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The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is the lead UN agency working to further gender equality and women’s empowerment in Sri Lanka. We are pleased to be a part of the joint effort with the Ministry of Health to develop the first ‘Standard Operating Procedures on sexual and gender-based violence for first-contact-point healthcare providers. 

Gender-based violence is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. It is estimated that globally 1 out of 3 women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. When women and girls are victims of violence, they are more likely to become vulnerable to forced and unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and sexually transmitted infections including HIV, let alone long-lasting psychological trauma.

These operating procedures were developed alongside the ‘National guidelines on sexual and gender-based violence’, which aims to strengthen Sri Lanka’s health systems response to survivors of violence.UNFPA  stands ready to provide continued assistance to the Government of Sri Lanka and all key stakeholders to ensure women and girls receive essential services that support their safety, well-being and access to justice and to create a violence-free Sri Lanka.