intl protocol launched to tackle sexual violence in conflict
Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
Arab Today, arab today

Int`l protocol launched to tackle sexual violence in conflict

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Arab Today, arab today Int`l protocol launched to tackle sexual violence in conflict

inserbia.info
London - Arab Today

British foreign secretary William Hague and United Nations special envoy Angelina Jolie on Wednesday launched a new protocol at the on-going "End Sexual Violence" summit in London, which could provide guidelines on how to investigate and document sexual violence in conflict.

The International Protocol, the first of its kind, aims to set an international standard for how to investigate and collect evidences in sexual violence in conflict, which is expected to become a tool to increase the number of prosecutions for these crimes worldwide.

"We hope it will play a vital role in shattering the culture of impunity for sexual violence in conflict. This impunity is a major factor in why these crimes continue," said William Hague.

Hague said the protocol could help prosecutors, police forces, peacekeepers and civil society better collect evidence and carry out investigations into sexual violence in conflict so that perpetrators can be brought to justice.

Statistics show that up to 50,000 women were victims of sexual violence during the war in Bosnia, while the number of victims in some African countries from Sudan to Syria and Egypt will be unknown, as most of the victims choose to keep silence, which leads to perpetrators remaining at large while victims and their families break down.

"They use rape as a weapon against their enemy, so they rape to make their enemy to lose ... They rape because they want people to be silenced, and to break their dreams," said Tawakkol Karman, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, adding that is a veiled message for the rivals, to make them feel embarrassed about their inability to protect their women, and male supremacy.

"We need a serious action to prosecute the perpetrators of crimes of sexual violence, in addition to national responsibility in addressing the root causes of sexual violence in armed conflict are essential to deter and prevent it," she said.

That requires an integrated linkage between political and security activities and activities related to development and human rights, including gender equality and the rule of law and justice, Karman said.

She called the rule of law one of the key elements of conflict prevention, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and peace-building.

Karman has been engaged in the protection of women and girls rights, as well as the promotion of the safety and peace building in Yemen for many years. She encouraged those affected women and girls to speak out their sufferings.

"Ive always believed that women in countries with high rates of rape, are extremely strong and have interior courage to stop the historic injustice," she said.

Research shows that sexual violence remains the most pervasive and life threatening negative phenomenon in Kenya.

The Kenya Demographic Health Survey Report (2008-2009) said that almost half of women aged 15 to 49 in the country have experienced either physical or sexual violence, or both.

Wangu Kanja, a Kenyan, was carjacked and brutally assaulted, but she resiliently rose above her trauma and has now become a supporter to survivors of sexual violence.

"I use my own experience to help women and children to start the healing process, and at the same time to access to justice, and try to help them become less vulnerable," she said.

However, challenges still exist, she said, referring to lack of funding and resources, corruption in the cases, and the difficulty of changing peoples mind to talk about sexual violence.

The four-day Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict kicked off here on Tuesday and will end on Friday. Nearly 2,000 delegates, including international organizations and civil society representatives from more than 100 countries and regions attended the summit.

Source: ANTARA

 

 

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