Adequate health care is important to support survivors of sexual violence

In his message during the day Secretary General António Guterres reiterated that the protection of health care facilities is a “fundamental tenet” of international humanitarian law, which governs the conduct of war.

“But attacks on hospitals and health care facilities and targeting of medical staff, can severely limit access to medical care and psychosocial support for survivorshe say.

He also emphasized the long-term impact on women and girls as well as men and boys.

“Women and girls who experience sexual violence may become pregnant as a result of rape and need immediate sexual and reproductive health care. Men and boys may be at greater risk of isolation without access to appropriate care.”

The world cannot be silent

The far-reaching impact of attacks on the healthcare sector is as worrying as their frequency.

For example, in Sudan67% of medical facilities in areas affected by fighting between rival armies that broke out last April are closed and Haitisix out of ten hospitals are barely functioning due to the recent escalation of violence in the capital Port-Au-Prince.

Such attacks deprive survivors of sexual violence of access to critical medical care and services that reduce the risk of unwanted or unplanned pregnancies. sexually transmitted infectionsinclude HIV.

Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict emphasized that such attacks are unacceptable violations of international law and should never deny human rights. Seek medical assistance, especially in times of crisis.

The world cannot be silent while hospitals, which should have been safe havens, turned into scenes of death, destruction and despair… ensuring the inviolability of health care facilities, even in the war, is paramount to protecting the basic human rights of survivors of sexual violence,” she said. speak.

Include survivors in solutions

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) highlights the devastating impact of sexual violence, especially in conflicts, noted that the voices of women and girls survivors “remain marginalized” in decisions on peace and security or humanitarian assistance, isolating them from solutions.

“Lifesaving services for victims of gender-based violence that address the needs, rights and wishes of survivors remain inadequate in countries in conflict,” the agency said. private message.

“Survivors, as well as women and girls in general, must participate as leaders of the humanitarian response, as well as they are best positioned to create solutions to the challenges they faceUNFPA added, calling for more funding for protection and assistance programs.

A war crime that must be punished

The sexual and reproductive health agency said sexual violence in conflicts is a war crime and perpetrators must be held accountable. Few cases of conflict-related sexual violence are reported and even fewer are investigated or prosecuted.

Sexual violence destroys lives and violates human rights. It is not ‘normalized’ as something that was destined to happen, something that could not be prevented,” Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA, speak.

“We must work together to end this horror, not let it repeat itself endlessly.”

Survivors of sexual violence in the DRC are healing with the help of UNFPA frontline workers.

Survivors of sexual violence in the DRC are healing with the help of UNFPA frontline workers.

Solidarity with survivors

Civilians, especially vulnerable groups, are under increasing threat of sexual violence and other abuses globally amid increasing wars and crises that have forced children to A record 117 million people were forced to flee their homes and communities.

Attacks on civilian infrastructure, such as health care facilities, and their use for military purposes have continued to deprive survivors of vital services, raising the stakes. challenges for safe reporting and response.

“Hospitals and other health care facilities must be places that provide safety and healing for all those injured in conflict, including survivors of violence,” Mr. Guterres emphasized. sex”.

“On the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, let us pledge to eliminate this scourge, stand in solidarity with survivors and reaffirm our commitment to protecting hospitals and health care facilities in conflict.”

International Day

United Nations General Assembly 2015 declare June 19 is the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict in June 2015.

This day is commemorated annually to raise awareness of the need to end conflict-related sexual violence, honor victims and survivors, and pay tribute to those who have stood up to fight. fight to eliminate these crimes.

This date also marks the 2008 adoption of the Security Council 1820 resolutioncondemning sexual violence as a tactic of war and an obstacle to peace.

Anniversary event

A number of events have been organized to mark this day.

In New York, a special event was organized by the office of the United Nations Special Envoy for Children and Armed Conflict and Sexual Violence in Conflict, together with the Permanent Mission of Argentina to United Nations.

The discussion focuses on attacks against healthcare in conflict-affected areaswith countries reiterating their commitment to addressing conflict-related sexual violence and supporting survivors through a dedicated trust fund.

ONE microsite is also produced, including key messages and key resources, along with a virtual exhibition on a survivor’s journey.

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