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Britain Must Support International Investigation into Rape and Sexual Violence in Burma

By Burma Campaign UK  •  November 25, 2014

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, more than 2,000 campaign postcards are being delivered to the British Foreign Office calling on Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to support the establishment of an international investigation into rape and sexual violence committed by the Burmese Army. The postcards were signed by supporters of Burma Campaign UK.

Today, the Women’s League of Burma (WLB) published a new report, ‘If they had hope, they would speak’: The ongoing use of state-sponsored sexual violence in Burma’s ethnic communities’. The report highlights the continuing use of sexual violence against ethnic minority women by the Burmese military.  Ethnic women and girls suffer horrific sexual abuse while military perpetrators enjoy impunity.

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has previously called on the government of Burma to fully investigate crimes of sexual violence, and work with the United Nations to protect and assist survivors. The government of Burma has failed to do so, further strengthening the case for an international investigation.

In June 2014, Burma became the 150th country to sign the Declaration to End Sexual Violence in Conflict just prior to the global summit, which was held in London. The declaration contains practical and political commitments to end impunity, promote accountability, and provide justice and safety for victims of sexual violence in conflicts.

Five months on, the government of Burma appears to have taken no steps to implement the declaration. Instead, the Burmese government intimidated and arrested women who protested against the attempted rape of an ethnic Chin woman by a Burmese Army soldier.

Given the fact that the Burmese government is ignoring the call for action by the UN Secretary General, and has failed to comply with the International Declaration to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, it is time for the international community to conduct its own investigation into sexual violence by the Burmese Army.

“As a country with a strong commitment to ending sexual violence in conflict, Britain should take the lead in building global support for an international investigation into rape and sexual violence committed by the Burmese military”, said Zoya Phan, Campaigns Manager at Burma Campaign UK.

For more information please contact: Zoya Phan on +(44) 7738630139

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This post is in: Press Release

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