Dear friends and colleagues,In this newsletter we take the opportunity to point to some very important decisions and initiatives to strengthen the international response to sexual exploitation, violence and abuse against women and inform about upcoming conferences.
United Nations Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325 mandates women and gender to be involved in all aspects of peace and security! According to the Peace women “1325 is a historic watershed political framework that recognizes that women – and a gender perspective – are relevant to negotiating peace agreements, planning refugee camps, and peacekeeping operations and reconstructing war-torn societies”. The Peace women have made a good overview over the different UN SC-resolutions in relation to 1325.
The UN Security Council has so far adopted seven resolutions on “Women, Peace and Security”. These resolutions are: Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000); 1820 (2009); 1888 (2009) ; 1889 (2010); 1960 (2011) ; 2106 (2013); 2122 (2013); and 2242 (2015). These resolutions should be seen under one frame as they all are guiding documents for our work with women in war and conflict as well as in transitional societies and during peacetime.
In addition to these resolutions, the security council has adopted SCR 2272 (2016); to prevent and combat sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers. The resolution stresses that sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeepers undermines the implementation of peacekeeping mandates, as well as the credibility of United Nations peacekeeping, and reaffirming its support for the United Nations zero tolerance policy on all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse. It further requested that the Secretary-General replace all units of the troop- or police-contributing country from which the perpetrator is from if appropriate steps have not been taken by the country to investigate the allegation, and/or when the perpetrators have not been held accountable, and/or when there has been failure to inform the Secretary-General of the progress of its investigation or actions taken.
That the fight against impunity, also for military personnel, in fact works is clearly highlighted by the victory in the Sepura Zarcocase in Guatemala. The women of Sepur Zarco have testified against their captors in a breakthrough trial;. For the first time, anywhere in history, sexual slavery has been tried as a war crime in a national court in the country where the crime was committed. Survivors of wartime sexual violence in Guatemala have secured a landmark victory in the Sepur Zarco trial: a true victory for international human rights in a domestic court. And we believe this will open doors for similar cases.
We find it timely to repeat the information about the HHRI Training Manual “Mental health and gender-based violence Helping survivors of sexual violence in conflict – a training manual” -as well as the IASC Guidelines for Gender- based Violence interventions in humanitarian settings Guidelines with focus on practical aspects and approach to GBV.
The title of the 2017 ISHHR Conference is “Mental health, mass people displacement and ethnic minorities” and it will focus on the displacement of communities as a result of conflict, the phenomenon of mass-traumatisation and the response of the European neighbourhood (particularly Central Europe) to the mass influx from the Middle East and North Africa (particularly as a result of the Syrian crisis). However, we will also welcome contributions from experts and speakers in Latin America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, as mass people displacement and migration is a global challenge.
Please note that deadline for abstracts are 15th April