G8 Ministers: Walk Your Talk on Sexual Violence

Ottawa—April 15, 2013

The world’s only coalition of civil society organizations dedicated to ending rape in conflict is calling upon G8 Ministers to immediately start implementing commitments made during last week’s summit to end sexual violence in conflict. The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict is urging other nations to show similar leadership as the G8 countries.

During a meeting in London on April 11, Foreign Ministers of the eight wealthiest nations in the world signed a declaration outlining key commitments for action to prevent gender violence, provide justice mechanisms and health services to survivors, and prosecute perpetrators.  The G8 announcement mirrors calls made by the United Nations Security Council regarding national obligations to end sexual violence in war. If implemented, the commitments would help to provide survivors of rape with much needed services by assisting conflict-impacted countries in establishing infrastructures for justice and protection.

The International Campaign to Stop & Gender Violence in Conflict is lauding a commitment from G8 leaders to include women in the peace process and to hold perpetrators responsible for their crimes, saying it signals a strong shift to end impunity. In countries such as Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mali, women are woefully underrepresented in ongoing peace negotiations, despite the high impact of war on women. These negotiations often include demands by soldiers and rebels—those who have committed serious human rights violations—for amnesty as a condition of peace. 

"Up to this point the Colombian peace process has shut out women, marginalizing survivors of sexual violence who continue to demand justice for the sexual violence soldiers and rebels have subjected us to,” said Patricia Guerrero, Founder of Liga de Mujeres Desplazadas in Colombia and an Advisory Committee member of the Campaign. “We have waited for this leadership from the international community for decades and we—the grassroots activists—will be watching to ensure the G8 states meet their commitments so that lasting change can happen on the ground.”

Last week’s G8 declaration reaffirmed that sexual violence in armed conflict is a “grave breach” of the Geneva Convention. Among the number of concrete measures, Foreign Ministers committed to:

  • development of an International Protocol on the Investigation and Documentation on sexual violence in conflict;
  • supporting conflict-affected countries to protect human rights defenders;
  • supporting the deployment of international experts to assist with investigations and increase perpetrators being brought to justice;
  • regular reviews of National Action Plans on Security Resolution 1325 and providing support to conflict countries in their development of a plan;
  • participation of women in any peace negotiation supported by a G8 member;
  • exclusion of crime of sexual violence in armed conflict from amnesty provisions.

The Ministers announced $35.5 million of funding—with major contributions from the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada. Foreign Ministers also stated they would review progress on the issue on an ongoing basis, and Germany pledged a review of the commitments when it takes up presidency of the G8 in two years.

The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict, which launched last year with pledges from over 700 organizations and thousands of individuals globally, has called for urgent political leadership to end gender violence in conflict.

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Media contact:
Zuzia Danielski
Acting Coordinator
The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict
zdanielski@stoprapeinconflict.org
+1 613 569 8400 ext. 112

www.stoprapeinconflict.org

The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict is led by the Nobel Peace Laureates of the Nobel Women’s Initiative and an Advisory Committee comprised of 25 organizations working at the international, regional, and community levels to stop rape, together with more than 700 member organizations around the world. The Campaign demands urgent and bold political leadership to prevent rape in conflict, to protect civilians and rape survivors, and calls for justice for all—including effective prosecution of those responsible.

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The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict
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