Message on the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict 19 June 2024

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Conflict-related sexual violence is a devastating form of attack and repression, with lasting, harmful effects on survivors’ physical, sexual, reproductive, and mental health. It also tears apart the social fabric of communities.

Despite widespread awareness and condemnation, this heinous crime persists globally. Over the past year, there have been distressing reports of sexual violence from Sudan to Haiti and Israel. Too often, perpetrators go unpunished while survivors struggle to rebuild their lives.

This year’s International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict focuses on healthcare. Hospitals and other medical facilities should serve as safe havens for all conflict victims, including survivors of sexual violence. These principles are fundamental to international humanitarian law.

However, attacks on healthcare facilities and workers can severely hinder survivors’ access to medical care and psychosocial support. Immediate sexual and reproductive healthcare is crucial for women and girls who experience sexual violence, while men and boys may face increased isolation without appropriate care.

Let us pledge to eradicate this scourge, stand in solidarity with survivors, and recommit to safeguarding hospitals and healthcare facilities during conflicts

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