International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

Communities can be safer if they are provided opportunities to plan against all forms of violence.

There is a link between community readiness to address conflicts and vulnerability to COVID-19. On this day attention is drawn to the repercussions of war, conflicts and unrest on societies. We have an on-going campaign we called the “Well Born Child Campaign,” amidst COVID-19 pandemic we urge everyone to promote dignity and respect for human beings and sanctity of life at all times. Stop wars and deal with COVID-19.  We share with you the UN messages here as well.

Conflict-related sexual violence should expand to refer to abuses beyond rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, enforced sterilization, forced marriage and any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity perpetrated against women, men, girls or boys that is directly or indirectly linked to a conflict. It should address the want-on precarious masculinity tendencies that shut out not only women but even gender-non-conforming persons. The repercussions of being silenced manifest themselves as: abandonment, neglect, hunger, homelessness, murders, diseases and fleeing home.

“On this International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, we stand in solidarity with survivors. We vow to listen to them and act on their experiences and decisions.” UN Secretary-General António Guterres

The term “conflict-related sexual violence” refers to rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, enforced sterilization, forced marriage and any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity perpetrated against women, men, girls or boys that is directly or indirectly linked to a conflict. The term also encompasses trafficking in persons when committed in situations of conflict for the purpose of sexual violence or exploitation.

A consistent concern is that fear and cultural stigma converge to prevent the vast majority of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence from coming forward to report such violence. Practitioners in the field estimate that for each rape reported in connection with a conflict, 10 to 20 cases go undocumented.

While many settings are affected by the threat, occurrence or legacy of conflict-related sexual violence, the Secretary-General's latest report is focused on 19 country situations for which credible information is available.

The Special Representative serves as the United Nations’ spokesperson and political advocate on conflict-related sexual violence. She chairs the United Nations Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict (UN Action) and her work is supported by the United Nations Team of Experts on the Rule of Law/Sexual Violence in Conflict. The office was established in 2009 and Under-Secretary-General Pramila Patten was appointed in 2017. She succeeds Ms. Zainab Hawa Bangura and Ms. Margot Wallström.

Why do we mark International Days?

International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.

UN Secretary-General's message for 2020

“Sexual violence in conflict is a brutal crime, mainly perpetrated against women and girls, but also affecting men and boys.

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.  

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.

On this International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, we stand in solidarity with survivors. We vow to listen to them and act on their experiences and decisions.

We must prevent and end these crimes; place survivors at the centre of our response; hold perpetrators accountable; and expand support for all those affected.”

António Guterres

 

Standards That Support Healthy Living:

Standard 1: Governance and leadership.

Standard 2: Clear commitment to child safety.

Standard 3: Code of conduct.

Standard 4: Human resource practices.

Standard 5: Responding and reporting.

Standard 6: Risk management and mitigation.

Standard 7: Empowering communities.

We hope that in bringing this to your attention, conflict-related sexual violence can be addressed as a community activity we can strategically plan interventions against. This will make communities safer and hence address rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, enforced sterilization, forced marriage and any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity perpetrated against women, men, girls or boys that is directly or indirectly linked to a conflict. We shall be able to address the want-on precarious masculinity tendencies that shut out not only women but even gender-non-conforming persons. When we do this we shall in turn address: abandonment, neglect, hunger, homelessness, murders, diseases and fleeing home.  This will be one way we cannot let our communities experience vulnerability to COVID-19 as well.


 

Comments

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