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UN urges end to impunity for violence against women

[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] expressed deep concern Tuesday about violence against women which has "remained pervasive despite [the Security Council's] repeated condemnation of all acts of violence, including killing, maiming, sexual violence, exploitation and abuse in situations of armed conflict." During a day-long debate on women, peace, and security [press release], the Council called for nations to end impunity for rape [JURIST report] and other forms of sexual violence and to fully and effectively implement Resolution 1325 [text, PDF], which aims to increase the participation of women in peace processes. More than 50 speakers participated in the debate, including Assistant Secretary-General Rachel Mayanja [UN profile], who called impunity for perpetrators "morally reprehensible and unacceptable." Mayanja said: "Sexual violence in conflict, particularly rape, should be named for what it is: not a private act or the unfortunate misbehavior of a renegade soldier, but aggression, torture, war crime and genocide."

In September 2006, UN humanitarian coordinator Jan Egeland [official profile] told the Security Council that sexual abuse of women and girls by soldiers in the strife-torn Democratic Republic of Congo [JURIST news archive] had "become a cancer in Congolese society that seems to be out of control." A July 2005 report prepared at the instance of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] criticized the Sudanese government [JURIST report] for its inaction in allowing sexual violence in the turbulent Darfur region [JURIST news archive] to continue and for the lack of prosecutions against government supported forces accused in the attacks. UN officials continue to document violations [JURIST report] in those regions and many others. AP has more. The UN News Centre has additional coverage.

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