UNICEF welcomes commitments made at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict to stop the rape and abuse of children and women – and calls for more countries to take practical action.
David Bull, Executive Director of UNICEF UK:
“Events in Iraq are a timely reminder of how children’s lives can be shattered overnight in conflict.
We know that in times of such violence children can find themselves in serious danger – including of rape and abuse.
This summit marks a watershed in the global fight against the horrors of sexual violence in conflict.
The Foreign Secretary is to be applauded for his work to focus the world’s attention on this devastating issue, which has for far too long been taboo.
Key international leaders have joined the UK Government to send out a strong message that the rape and abuse of women and children in war is intolerable.
If the success of the summit is now to make a real difference for children’s lives, we need to see concerted practical follow-up action.
More countries must put in place concrete and funded plans to prevent sexual violence, challenge impunity and support children who have survived sexual violence.”
Susan Bissell, Director of Child Protection, UNICEF:
“Millions of children and women around the globe live with the terrifying threat of sexual violence in conflict every day - and this is simply unacceptable.
Today, countries around the world have committed to tackle rape as a weapon of war.
We welcome the introduction of the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict – which will help to end the culture of impunity which allows attackers to get away with their crimes.
However, we cannot stop here as more needs to be done to protect children and translate political will into tangible action.
As the international community works towards a new set of global development goals, they must take forward this momentum and ensure that children around the world are protected from all forms of violence.”
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UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. UNICEF UK raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work and advocates for lasting change for children everywhere. We are a UK registered charity, supported entirely by voluntary donations. We do not receive any money from the UN. For more information, please visit unicef.org.uk