19 June marks the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. Since the launch of our campaign to Prevent Sexual Violence in Conflict in 2012, the UK has raised awareness of the horror and scale of sexual violence around the world as well as the need for accountability; for victim support; and for action to tackle stigma. The UK has actively supported work in all these areas and we know our assistance has had a real impact. We have also funded ground-breaking research to improve the global understanding of sexual violence-related issues; to inform policy-making; and to provide guidance to those working in the field.
Lord Ahmad, as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, co-hosted an event in New York with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, to highlight the plight and rights of children born of war. Together, they launched UK-funded research by the London School of Economics Centre for Women, Peace and Security which shines a light on an issue which does not receive enough attention, and which challenges policy makers to improve our response and support to these survivors.
The voices of survivors are a central theme for our preparations ahead of the UK-hosted international meeting in November 2019, 5 years on from the 2014 Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. This meeting will seek real commitments from governments and international organisations to secure justice for survivors and end impunity; advance accountability mechanisms; tackle stigma, and develop new ways to prevent and address sexual violence.
In 2014, the UK told the world that it was “Time to Act”. In 2019, we will show the world that we have acted, but are determined to do more.
Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict: Written Ministerial Statement