Important justice for combating sexual violence in conflict
The oldest and least condemned crime of war
Recalling that the Council has passed 10 resolutions on women, peace and security, five of which focus on preventing and focusing on conflict-related sexual violence, Ms Pett asked what these declarations mean for women in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Myanmar right now. . Or Tigre in northern Ethiopia.
“Each new wave of war brings with it a rising tide of human tragedy, including new waves of the oldest, quietest and least condemned crime of war.” She said.
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UN Photo / Loy Felipe
‘Significant increase’ in cases
Ms Petten presented some horrific cases of rape and other violations contained in her recent report, which she described as “the stimulating effects of emancipation”.
The report covers the conditions and documents of 18 countries 3,293 cases investigated by the UN Committed last year – 800 more than 2020, represents a “significant increase”.
Most of those targeted – 97 percent – were women and girls, while 83 cases related to men and boys, mainly in detention centers. In 12 cases, lesbian, gay, trans, queer or intersex (LGBTQI) individuals were targeted.
Proceedings as a remedy
Ms. Patten emphasized how decisive action is, and is a form of prevention, as it can help shift the culture of impunity from these crimes to a culture of prevention.
“While liberation generalizes violence, justice reinforces global standards. It is time to move from visibility to accountability and make sure today’s documents translate into tomorrow’s proceedings. “ She said.
On the way forward, her report called for targeted measures to strengthen prevention, such as through political and diplomatic alliances to combat sexual violence in ceasefire and peace agreements.
Other recommended measures include the use of early warning signs of sexual violence as well as threat analysis, reduction of small arms flow, gender-responsive justice and security sector reform, as well as amplifying the voices of survivors.
Justice and responsibility
Nobel laureate Nadia Murad was among thousands of women belonging to the Yazidi minority group in northern Iraq who were sexually enslaved and raped by ISIL terrorists in 2014, a group now officially known as Da’esh.
Eight years later, about 2,800 women and children are in the hands of the terrorist group, she said.
“The pursuit of justice is one of the most visible forms of accountability.” She told the council that the ISIL fighter was convicted of “historic genocide” by a German court last year. She wondered if the international community would do more.
Action, not mercy
“As survivors of sexual violence, it is not easy for us to tell our stories. But we do it so that what happens to us does not happen to others. Ms. Murad said, whoever Goodwill Ambassador With the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
“We are called brave, but the courage we really want to see is in the ability of leaders to do something, whether they are heads of state, UN member states or corporate leaders. We need more than moral aggression; We need action. “
Ms Murad called on the council to refer the ISIL case International Criminal Court, Or establishing a hybrid court to hear group crimes. She urged other nations to follow Germany’s example.
Survivors have the strength to rebuild their lives and help their families, communities and countries, she said, so the world can find the strength to take meaningful action to end sexual violence in conflict.
“As survivors, we see you, the leaders in this room, acting with the same courage that we have shown. Survivors do not need mercy; We want justice. ”
Launch ‘Murad Code’
During the discussion, Ms. Murad announced the launch of a new initiative to gather evidence of rape in the war.
The Murad Code is a set of guidelines for journalists, investigators and others to document and investigate conflict-related sexual violence.
The guide was shaped by the response from survivors around the world, she said, and aims to promote greater respect, understanding, transparency and healing.
The Murad Code was developed with funding from the United Kingdom Security Council President for April.
Lord Tariq Ahmed, the UK Minister of State who chaired the meeting, called for the code to become a “gold standard” for non-governmental organizations, government agencies and human rights groups.
“Survivors should not have the option of being placed in a checkpoint. It should be done by everyone, everywhere. He said.
The voice of civil society
Representatives of two civil societies in Syria and Ethiopia also briefed the ambassadors.
Legal investigator Mariana Carcautley said the Syrian war has been on the Security Council’s agenda for more than a decade, but no action has been taken to hold perpetrators accountable for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
She reported that an estimated 150,000 people had been arbitrarily arrested, detained or disappeared since the war began. About 10,000 women are among the Syrians held in detention centers, where sexual violence is used to humiliate, punish and force confessions.
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UN Photo / Loy Felipe
There is no peace without justice
Ms Carcatley, co-founder of the Hukukyat Women’s Advocates Association, outlined the council’s list of actions, including referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court, adopting a resolution on detainees and missing persons, investigating criminals and prosecuting them. Sexual violence, and ensuring women’s rights, is at the heart of the accountability effort.
“When the Syrian people today see the conflict in Ukraine and other parts of the world, we are reminded of this body’s utter failure to stop its own suffering and violence,” she said.
“In my voice, I connect with the millions of Syrian girls and women who are not with me today, and I urge you to take action. There can be no peace without justice. ”
Rape and revenge in Tigre
Ethiopia’s Hilina Berhanu talks about her visits to the Tigre region, where rape is used as a tactic of war or a means of revenge.
She said the violence was racially motivated and was used to humiliate survivors and their communities. Men and boys are also victims, while women with disabilities and people from minority and indigenous communities are particularly at risk.
Ms Burhanu urged the Security Council to focus all efforts on documenting, investigating and preventing sexual violence in the conflict. Ambassadors should also demand that the warring parties allow safe humanitarian access to those in need in Tigre and elsewhere, and that assistance includes comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care.
“Lack of access to psychosocial support services also means that the mental health of survivors is not balanced. Many people have died by suicide,” she said.
Ms Burhanu made a special request to the three African countries on the Council – Gabon, Ghana and Kenya – to work in both the UN and the African Union to move forward on women, peace and security.
These countries were asked to “support the investigation of conflict-related sexual violence in Ethiopia and take a closer look at the current approach, which could somehow derail the current government’s proposed reform agenda.”