Press release

Lord Ahmad announces funding boost for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict

Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon has announced £500,000 of additional UK aid support for victims of sexual violence across the world.

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  • £500,000 of additional UK aid support for victims of sexual violence globally
  • the new Murad Code on sexual violence, named after Yazidi Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad, will set out the expected standards of behaviour when gathering evidence of sexual violence for courts in conflict situations
  • new global guidelines on the reporting of sexual violence in conflict

The Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon has announced £500,000 of additional UK aid support for victims of sexual violence across the world.

The extra support will be used to boost the number of expert deployments by the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) Team of Experts, supporting efforts in places such as Syria, Burma and Nigeria. The Team of Experts support governments, judiciary, police, military and non-government organsations (NGOs), on evidence gathering and training.

Ahead of the PSVI Film Festival on 23 to 24 November, Lord Ahmad also called on countries to sign up to the new Murad Code on sexual violence. Named after Yazidi Nobel Peace Prize laureate and campaigner Nadia Murad, the Code will set out the expected standards of behaviour from government bodies, NGOs and aid workers when gathering evidence of sexual violence for courts in conflict situations.

The Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon said:

Today’s funding boost means that we can quickly deploy greater numbers of experts to support conflict affected countries.

The new Murad Code sets out the expected standards of behaviour from government bodies, NGOs and aid workers who are gathering evidence from survivors of sexual violence in conflict situations. We are making it crystal clear that impunity will not be allowed to run riot, and we are embedding accountability in our work.

Our fight against stigma and impunity continues to be a priority, because it is not just the right thing to do, but vital to reducing conflict and improving global security and stability.

Nobel Prize winner and human rights activist, Nadia Murad said:

Hundreds of Yazidi survivors have testified, the process of telling their stories is traumatizing, certain procedures must be followed to make sure we are not harming their well-being. Despite breaking taboos and speaking about their horrific sexual violence experiences, justice has not been delivered.

The Murad Code is a step in the right direction, we encourage the international community to adopt it and support the fight for justice.

During humanitarian emergencies, including conflict, violence against women and girls (VAWG) can increase in both frequency and severity. While data is limited, existing evidence indicates that approximately one in five displaced or refugee women are subjected to sexual violence. Survivors of sexual violence in conflict are often victimised by media reporting which can increase stigma. The Minister called on the international community to get behind new global guidelines on the reporting of sexual violence in conflict.

In a meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Friday 23 November, Lord Ahmad, joined by United Nations Special Representative Pramila Patten, will seek further commitments from partners to prevent and respond to conflict related sexual violence. Lord Ahmad also hosted 40 young filmmakers from conflict-affected and Commonwealth countries at Lancaster House to discuss how they could use their work to stamp out stigma.

Background

  • this latest announcement comes ahead of the international 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Based Violence Campaign which starts on Sunday (25 November)
  • the Department for International Development (DFID) is recognised as a global leader in tackling VAWG in all its forms, including domestic violence, sexual violence, sexual harassment, child, early and forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), and preventing sexual violence in conflict. This UK leadership has meant using the full range of the Britain’s influence to defend women’s and girls’ rights wherever they are threatened
  • the ‘Fighting Stigma through Film’ festival will take place on the 23-24 November, at the British Film Institute (BFI) in London. The event is free to attend, register for tickets here

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Published 23 November 2018