The British Embassy and citizens of Seoul today joined forces to call for an end to sexual violence in conflict.
Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, are co-chairing the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London. More than 140 nations are participating in the 3-day event.
Over the course of the summit – which ends today – British embassies all over the world have been holding their own events to shine a spotlight on the horrors of rape and sexual violence in war and the need to take action.
British Ambassador to Korea, Scott Wightman, said:
I am pleased to see Korean friends coming together to pledge support for our campaign to end sexual violence in conflict. Foreign Minister Yun has championed the initiative and Vice Minister Cho is leading Korea’s delegation to the Summit. As our Foreign Secretary has said, we must eliminate sexual violence from the world’s arsenal of cruelty. In conflicts all over the world, there are appalling acts of sexual violence against women, men, girls and boys. Now is the time to act to put an end to these crimes and bring those responsible to justice.
The hour of activity in South Korea involved the placement of a temporary wall in front of Seoul City Hall. Members of the public were invited to place a handprint – one of the symbols of the campaign – on the wall to demonstrate their support. Staff from the British Embassy were on hand to distribute flyers with details of the campaign and the Summit.
A young student who participated in the event said:
I’m really pleased I was able to come here today. These crimes should shame the whole world and I wanted to show that I support any and all efforts to stop sexual violence in conflict.