Sexual violence is not a weapon of war06.03.2019
The Stand Speak Rise up! conference will be held in Luxembourg on March 26th and 27th. This international conference will be dedicated to the fight against sexual violence in fragile environments. The event will bring together key actors from the international community, including the private sector, to broaden the scope and impact of existing efforts.
Organized on the initiative of Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, Stand Speak Rise up! is part of growing international awareness: sexual violence is used as a tactic of war to dehumanize victims and destabilize entire populations and societies.
The United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement have recently announced their intention to intensify their action against these inhumane practices.
“Too often sexual atrocities are accepted as an inevitable by-product of war. This must end. The law is clear: rape and other forms of sexual violence are a violation,” said International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer, speaking on behalf of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. “Today we pledge to do better for the survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. We demand an end to sexual atrocities used as a tactic of war; and we demand a change in attitudes that blame survivors, not the perpetrators.”
“The world is growing ever more aware of the ubiquity of sexual and gender-based violence in and around conflict,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “We must do more to prevent and it, and to hold the perpetrators to account. I am proud that the UN and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are coming together to better address these crimes. We will replace impunity with justice; and indifference with action. Survivors — their experiences, needs and demands — will be at the heart of everything we do.”
The United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement pledged to listen to survivors and victims of these crimes; to enable their voices to be heard; and to support them both directly and through local organizations, particularly women’s organizations, that work in conflict zones.
The UN and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement called on governments, who have the primary responsibility to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, to ensure victims and survivors receive adequate care and justice. Above all, they urged governments to be guided by the voices, needs and demands of survivors and victims, and to put them at the heart of prevention and response.