Civil unrest, internal crises create challenges for protection of women, girls

19 Jun 2017, 17:50

NTV Online

Armed conflicts, civil unrest and internal crises have created ongoing challenges for the protection of women and girls across Asia and the Pacific, according to a new report.

They are among the most vulnerable and their rights have been violated, including through sexual violence.

Often the victims and survivors of sexual violence and their children are forgotten about and their specific needs are not addressed, reports UNB.

UN Women, with support from the British Government, on Monday released the report aimed at tackling this, drawing attention to the problem, and giving recommendations to support survivors of sexual violence in conflict.

The report, ‘Conflict-related Sexual Violence in Asia-Pacific: Putting Victims/Survivors First’ addressed the needs of conflict-related sexual violence victims and their children and provides innovative solutions.

Drawing from experiences in Nepal, Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, the publication makes recommendations for strengthening national approaches that respond to survivors, including through National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security.

The research recommends increased focus on meeting the basic survival and income needs of survivors and their children and providing for health, psychosocial, legal and protection needs to all be addressed.

Despite a growing demand to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions, less recognition has been given to the health, psycho-social and economic needs of victims, survivors and their children, including those born of rape in conflict.

The report recommends that women, especially those subjected to conflict-related sexual violence, need access to sustainable livelihoods, legal rights to inheritance, and to own land and resources in order to address the economic impact of these violations.

The British Embassy Bangkok’s Deputy Head of Mission, Margaret Tongue, said, ‘The British government is proud to have supported UN Women in its work on this innovative report - as a key part of our global effort to eliminate sexual violence in conflict.

Hanny Cueva-Beteta, UN Women’s Regional Advisor on Governance, Peace and Security noted the report’s finding that National Action Plans on women, peace and security in Asia have rarely addressed the needs of victims of sexual violence in conflict.