19 June: International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict
First International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict was observed on 19 June 2016. The day was observed to raise awareness for the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence.
It calls to honour the victims and survivors of sexual violence around the world and to pay tribute to all those who have courageously devoted their lives to and lost their lives in standing up for the eradication of these crimes.
Conflict-related sexual violence
The term “conflict-related sexual violence” refers to rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, enforced sterilization and forced marriage. It also includes any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity perpetrated against women, men, girls or boys that is directly or indirectly linked (temporally, geographically or causally) to a conflict.
United Nations resolution
On 19 June 2015, the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/69/293) proclaimed 19 June of each year the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.
The date was chosen to commemorate the adoption on 19 June 2008 of Security Council resolution 1820 (2008), in which the Council condemned sexual violence as a tactic of war and an impediment to peace building.
To end sexual violence during and in the wake of armed conflict, the United Nations Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict (UN Action) brings together 13 UN entities.
Launched in 2007, it represents a concerted effort by the United Nations to ‘deliver as one’ – improving coordination and accountability, amplifying advocacy and supporting country-level efforts to prevent conflict-related sexual violence and respond more effectively to the needs of survivors.
UN Action is chaired by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, a post held by Zainab Hawa Bangura since September 2012.
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When: 19 June 2016
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