Conflict-related sexual violence increases by 50 percent in 2023

Число случаев сексуального насилия в условиях конфликта в 2023 году увеличилось на 50 процентов

Pramila Patten, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. Conflict-related sexual violence increases by 50 percent in 2023 Peace and security

Last year, the UN recorded 3,688 confirmed cases of sexual violence in conflict, indicating a sharp 50 percent increase in the number of such incidents compared to the previous year. Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, announced this when speaking at a meeting of the Security Council.

Gender equality is undergoing a setback while global defense spending has reached unprecedented levels, the Special Representative noted.

“The pursuit of peace and gender equality has once again become radical,” she said, presenting the Secretary-General’s 15th annual report on sexual violence in conflict to the Security Council. “We have an existential challenge to silence guns and uphold the voices of women, the world’s most important defenders.”

Right now, Pramila Patten continued, there are women and girls in Sudan and Haiti. are sexually assaulted at gunpoint. In Afghanistan, a systematic crackdown on women’s rights is destroying lives and livelihoods. Two years after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, thousands of displaced and refugee women and girls are at increased risk of becoming victims of human traffickers. In the Middle East, women and girls are disproportionately affected by ongoing bloodshed and terror.

In 2023, women and girls accounted for 95 percent of verified incidents of conflict-related sexual violence. In 32 percent of cases, the victims were children.

“We know that for every victim who comes forward for help, there are many more that we don’t know about,” the Special Representative said . “They are silenced by social pressure, stigma, insecurity and dim prospects for justice.”

After the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, Pramila Patten visited the country at the invitation of the government. “My team and I have verified that conflict-related sexual violence occurred on at least three occasions,” she said. – Persons held as hostages were subjected to it. In the occupied West Bank, UN-verified information suggests that since the October 7 attacks, arrests and detentions of Palestinian women and men by Israeli security forces have often been accompanied by ill-treatment, including forms of sexual violence. Similar incidents occurred in Gaza.”

All these facts in no way justify or legitimize further hostilities, Pramila Patten emphasized, repeating the Secretary-General’s call for a ceasefire for humanitarian purposes.

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UN experts found “clear and convincing” information about sexual violence during the October 7 events in Israel


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