UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for holding perpetrators accountable and expanding support for all those affected due to sexual violence.
"We must prevent and end these crimes," he said in a message marking the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict being observed on Friday.
On this International Day, he said they stand in solidarity with survivors. "We vow to listen to them and act on their experiences and decisions."
Guterres said sexual violence in conflict is a brutal crime, mainly perpetrated against women and girls, but also affecting men and boys.
He said it reverberates throughout communities and societies, perpetuating cycles of violence and threatening international peace and security.
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages through regions of the world that are affected by armed conflict, survivors confront even greater challenges, said the UN chief.
He said reporting crimes may be difficult; shelters and clinics may be closed.
"I commend frontline staff who are finding ways to support those affected despite lockdowns and quarantines," said the UN chief.