World news story

The UK shines a light on sexual violence in conflict

British High Commission in Ottawa to be awash in red light during the Global Summit to end Sexual Violence in Conflict.

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Front of the British High Commission in Ottawa
Front lobby of the British High Commission lit up in red to mark the Global Summit to end Sexual Violence in Conflict.

The British High Commission in Canada will be glowing red tonight (11 June 2014) and will prominently display the hashtag #TimeToAct as a sign of support for the Global Summit to end Sexual Violence in Conflict in London taking place between 10-13 June.

This summit, co-hosted by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie, will bring together representatives of governments, civil society, the military and the judiciary where they will be asked to commit to concrete action that will help remove wartime rape and sexual violence from the world’s arsenal of cruelty.

The #TimeToAct display at the British High Commission is part of an 84 hour campaign of global action to end sexual violence in conflict. This global event relay will see an event hosted somewhere in the world for each of the 84 hours of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict between 10 and 13 June.

In addition to the display in Ottawa, the British Consulate-General in Vancouver will support the Event Relay at 4:00pm on Thursday 12 June at the UBC Robson Square Theatre with the free public screening of “Seeds of Hope”, Fiona Lloyd-Davies’ eye-opening film centred on one woman’s mission to help Congolese rape victims rebuild their lives.

British High Commissioner to Canada Howard Drake said:

“The use of sexual violence in war is one of the great injustices of our lifetime. It is hard to document, let alone investigate. Perpetrators do not discriminate, because it’s not about sex, but violence, terror, power and control. When rape is committed during conflict, it has often been seen as an inevitable part of war, and so it has been allowed to go unpunished. The British High Commission is proud to support the Global Summit to end Sexual Violence in Conflict in London through its events and I hope they help to inspire grassroots action in Canada.”

Through the Global Summit to end Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office wants to see practical steps agreed at the Summit that will drive change on the ground: shattering the culture of impunity that surrounds these crimes; providing more support to victims; shifting the stigma of shame from victims to perpetrators.

For further information

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Trevor Kerr
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Published 11 June 2014