Wartime Rape and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence – A new Report by the UN Secretary General

Wartime Rape and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence – A new Report by the UN Secretary General

Sexual violence in conflict is “a grave human rights issue that is as destructive as any bomb or bullet” – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said opening the Security Council’s day-long debate on sexual violence in conflict.

On April 25 the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, presented  a report of wartime rape and other forms of conflict-related sexual violence.

Covering 21 countries of concern in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East, the report  makes a number of concrete recommendations, both to the affected states themselves and to the international community as a whole.

In her statement, the Special Representative emphasized that there have also been positive developments: While the road ahead to eradicate sexual violence in conflict remains long and hard, there is some light on the horizon. Never before in history have we seen such a level of political will and momentum.

Special Representative Bangura also pointed to positive efforts on the ground in conflict and post-conflict countries, such as measures undertaken by governments in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Guinea. She stressed however, that most perpetrators of wartime rape are never brought to justice: Unfortunately, the unacceptable reality is that today it is still largely ‘cost-free’ to rape a woman, child or man in conflict. Sexual violence has been used through the ages precisely because it is such a cheap and devastating weapon.

The report includes a list of groups credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for patterns of rape and other forms of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict on the agenda of the Security Council. These include parties in the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Mali, South Sudan and Syria, among others.

Listen to the  United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura:

Read the full report: Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

 

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