The United Nations has named June 19 as the “International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict” in a bid to end abuses against women and girls in conflict zones worldwide.
The UN General Assembly on Friday approved the resolution, co-sponsored by 113 countries, and the day will be commemorated annually to raise awareness of the need to fight sexual violence against women and girls.
“This international day is a victory for all the survivors who stay too often silent,” said Leila Zerrougui, the UN special representative for children and armed conflict.
“Now on the 19th of June every year, we will have a new opportunity to remind everyone about their engagement to end this scourge and to hold the perpetrators accountable,” Zerrougui stressed, adding that “This is a day for all of us.”
The resolution was approved by consensus in the UN General Assembly while there are widespread reports about brutal acts against women in regions controlled by ISIL, Boko Haram and other extremist groups in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and other parts of world.
“Rape as a weapon of war must be stopped,” Sam Kutesa, president of the UN General Assembly said on Friday, adding that “We should ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes and their superiors who condone their actions are held accountable and that victims get justice.”
Kutesa stressed that “Rape and other forms of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict constitute grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.”
“Our challenge now is to translate advocacy and political will into concrete actions and protection on the ground,” said UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura.
The UN Security Council on June 19, 2008, approved resolution 1820 and for the first time recognized that sexual violence, especially against women and girls, is a war tactic and a threat to international peace and security.
By Press TV