Elimination of sexual violence in conflict not a mission impossible

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A boy read a flyer distributed by the UN about Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA)

Men and boys are increasingly becoming victims of sexual violence in conflict situations, according to the UN Special Representative on Sexual violence Zainab Hawa Bangura.

She says sexual violence in conflict was no longer a gender issue as perpetrators seek to dehumanize their victims into submission.

Speaking in Geneva, Ms. Bangura said the elimination of sexual violence in conflict is not a mission impossible, but will require greater political commitment, legal reforms and training of police and judicial service officers on how to deal with the crime.

She urged government to strengthen their local judicial systems to deal with perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict as opposed to referring the cases to the International Criminal Court.

"We may never know the true number of victims because people are often ashamed to come forward stigmatized and ostracized by their communities if they do, or even threatened with physical harm or worse if they name their attackers. The ICC or the international community cannot go after the foot soldiers. We must work with national governments. We must allow them and force them to take leadership in this to be able to build a national framework that will be able to ensure that the cases are prosecuted and the victims have their day in court.  Let us put the light on the perpetrators not the victims."
(Duration: 37")

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