A £1million pledge by the UK Government to help the UN tackle sexual violence in conflict must focus on helping child survivors to rebuild their lives, aid agency World Vision said today.
Foreign Secretary William Hague announced the funding to support the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.
Erica Hall, Senior Child Rights Advisor for World Vision UK, said: “Rape has long been used as a weapon of war on children and countless young lives have been devastated forever.
“The Foreign Secretary is right to focus on bringing perpetrators to justice. But we must also be there to empower victims to rebuild their lives – particularly children, who are affected long after conflict has ended.
“We must ensure their voices are heard, and that the funding promised today is spent wisely to that end.”
World Vision has praised Mr Hague’s promise to use the UK’s Presidency of the G8 in 2013 to seek new commitments from western governments to tackle the issue – and to establish a group of experts who can help secure prosecutions in the countries where the crimes take place.
Mr Hague said: “We must end impunity against sexual violence in conflict. This silent scourge blights the lives of survivors - predominantly women, but also significant numbers of men and children, whose stories remain unheard.
“The scale of the problem is immense, and the response required complex. We must break the silence if we are to achieve sustainable peace and prosperity.”
26 September 2012