RCOG statement on Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

Foreign Secretary William Hague will co-chair the summit with Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Representatives of governments, civil society, the military and the judiciary will take part.

The summit aims to identify specific actions by the international community in four areas where greater progress is necessary. These four areas are:

1. To improve investigations & documentation of sexual violence in conflict

2. To provide greater support and assistance and reparation for survivors, including child survivors, of sexual violence

3. To ensure sexual and gender based violence responses and the promotion of gender equality are fully integrated in all peace and security efforts, including security and justice sector reform

4. To improve international strategic co-ordination

All governments that have endorsed the UN Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict will be invited, which calls on all countries to end the use of rape as a weapon of war.

The new International Protocol on the Investigation and Documentation of Sexual Violence in Conflict will also be launched at the Summit, which aims to improve the chances of someone being successfully prosecuted, and protect victims and survivors from further trauma.

Dr David Richmond, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) welcomes this Summit and said:

“The RCOG welcomes this much needed emphasis on sexual violence against women and girls, which is a cruel and inhumane practice. This event will be the biggest global meeting ever convened on the topic and will provide a platform for world leaders to address the issues.

“Any kind of violence against women and girls is unacceptable and rape is one aspect of this, often used in times of conflict as a weapon of power and control. For too long it has been accepted as a consequence of war, but, this can’t continue and as a profession, we have a duty to speak out on behalf of women.

“This kind of violence has far reaching health consequences for women and girls such as teenage pregnancy, fistula, preterm birth, HIV and long term psychological trauma.

“We all need to stand up against this barbaric violence and champion women’s human rights and it is vital that these rights are embedded into women’s health, such as the right to life, privacy, confidentiality, autonomy, non-discrimination, and freedom from torture and degrading treatment.”


Tuesday 10 June 2014

Read the latest blog entry by Dr David Richmond on championing women’s human rights here.