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Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict
By admin June 16, 2014

GSESVC

Last week, the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague and actress Angeline Jolie hosted the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London. The four-day event that began on June 10 brought together 100 international delegates including Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon (via video link) and numerous human rights activists to discuss the widespread prevalence of sexual violence in war zones, and to draw up a new international protocol for the prosecution of rape and sexual abuse in times of conflict.

In the world’s conflict zones, rape continues to be used as a weapon of war. In 2013, as many as 860 conflict-related rapes were reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo alone, and house-to-house rape in the Central African Republic caused at least 146 pregnancies. The extent of the problem was highlighted by news reports last week from Nigeria of militants having kidnapped 20 women near Chibok, the same town where hundreds of schoolgirls were abducted in mid-April. Even as the delegates gathered, the BBC reported widespread accounts of gang rape in South Sudan. Yet, prosecution is rare, both in conflict and afterwards. During the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia, up to 50,000 reported rapes yielded fewer than 70 convictions. Jolie and Hague called for an end to this “culture of impunity”, urging the international community to funnel attention and resources towards improving security of vulnerable populations, and to deny safe haven to perpetrators.

The UK government is hoping to take a lead role in championing this issue, as indicated by the publishing last week of its National Plan on Women, Peace and Security. The plan sets out how the UK will reduce the impact of conflict on women and support their participation in peace processes. To date, just 4% of signatories of peace agreements have been women, fewer than 3% of peace negotiations have been moderated by women and fewer than 10% of places at negotiations have been occupied by women.

For more information:

– http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/11/world/europe/conference-to-draw-attention-to-sexual-violence-in-war.html?action=click&contentCollection=Europe&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

– http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jun/12/uk-lead-on-sexual-violence-in-conflict

– http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/06/09/four-things-everyone-should-know-about-wartime-sexual-violence/

– http://www.bbc.com/news/world-27784551


Thanks for sharing !


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