News / Africa

UN Strengthens Fight Against Wartime Rape

A victim of a mass rape campaign in the town of Fizi, Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011 in Fizi, Congo. She was among nearly 50 women who were raped by Congolese soldiers on January 1, 2011.
A victim of a mass rape campaign in the town of Fizi, Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011 in Fizi, Congo. She was among nearly 50 women who were raped by Congolese soldiers on January 1, 2011.
Margaret Besheer
The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution strengthening ways to fight the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

U.N. agencies estimate more than 40,000 women were raped during Liberia’s civil war from 1989-2003, as many as 60,000 in the former Yugoslavia during the early 1990s, and at least 200,000 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1998.

Syria has now been added to this sad list, with reports of women and girls, and some boys, being sexually violated as a result of that country’s on-going conflict.

Those are just a few examples.

After a war ends, the effects of sexual violence continue in the form of pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, discrimination and ostracizing of victims.

The resolution adopted Monday by the U.N. Security Council aims to strengthen mechanisms across the U.N. system that can help tackle rape in war, such as deploying gender advisors with peacekeeping and political missions and urging sanctions against perpetrators of sexual violence where appropriate.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who chaired the meeting, called for an end to sexual violence, saying it is as much a weapon of war as tanks and bullets, intended to tear apart communities and achieve military objectives.

“We need action on all fronts, from the Security Council and the United Nations as a whole, and from governments in conflict-affected countries," Hague said. "We need to begin to demolish impunity, to create a new culture of deterrence, and at the same time focus on long-term care and support for survivors.”

Perpetrators often go unpunished and are able to rebuild their lives, but their victims have difficulty moving forward, according to Zainab Bangura, the U.N. point-person on sexual violence in conflict.

“In their day-to-day lives, survivors of sexual violence are forced to face the men who raped them; in banks, in supermarkets and at the schools of their children," Bangura said, "children whose inheritance is the stigma of sexual violence, many of whom are children born of rape.”

She said the international community must raise the cost and consequences for the perpetrators of these crimes.
Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, speaks before a U.N. Security Council meeting on sexual violence in conflict, June 24, 2013, at UN headquarters in New York.Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, speaks before a U.N. Security Council meeting on sexual violence in conflict, June 24, 2013, at UN headquarters in New York.
x
Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, speaks before a U.N. Security Council meeting on sexual violence in conflict, June 24, 2013, at UN headquarters in New York.
Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, speaks before a U.N. Security Council meeting on sexual violence in conflict, June 24, 2013, at UN headquarters in New York.
Also addressing the council meeting was American actress and humanitarian activist Angelina Jolie, who is a U.N. Special Envoy for Refugees.

She appealed to the Security Council to be united in stopping such atrocities.

“Rape as a weapon of war is an assault on security," Jolie said. "And a world in which these crimes happen is one in which there is not, and never will be, peace.”

She noted that all countries are affected by some form of sexual violence, whether it is domestic abuse or female genital mutilation, and therefore all countries have a responsibility to act to prevent it.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid