Dr Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (19 June) on the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict:
Rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy or abortion – sexual violence in conflict equates to untold suffering. And what is more, sexual violence poses a threat to peace and security. Sexual violence does not just violate women and men, girls and boys on a massive scale. It destroys families and entire communities. In many conflict and post-conflict situations, sexual violence has become such an everyday phenomenon that it will take generations before people can live without fear of violence. The United Nations Security Council classifies sexual violence as a crime that can be a war crime, a crime against humanity or part of genocide. A call therefore goes out to all member states to prevent and combat conflict-related sexual violence.
In the UN Security Council, we are also working to fight sexual violence in conflict and its root causes. At Germany’s initiative, Resolution 2467 was adopted in April this year which combats impunity for perpetrators and calls for support for survivors.
My particular thanks goes out to the organisations which work tirelessly to stand up for the survivors. Together, we can combat impunity and assist survivors.
The UN General Assembly proclaimed 19 June 2015 as the first International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. The aim was to heighten awareness of the need to end conflict-related sexual violence, to recognise victims and survivors of sexual violence around the world and pay tribute to those who often risk their own lives to put an end to this crime.
The date was selected to remember the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1820 (2008) on 19 June 2008 in which the Security Council condemned sexual violence as a tactic of war and an obstacle to promoting peace.