Human Rights Watch, a Campaign Advisory Committee Member, issued a report detailing human rights abuses against the Rohingya Muslims of Burma’s Arakan state, including rape and forced displacement.
Central Africa Republic
As the situation in the Central African Republic deteriorates, the UN’s political chief Jeffrey Feltman called on the rebels to control fighters and protect civilians from abuse, including murder, torture, and rape. In neighbouring Chad, concern is rising over the safety and security of refugee camps for people fleeing the upheaval and violence in the Central African Republic.
Nobel Peace Laureate and Campaign Co-Chair Rigoberta Menchú Tum was joined by six fellow Laureates in a public statement against the stalling of the genocide trial of former President Ríos Montt. Confusion surrounds the status of the trial after an announcement on April 23 that it would be suspended and return to the pre-trial phase.
People in India have responded with outrage to the news of another attack, this time involving the abduction and rape of a five-year-old child, with evidence of police inaction and insensitivity. The girl’s father alleges that his attempts to report the girl missing and to press charges were ignored by police. Protesters gathered outside the police headquarters, the offices of the interior minister, and the hospital where the child was receiving treatment to voice their discontent.
UN Special Rapporteur on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura visited Somalia in early April to highlight rape in the country’s camps for internally displaced people. The Somali government, in a groundbreaking move, acknowledged the complicity of its own troops in the issue and resolved to take action. These developments come on the heels of the case of Lul Ali Isman, who was jailed for alleging she was raped by a government soldier, along with the journalist who had interviewed her. Bangura said that a team of experts will arrive in Somalia in July to work with the military and police on the issue.
United Nations Security Council
The Security Council held its annual open debate on Women, Peace and Security on April 17, focusing on a report based on UN Special Rapporteur on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura’s work on sexual violence in conflict. Bangura told members, "We have an opportunity like at no other time in history to break the back of this age-old evil." Members affirmed their commitments to the International Criminal Court and the new Arms Trade Treaty. The report included a so-called “name-and-shame” list of state and rebel groups in Syria, the Central African Republic, Mali, and 16 different groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo.