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UK Program Behind the Guide Needs Better Strategy to End Rape During Wartime

The UK government signaled this week that it wants to reignite its initiative designed to end rape during war. As such, members of the initiative and their partners are seeking input for a guide on interviewing victims of conflict-related sexual violence…
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Home Office Memo Ignores Suffering of Trafficking Survivors

This week, the United Kingdom Home Office, the country’s interior ministry, came under heavy criticism from the Nigerian anti-trafficking agency and UK politicians, human rights lawyers, and nongovernmental groups for claiming Nigerian women and girls…
Nigerian teenagers and young women selling sex in Italy
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Rugby Clubs Set Good Example, But Legal Reform Needed

An unlikely source took a stance on respect for women: professional rugby. Two Northern Ireland players had their contracts revoked following their widely publicized rape prosecution. Both players, Paddy Jackson and Stuart…
A rally held in support of the woman at the centre of the Belfast rape trial in which all four defendants including Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were acquitted of all charges, Belfast, March 31, 2018.
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John Worboys Case Should Make Ministers Abandon Plans to Scrap the Act

This week’s landmark judgement by the UK Supreme Court against the London Metropolitan Police for failing adequately to investigate the John Worboys case may bring some belated relief to women he drugged and raped. The Court’…
A London black cab taxi drives past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in late afternoon sunlight in London, Britain, November 10, 2016.
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Victims of Sexual Violence Need More Support to Continue Education

In 2015, as conflict raged in the Central African Republic, Evelyne (not her real name) was returning from selling cassava leaves near Boda, in the country’s southwest, when an anti-balaka fighter threw her on the ground, raped her, and…
Josephine, 28, said she fled her home in Bangui with her husband and five young children due to fighting in the city in October 2014. When she returned to her neighborhood to collect clothes and dishes for the family, three anti-balaka stopped her and t
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Not Enough Focus on Women’s Rights in Election Manifestos

Domestic violence. Equal pay for equal work. Family leave. Child and forced marriage. People often dub these “women's issues,” and, in political debate, treat them as “softer” (read: less important) than, say, security or trade. That’s…
women's march London
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UN Secretary-General Calls for Safe Abortion Access

At today’s United Nations Security Council debate, member states will discuss the secretary-general’s annual report on sexual violence in conflict. In this year’s annual report, the secretary-general recognizes sexual and reproductive…
A sign emphasizing the importance of healthcare and protection for survivors of sexual violence at a hospital in Kaga Bandoro, Central African Republic.
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Ratify Convention and Protect Women from Violence

“I’m not a victim. I’m a survivor.” British MP Michelle Thomson made that courageous statement on December 8, when she told the House of Commons about her rape at age 14 and its long-term consequences. Decades had passed before Thomson made this public…
British MP Michelle Thomson made that courageous statement on December 8, 2016.
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Investigate, Prosecute Peacekeepers Accused of Sexual Assault

Thérèse, a 14-year-old in the Central African Republic, probably doesn’t know that defense ministers from around the globe will meet in London on Thursday this week to discuss United Nations peacekeeping. But she has a stake in what happens there. …
A United Nations peacekeeper stands alongside a road near the refugee camp of Saint Sauveur, in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, November 29, 2015.
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Today’s International Criminal Court (ICC) conviction of a former Democratic Republic of Congo vice president was both a victory for sexual violence victims and a stark warning to senior commanders who turn a blind eye while their troops rape and commit…
Former Congo vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba looks up when sitting in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court to stand trial in The Hague, Netherlands, September 29, 2015.
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Last week, an independent panel released a much-anticipated report on sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers and United Nations staff of the very people they are meant to be protecting. Reports of egregious abuse by peacekeepers in the Central…
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A country “gripped with fear” is how the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, described the Central African Republic during a September 4 visit. His words echo what I’ve heard from hundreds of victims and witnesses…
MINUSCA peacekeepers questioning villagers outside of Batangafo, August 2015
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A 12-year-old girl is reported to be the latest victim of sexual abuse by the very people dispatched to protect her: United Nations peacekeepers. In the most recent case we know of, documented by Amnesty International, UN peacekeeping forces are said to…
un haiti
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A much-anticipated government report officially acknowledges what Edward Snowden revealed to the world many months ago: the UK has been intercepting communications en masse. But rather than condemn the widespread snooping, the report endorses the so-…
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…