The Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Baroness Anelay, was invited to the Holy See to speak to Catholic religious men and women about the impact of sexual violence in conflict.
The Minister talked about the UK’s role in tackling sexual violence in conflict, including supporting the collection and documentation of evidence. Baroness Anelay also spoke about how faith groups can challenge the stigmatisation of survivors that leave them ostracised from their families and communities, care for the vulnerable and advocate on their behalf for justice and support.
During the visit Baroness Anelay also met Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Holy See Secretary for Relations with States, to discuss international issues of mutual interest. She also discussed the future of the international development agenda with Michel Roy, the Secretary-General of Caritas Internationalis.
Baroness Anelay said:
I am delighted to be in the Holy See and to meet so many people who dedicate their lives to helping others. I spoke today to a number of Catholic religious men and women from religious congregations who are frequently the only ones on the ground during and long after conflicts have ended. Their sheer determination and commitment is commendable.
Religious communities have an extremely important role to play in ending sexual violence in conflict. One of the UK’s priorities for 2016 is to address the stigmatisation of survivors that leave them ostracised from their families and communities. With the help of faith communities we can do just that.
During my visit I also had productive conversations with various institutions of the Holy See about the World Humanitarian Summit which will take place later this month.