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27 June 2014

Global Summit participants demand: “We all have to oppose sexualised wartime violence!”

From June 10-13, 2014, London saw representatives of governments and civil society come together to develop strategies to end sexualised wartime violence. The hosts of the Global Summit were the British Foreign Secretary William Hague and the UN Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie. Including government ministers, religious leaders, soldiers, activists and survivors, more than 1,000 delegates from some 130 countries called for an end to impunity. We take stock.

The beginning of the end?

The Summit had set itself high aims: More effective prosecution, integrated support for survivors and improved international cooperation to combat these crimes. The participants at the summit were united by their conviction: sexualised violence is not an inevitable corollary of armed conflicts. And rapists remaining unpunished can no longer be accepted.

Results of the London summit: Guidelines for prosecution

One practical result was the adoption of an International Protocol to enable the end of the culture of impunity. The International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict offers very practicable guidelines. medica mondiale was also involved in drawing up this document. It sets out standards on how to collect evidence of sexualised violence and enact punishment, whilst protecting and supporting survivors. Guidelines such as these might not be legally binding but they can help to ensure that, for example, in future, those working in the judicial system act more in the interests of survivors of sexualised violence. "However, the most important result of the London Summit is definitely the breaking of the taboo of silence, finally," declared Jeannette Böhme, Advocacy and Human Rights Officer at medica mondiale. "An appreciative atmosphere was created during the summit. Survivors experienced recognition, and perpetrators were ostracised." Of course, the London Summit will not mark the end of sexualised violence during armed conflicts. But the issue has finally made it onto the international agenda.

Read more on the official website of the Global Summit.

Recommendations by medica mondiale for the participants of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.