Sexual violence in conflict is a weapon of war used around the world. It destroys the lives of men and women, boys and girls. Its effects last long beyond the original act.
Over the last eighteen months the political buy-in and engagement on the need to tackle these injustices has increased exponentially.
Last year in London the G8 Foreign Ministers agreed to make sexual violence in conflict a grave breach of the Geneva Convention, and by September 119 countries, including Tanzania, signed up to a declaration committing to end sexual violence in conflict. That number now stands at 145.
But that political commitment doesn’t mean anything without lasting changes on the ground – increased support for survivors, and an end to impunity.
That is why the British Foreign Secretary William Hague and UNHCR Ambassador Angelina Jolie have joined forces to host a global Summit in London from 11-13th June to bring together governments, civil society, media and members of the public to end sexual violence in conflict.
In the same way that public and political momentum resulted in the world seeing cluster munitions and chemical weapons as beyond the pale, the aim of the Summit was for sexual violence in conflict to be seen in the same light.
The London PSVI Summit was the biggest ever held on the issue. It sought agreement to practical steps from states and the international community to shatter the culture of impunity for war zone rape once and for all.
British High Commission Hosts Parallel Event in Dar es Salaam
In addition to the events taking place in London, our Embassies and High Commissions around the world are hosting events to ensure that the spotlight of public and media attention falls on this issue globally.
In Tanzania the British High Commissioner Dianna Melrose is hosting a talk on issues of sexual violence in Tanzania. The event will be streamed live back to the Summit in London and shared on our social media sites.
Message from UK Foreign Secretary William Hague
Message from Angeline Jolie
With just one week to go to the PSVI Global Summit in London the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is launching an animated film illustrating the issue through the eyes of a child. The film has been produced with Andy Baker, whose previous clients have included ADIDAS, TATE Modern and Wu-Tang Clan. Andy was briefed to keep the animation as simple and child like as possible, in stark contrast to the serious subject matter. What we hope is evident from this animation is that rape and sexual violence are issues that affect children as well as men and women. Click here to watch the animation film. Please share this with others.