On October 10 – 11, 2012, the Cambodian Defenders Project, co-convened the Asia-Pacific Regional Women’s Hearing on Gender-Based Violence in Conflict in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The hearing featured courageous testimony from survivors of rape and gender violence from Cambodia, Nepal, Bangladesh and Timor Leste and contributions from international experts. A panel of experts was chosen to hear these testimonies, report on their findings and provide recommendations.
The panelists affirmed that all parties to the conflict can be the perpetrators of rape and gender violence and the acknowledgement that rape was used as part of a larger strategy designed to destroy not only the dignity of the survivors, but also the cohesion of the community. The panelists also highlighted the culture of impunity in the countries. The women survivors testified that, to the best of their knowledge, none of the perpetrators had been held accountable for their crimes.
This week marks the 21stAssociation of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, also being hosted in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Despite the history of rape and gender violence in the region, in countries such as Cambodia, Burma, the Philippines and Vietnam, sexual violence and ending impunity is not on the agenda for the summit.
For more information, download the Panel Statement for the Asia-Pacific Regional Women’s Hearing 2012 (PDF).
Women speak out over Khmer Rouge sexual violence, AFP, 13 November 2012.
Timor-Leste: Victims of killings, rape and torture deserve justice, Amnesty International, 12 November 2012.
UN Decries Impunity for Nepal civil war crimes, AFP, 8 October 2012.
Sexual Violence Recounted During KR Regime, The Cambodia Daily, 11 October 2012.