Anjelina Jolie in crackdown on sexual violence in conflict

June 2, 2014 | By | Reply More

June 02, – Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, is working towards stamping out sexual violence in conflict and will be co-chairing a global summit in London next month.

hromedia Anjolina Jolie in crackdown on sexual violence in conflict intl. news3The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict will also be headed by the British Foreign Secretary William Hague and will be held June 10-13. On Twitter, the hashtag #TimeToAct has been used to promote the summit and its cause.

The summit promises to be the “largest gathering ever brought together” on sexual violence in conflict

The four-day summit, beginning on 10 June, will bring together governments from 141 countries to discuss how to improve and standardise the investigation of large scale sexual violence in wartime, to bring an end a culture of impunity that has severely limited prosecutions up to now.

Speaking to The Guardian during a visit to Bosnia, Jolie said: “I would hope that years down the line when war breaks out, people who are considering raping a man, woman or child would be very aware of the consequences of their actions, and that a woman crossing a checkpoint would be aware there was someone collecting evidence and that evidence would have a … result for her.”

“When that begins to happen on masse, then things will change. That’s why its important that this effort isn’t just one single [approach]. We are working with everyone who has worked on this issue for years, with every NGO and every government, to assist these people on all fronts.”

Jolie visited Bosnia at the end of last week with Britain’s foreign secretary, William Hague, as part of a two-year partnership aimed at preventing sexual violence in conflict. In the course of the trip they spoke in private to several women survivors of the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, where the slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys has overshadowed another crime against humanity committed at the same time, the systematic rape of women and girls.

The meeting with the Srebrenica women took place in a disused battery factory where in July 1995, thousands of Bosnian Muslims sought the shelter of Dutch UN peacekeepers. The UN promise of protection proved hollow and he factory is now echoing and empty apart from a sombre memorial – two black boxes each as big as a house. In a cemetery outside a stone monument records the names of the 8,000 men and boys slaughtered by General Ratko Mladic’s Serb army.

One of the women, Edina, was taken from her family by Serb soldiers and held at a nearby lead and zinc mine, where she was repeatedly raped.

“I was taken to the mine, where I was raped many times along with two other girls. Then we were eight days in an abandoned house where we were raped again,” Edina said. “When these things were happening to me, it was as if I wasn’t there in my body. I was looking at it from outside.”

None of Edina’s rapists has been prosecuted, even though she could definitively identify at least three of them, and has followed their lives, in a town a few miles away, through Facebook.

More than 20,000 Bosnian women and girls were raped. Over a decade in the Democratic Republic of Congo there are thought to have been 200,000 victims. There were up to half a million rapes in Rwanda in 1994, and there are widespread reports of systematic sexual violence in Syria.

Press journalist for HRO media – Debi Campillos contributed to this report.

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Category: International, Women Rights

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