Sexual Violence in Conflict: A War Crime. Session 2015-16

Authored by: Select Committee on Sexual Violence in Conflict, House of Lords

Categories: Human Rights
Sub-Categories: Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Region: No Region
Year: 2016
Citation: Sexual Violence in Conflict: A War Crime. Report of Session 2015-16. London, UK: Select Committee on Sexual Violence in Conflict, House of Lords, 2016.

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Executive Summary

For far too long sexual violence has been regarded as just one of those things that occurs when there is conflict. It is not; it is a war crime, which must not, under any circumstances, be overlooked or condoned. Like genocide, slavery, torture and piracy, it must be eradicated. The long-term aim of the UK Government, indeed of the whole international community, should be to rid the world of this scourge.

Sexual violence in conflict ruins lives, destroys families, breaks up communities
and prevents societies from achieving sustainable peace. Anyone who doubts
the appalling nature of these crimes need only read the stories told to us by
survivors. These people spoke of the injuries they had suffered and the deaths
they had witnessed. They told us about the stigma that still shrouds sexual
violence in conflict, and the damage inflicted on individuals and subsequent
generations. However, they also said that action by the Government can support
survivors and help vanquish stigma, and they shared with us their hope that the
world would hear their stories and act to prevent further abuses.