UN Chief Urges Prevention on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

Added On April 25, 2019

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has stressed the need to strengthen justice and accountability for conflict-related violent sexual offences.
Speaking at a Security Council high-level debate on the issue, the UN chief outlined a series of recommendations that were intended to "provide a comprehensive approach to conflict-related sexual violence".
Guterres said sexual violence continues to be a horrific feature of conflicts around the world.
"We must recognize that sexual violence in conflict largely affects women and girls because it is closely linked to broader issues of gender inequality and discrimination. Prevention must therefore be based on promoting women's rights and gender equality in all areas, before, during and after conflict. This must include women's full and effective participation in political, economic and social life and ensuring accessible and responsive justice and security institutions."
Guterres said strengthening prevention in the context of larger peacemaking efforts is also critical.
"My recommendations also stress the need to strengthen justice and accountability. Despite a handful of high-profile convictions, there is widespread impunity for sexual violence in conflict. Most of these crimes are never reported, investigated and much less prosecuted."
The UN chief's recommendations also include increasing support to national authorities as they reform laws, improve their capacity to investigate and prosecute these crimes, and protect survivors who testify from stigma and fear of reprisal.
He also emphasized the need for greater support for survivors and their families, including healthcare, reparations and other assistance.