Tackling sexual and gender based violence remains a top UK priority. Since 2012, we have:
- Carried out over 80 deployments of the UK Team of Experts.
- Supported over 50 projects across the globe with human rights defenders and NGOs.
- Built the capacity of governments, judiciary, police, military and civil society to gather evidence and strengthen prosecutions.
- Launched the first International Protocol and translated it into ten languages, including Albanian, Arabic, Bosnian, Burmese, French, Kurdish, Serbian, Spanish and Swahili.
- Trained 17,000 military and police personnel on sexual violence issues
- Allocated over £30 million to support PSVI work
Examples of UK activity include:
- We have supported NGOs in Bosnia with legal reform, and helped secure a landmark ruling in 2014. A former soldier was sentenced to over eight years in prison and ordered to pay more than Â£10,000 to the woman he raped in 1993. In August, the Cantonal Court in Zenica, granted 'civil war victim' status to a male survivor (supported by Medica Zenica) for the first time.
- We have helped with the mapping of legislation in Iraq to identify barriers to holding perpetrators of sexual violence to account and determining how these can be addressed.
- We are supporting the training of health professionals and human rights defenders in Syria in collecting and preserving evidence of human rights abuses, including sexual violence, for future prosecutions.
- We are supporting a project in Colombia to create a network of women survivors of sexual violence and support professionals across five regions (Putumayo, Nariño, Bolívar, Cesar and Meta). The network provides assistance to survivors seeking justice and promoting their leadership in prevention programs.
In the DRC we are funding an initiative to support survivors of sexual violence. Through this project, more than 200 survivors have come forward to receive counselling, and 75 faith leaders have received training on how to respond to acts of sexual violence.
We have also recently launched a new campaign to address the concept of survivor stigma. The aim of this campaign is to challenge negative social attitudes and barriers that can affect survivors and cause further suffering after the initial act of sexual violence has taken place. The UK will host a conference at Wilton Park in November which will bring together national experts and Government officials to look at what more the international community can do to tackle stigma and develop an "action plan" to influence future programs.
Sandy Domaingue, 0207 008 3477