News / Europe

Kerry Joins Call to End Sexual Violence

(L-R) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague and actress and campaigner Angelina Jolie pose at a summit to end sexual violence in conflict, at the Excel center in London, June 13, 2014.
(L-R) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague and actress and campaigner Angelina Jolie pose at a summit to end sexual violence in conflict, at the Excel center in London, June 13, 2014.
VOA News
Calling for an unblushing, unwavering campaign to confront and eradicate sexual violence, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told an international audience that America and the global community "will not tolerate rape as a tactic of war and intimidation."
 
Kerry gave the closing speech Friday in London at a global summit aimed at halting sexual violence as a tool of war. The four-day summit brought together hundreds of experts, survivors, lawmakers, activists and faith leaders, culminating with a protocol signed by at least 113 countries.
 
The international protocol sets standards for documenting and investigating sexual assaults in conflict zones, improving the prospects for criminal convictions. The conference, according to a British government website, also urged individual governments to strengthen and enforce domestic laws against sexual violence and to train military and peacekeepers to protect people.  
 
"When people ask whether or not we could actually outlaw sexual violence in warfare, let me tell you the answer is a resounding yes, yes we can achieve this goal,'' Kerry said.
 
The summit, striving to change attitudes that sexual violence is an acceptable part of war, also encouraged more support for victims of sexual assault and for individuals and organizations that work on their behalf. The United Kingdom’s government pledged more than £140 million, or $237 million, to that cause.
 

Not just a women's issue

Actress Angelina Jolie, a United Nations special envoy and conference co-host with British Foreign Minister William Hague, said at a concluding news conference with Hague and Kerry that she found it "heartening to see so many male leaders … here to confront taboos."
 
Sexual violence, she said, "is not just a women’s issue, not just a humanitarian issue."
 
Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict
 
  • Includes 113 countries and more than 100 organizations
  • Aims to launch a new protocol to document and investigate sexual violence in conflict zones to improve conviction rates
  • Calls for soldiers and peacekeepers to be trained in preventing sexual violence
  • Calls for countries to provide funds for support for survivors of sexual violence
  • Aims to debunk attitude that rape in war is inevitable or a lesser crime
     
Source: British Government
 
"We've tolerated and we still do tolerate violence and discrimination against women in many forms in all quarters of the world and women still do not occupy their rightful place in the economics and diplomacy and government of many nations," Hague said during the conference.

"I'm saddened that women's groups still have to ask to be included at the negotiating table as if it were a concession to be granted, or a right to be begrudgingly accorded when in fact it is the only route to better decisions, and to stronger and safer societies," he said.
 
The summit brought testimony from victims of sexual violence and medical and other experts who treat it. The gathering drew people from the front lines, as well as celebrities such actor Brad Pitt, Jolie’s partner. Fashion designer Stella McCarthy announced the launch of “Draw Me to Safety,” an art project for young victims of violence. It's affiliated with the London-based nonprofit War Child.   
 
Jolie became active in humanitarian issues in 2001 as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, visiting Sierra Leone. An estimated 60,000 women had been raped during its civil war from 1991 to 2002.
 
Hague got involved in Jolie's campaign against sexual violence in war zones, Reuters reported, after viewing “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” her 2011 directorial debut. It was set during the 1992-95 Bosnian war in which more than 100,000 people were killed and an estimated 20,000 women believed raped.

Males victimized, too

The summit also considered the impact of sexual violence on men and boys, the French news agency AFP reported. Hague and Jolie have visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Bosnia to raise awareness of the issue.
 
Asked during the news conference whether she might do more artistic work on the summit’s themes, Jolie said she would continue to meet with survivors and bring attention to sexual violence "in any way as an artist."
 
Kerry, at the news conference, denounced rape "as a tactic of oppression and intimidation."
 
"Ending the cycle of violence is not just a personal priority," said Kerry, who has two daughters, but it also is a priority of the United States and its allies.
 
"Thousands of years after rape was written into the lexicon of warfare," he said, "we know that it is time to write it out and to banish sexual violence to the dark ages and the history books where it belongs."

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters and AFP news services.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Daz from: NZ
June 16, 2014 1:03 AM
Ah, rape should never be tolerated no matter what the circumstances.

This is agenda driven. It's another way of pointing out how "evil" those brown people are and it's another excuse to keep funding and maintaining this foreign policy that benefits a few.

Think about it, the "war on terror" is a war on a tactic of war - this is the exact same thing "war on rape"... when will that war be won? When will the war on terror ever be won? NEVER it's endless, it's a war waged on a tactic of war... insanity.

This is just opinion changing drivel, giving stupid people another reason to other countries, it insinuates that they are just a bunch of rapists... "At least we don't rape people during war, that's just wrong"... War is hell, you can't nit pick what tactics another country will impose on you.

Does this mean that in future we will have the US using rape as a reason to intervene in other countries affairs?... wouldn't put it passed em.


by: Steve from: Berkeley California
June 13, 2014 2:29 PM
Blow dried hair aside Mr. Kerry is two faced like Janus. How about telling us we won't tolerate sexual crimes here in the US where they are rampant. Under the guise of free speech every manner of sexual bestiality has a pedestal and A rapist who destroy's someone's life gets a short jail sentences if caught and convicted. It's easy to go abroad and criticize other countries but much harder to fix your own.


by: ro
June 13, 2014 2:29 PM
mr. kerry. "rape will not be tolerated, stop. period. ever."

no "as." it is not acceptable ever.


by: Monika Wahi from: Boston, MA
June 13, 2014 2:19 PM
I agree, but charity starts at home. The high rate of rape of US Army soldiers and veterans who are female by male ones is disgusting. We need to fix that NOW, we can, and we should!


by: Pat from: San Diego
June 13, 2014 2:19 PM
Do you suppose he will make a hashtag to scare the bad guys?


by: Pasquinel from: Canada
June 13, 2014 2:18 PM
How do you spell morons?....Obama administration. Congrats USA you finally picked someone worse than Carter. Like you think the is civilized? Just have a good look at your own country that rapes and kills the helpless. You kicked God out and quess who took over...it's the other one you don't believe in aka devil. Voa probably won't print this as it hits too close to home. but give it some thought.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid