sexual violence wartime

Sexual violence during wartime: A crime against humanity. A global issue.

On Mar. 26, 2014, the GPG hosted a panel to discuss the prevention of sexual violence during wartime. The panel comprised five experts including David Anderson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development; Furio De Angelis, Representative in Canada of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; Julia Nolan, Head of the Foreign Policy Team at the British High Commission in Canada; Dr. Hilmi Zawati, President of the International Legal Advocacy Forum; and Andras Vamos-Goldman, Executive Director of Justice Rapid Response.

Issues such as the culture of impunity, the problems to collect proofs and access justice as well as the empowerment of women were raised during the discussion. The panel also highlighted how the international community is working together to tackle sexual violence.

 

“… Cultures of silence for the victims and impunity of the perpetrators must be challenged.”
– Furio De Angelis, Representative in Canada of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

 

Since the 1990s, the global community realizes that sexual violence is not a by-product of wars but rather strategic tools to intimidate and destroy the identities of communities.”
– Furio De Angelis, Representative in Canada of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

 

It is crucial that first responders to regions where sex crimes are perpetrated during conflicts are trained to collect evidence and information, as well as take care of the survivors…”
– Julia Nolan, Head of the Foreign Policy Team at the British High Commission in Canada.

Cornerstones of the Justice Rapid Response include collecting and identifying evidence, and training for rosters of investigators who are readily deployable … Canada is very active in Justice Rapid Response and helps get investigation teams on the ground in conflict regions.”
– Andras Vamos-Goldman, Executive Director of Justice Rapid Response.

 

Canada had put on trial both Désiré Munyaneza and Jacques Mungwarere for crimes both men committed in Rwanda in 1994; this sends a strong message that we will not let perpetrators hide in our nation.”
– Dr. Hilmi Zawati, President of the International Legal Advocacy Forum