[QODLink]
Europe

War zone rape summit begins in London

First global event to focus on ending use of rape as weapon of war and punish those responsible.

Last updated: 10 Jun 2014 18:55
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

A four-day international summit on ending sexual violence in war zones and conflict areas has been launched in London.

The summit, to be attended by more than 100 countries, aims to identify ways to better investigate and prosecute cases of sexual violence and provide support for women and girls.

It is a myth that rape is an inevitable part of conflict. It is a weapon of war aimed at civilians

Angelina Jolie, actress and UN envoy

Opening the summit in London's docklands on Tuesday, actress and UN envoy Angelina Jolie said political will was needed globally to treat sexual violence as a priority and tackle a culture of impunity.

"It is a myth that rape is an inevitable part of conflict. It is a weapon of war aimed at civilians," she said.

"We need to see real commitment and go after the worst perpetrators, to fund proper protection for vulnerable people, and to step in to help the worst-affected countries."

Jolie was speaking alongside British foreign secretary William Hague, who is co-hosting the summit with her. 

Hague and Jolie are scheduled to launch an international protocol on Wednesday to help strengthen prosecutions for rape in conflicts.

Jolie, who has travelled extensively as a UN envoy dealing with refugee crises, said she had met with survivors in Afghanistan, Somalia and other conflict zones who had no place to turn for help.

"They live in refugee camps, on bombed-out streets, in areas where there is no law, no protection, and not even the hope of justice," she said.

On Thursday, Hague will host a meeting focusing on the NIgerian armed group Boko Haram, which will be attended by foreign ministers from Nigeria and neighbouring African countries.

303

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.