Press release

UK and Canada respond to sexual violence by ISIL in Iraq

UK and Canada announce joint mission to Iraq to support survivors of sexual violence by ISIL.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

William Hague

There continue to be reports from Iraq of sexual violence and slavery being inflicted on women and children by ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).

Later this month the UK and Canada will deploy gender violence and programming experts on a joint mission to Iraq where they will work with the government and local civil society to identify ways to support survivors of these terrible crimes. The team will also discuss with local experts ways in which our 2 countries can work with them, including to identify new projects and support for existing efforts.

The UK and Canada are committed to protecting human rights of women and girls. Our countries work closely on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, and continue to promote international action on the issue of sexual violence in conflict.

The Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, William Hague said:

I am pleased that today we are announcing a joint UK-Canada mission to Iraq to look at how we can support the Iraqi government, civil society, and most importantly the survivors of the abhorrent sexual violence currently being perpetrated by ISIL, in their work to prevent and respond to these crimes.

This mission will help us to understand the situation on the ground for women and children and how and where we can provide effective support, either directly or through others. We have a duty to protect those who are most vulnerable in society and we cannot allow the perpetrators of these crimes to act with impunity.

Published 6 October 2014