: Addressing Sexual Violence in Emergency & Conflict Settings"

Admission requirements:

  1. a university qualification (bachelor’s degree or equivalent);
  2. at least three years of relevant professional experience;
  3. excellent command of English;
  4. motivation working in the humanitarian sector.


Documents required:

  • CV (Résumé)
  • Copy of your highest diploma
  • Work certificate or official document of your current job position
  • Proof of English language competence (TOEIC/TOEFL/IELTS or equivalent); see details here
  • Scanned copy of passport.


More information about the admission process is available on our application page.



“I was fortunate enough to be part of this course as we are setting up gender and sexual violence response and prevention activities in Borno state, Nigeria. This has meant that I could already feed in some of the learnings into the activity design.  As a result of the course, we will, for instance, be implementing more comprehensive support to survivors than previously planned to respond in a more tailor-made way to the needs of each survivor. This course has motivated me to continue seeking ways to improve and extend our programming to support survivors of sexual violence and prevent it from occurring where possible. Within my organisation, sexual violence programming is still marginal compared to other sectors. Still, I intend to advocate internally for increased resource allocation to this often underfunded area and strengthen our organisational capacity.”

Alexander Gnädinger, Programme Manager

The content and the course organisation, as well as the facilitation, were very impressive. Presenters addressed their topics in a pedagogical way tailored to adult training and learning needs. Sexual violence in conflict settings and emergencies and in times of peace should be seriously considered. It has several negative impacts on the lives of individuals, whether males or females and communities. It destroys the social fabric and cohesion of communities. As humanitarian workers, we need to be aware of that and anticipate that sexual violence might happen anywhere and anytime. I was very satisfied with the training. This is a key course that should be offered to all humanitarian actors, not only those working specifically on Sexual violence.

Marietou Dia, Sexual Violence Regional Advisor for Africa, ICRC

“Having facilitators who are experts in the field, not only in knowledge but also in practice, was key to my learning.”

Course participant

“The course was an eye-opener. I interacted with so many practitioners, which was important because we [researchers] make policy recommendations and
must interact meaningfully with those actors who interact routinely with survivors. We often do not have these engagements.
I would definitely recommend this course to researchers on sexual violence in humanitarian settings”.

Course participant

The course reminded me of the importance of tackling the topic of sexual violence with no preconceptions about its prevalence in a given context, who it affects and what survivors need and want. Preconceived ideas can lead professionals to miss or misunderstand important elements. The course also reminded me of the importance of creating spaces for survivors to speak and of taking the time to listen to them to understand their experience and better address their needs.”                                                                                                                                                                             

Layla Clément, Human Rights Professional and Investigator

“Looking solely at a (potential) individual victim is fundamentally incomplete. There is a need to adopt a multi-survivor programming and consider the negative implications of those victimised, be they male or female, on their spouses, children and, in fact, communities.

Anastasiia Doroshenko, Protection Delegate,  Danish Red Cross, Sudan

Listening to the survivor leaders about their needs and wants, about what they think about the humanitarian aid and what we are providing also opened my eyes to several things: some support can only be provided by the community, and we could put more resources to facilitate this. The aid we provide sometimes doesn’t meet the needs and wants of the survivors, because it is based on what we think they need, and we can only understand this by listening to them.

Course Participant

  • Addressing Sexual Violence in Conflict and Emergency Settings (Online)Dates 10 May - 5 July 2023
  • Addressing Sexual Violence in Conflict and Emergency Settings (Online)Duration 8 weeks
  • Addressing Sexual Violence in Conflict and Emergency Settings (Online)Location Online
  • Addressing Sexual Violence in Conflict and Emergency Settings (Online)Language English
  • Addressing Sexual Violence in Conflict and Emergency Settings (Online)CREDITS 2 ECTS
  • Fee 1,700 CHF
  • Application Deadline 19 April 2023