Practice Relating to Rule 93. Rape and Other Forms of Sexual Violence
In 2008, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Sri Lanka stated:
83. In accordance with resolution 1612 and Section VI, paragraph 2 of the Terms of Reference of the Working Group o[f] the [UN] Security Council on children and armed conflict, the TFMR [Task Force for Monitoring and Reporting] will focus on violations against children affected by armed conflict …
84. … [V]iolations and abuses committed against children affected by armed conflict including … rape and other grave sexual violence against children … will … be addressed.
In 2008, in its combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Sri Lanka stated: “Several amendments were made to the Penal Code by Amendment Act No. 16 of 2006 to bring offences against children, in particular sexual offences, in line with international norms and standards.”
The situation for women during and after armed conflicts needs to consistently be given attention. Resolution 1325 has been, and continues to be, a very important tool to recognize the needs of women in conflict or post conflict situations. As I said in my speech further to the 10 year anniversary of resolution 1325 last fall, the structural violence against women in conflict situations needs to be counteracted.
Reports from Iraq and Syria show gross, systematic and large-scale abuse of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law. … [R]ape occur[s] in large scale and minority groups and women and children are particularly exposed. The government has in the strongest terms condemned ISIL and their brutal acts.
For too long sexual and gender based violence in conflict was almost completely neglected. It is a major achievement that international criminal law now recognizes the gravity of such violence as serious international crimes and as a means of war as such. This is part of a general progress – which includes the crucial adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1325 [on Women, Peace and Security] – underlining the impact of conflict on women as well as their important role in all phases of conflict resolution and the rebuilding of war torn societies.
[C]onflict-related sexual and gender-based violence is a core security challenge that must be firmly addressed. Throughout the conflict in Syria, women and girls have been targeted on the basis of their gender. Sexual violence is systematic and widespread amongst many warring parties, and used as a tactic of terror by ISIL. Women and girls from Syria are sold as commodities among extremist groups and are repeatedly exposed to horrendous acts. According to the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry, Assad regime forces have arrested female lawyers, journalists and peace activists. Women have suffered rape and other forms of sexual violence by regime personnel in detention facilities. It is time to speak up louder against these horrendous crimes, to support the victims, prevent stigmatisation and make sure that perpetrators are brought to justice. Sweden fully supports SRSG [Special Representative of the Secretary-General] Zainab Bangura in her tireless efforts to address the issue of sexual violence in armed conflict and look forward to taking part of the details in her seven point plan.