By Shukri Osman,
Sexual assault, which mostly affects women, is one of the most heinous crimes against humans or animals, leaving the victim with long-term psychological and emotional scars in addition to physical trauma. It happens in both times of peace and times of military war.
The United Nations (UN) organizes the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict on June 19, each year to raise awareness about conflict-related sexual violence. The subject for this year’s event, as well as its history and significance, are discussed below.
The event’s main purpose is to offer assistance to survivors of sexual assault in armed conflict zones. Source: https://peacekeeping.un.org/
‘Prevention as Protection: Enhancing structural and operational prevention of conflict-related sexual violence,’ is the topic of this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. The event is billed as a “Permanent Mission of the Argentine Republic to the United Nations.”
The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children in Armed Conflict, and Argentina’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations are all co-hosting the event.
The 15-member UN Security Council enacted Resolution 1820 on June 19, 2008, condemning sexual assault and rape during wartime as crimes against humanity and war crimes, which are comparable with genocide. The day has been designated as the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict.
International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict’s main purpose is to aid survivors of sexual assault living in the midst of humanitarian crises.
The event participants also stand in solidarity with those assisting the victims, ensuring that they are recognized for their noble contribution, especially at a time when several crises, such as the Covid-19 outbreak and insufficient resources, connect with conflict violence.
This includes increasing support for victims and displaced women, girls and boys who are vulnerable to trafficking and sexual exploitation, and those from marginalized, remote and rural areas where justice and protection systems are weak.
The current Ukraine-Russia war has demonstrated how aggressors exploit crisis conditions to sexually abuse women and children.
According to the UN website program, a new Framework for the Prevention of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence was established after talks with the 21 UN Action Network organisations that operate year-round to decrease or end conflict-related sexual violence. During this year’s event, the framework will be unveiled.