FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — May 15, 2017
[NEW YORK, NY] - Today, the UN Security Council holds its Open Debate on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence under Uruguay’s presidency. In the concept note, Uruguay reflected on the findings of the new UN Secretary-General’s report on how rape is used as a weapon of terrorism and genocide. They cited the example of the crimes Daesh is committing against ethnic minorities such as the Yazidi in North Iraq and Syria, including using rape as a non-killing crime of genocide. Yet, to date, no trial has been held to prosecute perpetrators of this ongoing genocide.
Briefing the Council, on behalf of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security which the Global Justice Center is a member of, is Mina Jaf, herself a refugee and founder of the Women’s Refugee Route. In her statement, Ms. Jaf stressed that services for women and girls fleeing conflict are still grossly insufficient “despite the fact that international humanitarian law says that donor aid be delivered in a non-discriminatory manner that includes access to sexual and reproductive health care, such as abortions.”
Janet Benshoof, President of the Global Justice Center says; “Too often, we see governments going out of their way to deny women and girls their rights under international law treaties, including international refugee law. Countries need to stop paying lip service when responding to conflict-related sexual violence but uphold women and girls’ absolute rights under international humanitarian law.”
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