Global summit tackles scourge of sexual violence in conflict

Villagers in Bunyakiri, DRC, perform a play about a woman who has been raped. Such dramatizations help sensitize communities to victims' suffering. © ICRC / P. Yazdi

Villagers in Bunyakiri, DRC, perform a play about a woman who has been raped. Such dramatizations help sensitize communities to victims' suffering. © ICRC / P. Yazdi

The president of the ICRC, Peter Maurer, is in London this week to take part in a UK-hosted

Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague will co-chair the summit with American actress, Angelina Jolie, who is also a special envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Over 100 countries and more than 900 experts, survivors, and international organizations from across the world are taking part, according to the organizers, who say it's the largest gathering ever held on the subject, "with a view to creating irreversible momentum against sexual violence in conflict and practical action that impacts those on the ground."

The ICRC is working in many of the places where the scourge of sexual violence against women, men, girls, and boys in conflict situations exists. Our colleagues in the field are witnesses to the devastating effects that this silent crime has on individuals, families, and communities.

Earlier this year, we explored the issue here on Intercross and the ICRC has also launched a new section on its website dedicated to sexual violence. In addition, our colleagues in Geneva have produced a series of videos with experts talking about the silence surrounding victims of sexual violence, transitional justice, and the success of counselling centres in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Members of the media who are interested in talking with the ICRC's president or other ICRC experts on the matter are welcome to contact the ICRC's spokesman in London, Sean Maguire (smaguire@icrc.org or +44 7887 402632).