On June 19, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution classifying rape as a weapon of war and a threat to international security. The crucial issue now is whether this resolution will actually contribute to international efforts to end sexual violence committed against women in the context of war.
Rights & Democracy, which has been at the forefront of international efforts to see sexual violence recognized as a weapon of war, believes the Security Council resolution is an important step toward this goal for the following reasons:
Rights & Democracy will be monitoring the implementation of this resolution closely, especially in the context of its ongoing work on sexual violence in Burma and the Rights & Democracy-coordinated Coalition for Women's Human Rights in Conflict Situation's work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Established in 1996, the Coalition works to:
(...) ensure that crimes committed against women in conflict situations are adequately examined and prosecuted. The main focus of the Coalition's work is to promote the adequate prosecution of perpetrators of crimes of gender violence in transitional justice systems based in Africa, in order to create precedents that recognise violence against women in conflict situations and help find ways to obtain justice for women survivors of sexual violence.
Rape: Weapon of war
Resolution S/RES/1820 (2008) Women and peace and security
UN: Finally, a Step Toward Confronting Rape in War
Congolese Women's Campaign Against Sexual Violence in the DRC Gets Underway
Panties for Peace Campaign
Rights & Democracy is a non-partisan, independent Canadian institution created by an Act of Parliament in 1988 to promote democratic development and to advocate for and defend human rights set out in the International Bill of Human Rights. In cooperation with civil society and governments in Canada and abroad, Rights & Democracy initiates and supports programmes to strengthen laws and democratic institutions, principally in developing countries.
Without your support, our action will lose momentum. Without our partnership, your action will have little impact. Help us change the direction of the fight against sexual violence in the DRC.
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