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International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

A women and her child in South Sudan
A woman in South Sudan. Today the EU declared that "every person, who has suffered from sexual violence must have the right to comprehensive services, justice and reparations." Photo: UNICEF/Siegfried Modola

On the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the following statement has been adopted by the European Commission, co-signed by Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management:

"Sexual violence in conflict, as well as all forms of violence and discrimination against women, girls, men and boys is a flagrant and unacceptable violation of human rights. Every person, who has suffered from sexual violence must have the right to comprehensive services, justice and reparations. It is the primary responsibility of all States, to support and assist the victims, as well as to hold perpetrators of sexual violence to account, to prevent and deter these crimes.

As a global leader, the European Union has taken decisive and concrete action to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual violence. We assist at least 700 000 Syrian refugees and internally displaced people in getting access to protection from sexual and gender-based violence through our Trust Fund for Syria. To tackle past abuses against women, we are preparing support to assist transitional justice processes in Kosovo, Colombia and the Philippines. And last year alone, the EU humanitarian aid for the prevention of and response to sexual and gender-based violence reached almost 3.4 million women, men, girls and boys through 84 different projects. 

We work in a comprehensive and coherent manner to eliminate all forms of sexual and gender-based violence against women, men, girls and boys. This will continue to guide the implementation of relevant United Nations' and EU measures, such  as Comprehensive Approach to the EU implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security, our Action Plan for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in EU External Relations for the period 2016-2020, our Guide to Practical Actions at EU level for Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict, our Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015-2019, our Guidelines on Violence against Women and Girls and Combating all Forms of Discrimination against them and our policy on Transitional Justice. 

We have achieved a lot, together. And we won't stop working each and every day until women, men, girls and boys are able to lead a life free from fear and violence anywhere in the world."

Read the full statement here.

On June 21, the European Union – through the European Commission's department for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations - will take over the leadership of the 'Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies'. This will be an opportunity to further fulfil EU commitment to prevent and address sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian crises, and to shape the global response to this pressing issue.

 

Publication date
19/06/2017