The United Nations recently launched the first annual report documenting sexual violence in conflict around the globe. In the report the UN names some of the military forces and armed groups that are suspected to be the worst offenders. Some of the groups listed are the Lord's Resistance Army (the Central African Republic and South Sudan), armed rebel groups and former armed forces in Côte d’Ivoire, and the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In addition, the report focuses on post-conflict situations, giving examples of how sexual violence has hindered peacebuilding and threatened security. Examples of such situations include: Nepal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Timor-Leste, Chad, CAR, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The report also highlights the need to focus on prevention and not just addressing sexual violence after it has occurred. It outlines UN initiatives which seek to identify early warning signs and to make sure that peace agreements address sexual violence to prevent future violations.
In an interview with the UN News Centre the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Margot Wallström said: “The terms of the debate have shifted from reacting to sexual violence like any other tragedy, to preventing it like any other threat. Instead of talking about women’s wartime suffering – year after year after year – protection mechanisms have been established. Instead of seeing the same few women – in meeting after meeting – we are building a broad coalition.”
The Security Council has highlighted the importance of prevention, early warning, and effective response to sexual violence as a weapon of war. The Council has also stressed the importance for all parties to conflict to comply with their obligations under international law. The Council also put focus on women's important role in conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
Access the report here: http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2012/33