Jolie, Hague vow action against sexual violence

2014-06-10 18:09
UNHCR special envoy, Angelina Jolie during a visit to Iraq. (Karim Kadim, AP)

UNHCR special envoy, Angelina Jolie during a visit to Iraq. (Karim Kadim, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague vowed on Tuesday to ensure the world's first summit on ending sexual violence in conflict resulted in practical action to punish those responsible and help victims.

Up to 1 200 government ministers, military and judicial officials and activists from up to 150 nations are attending the 10-13 June summit that is the result of a two-year partnership between Jolie and Hague to combat rape as a weapon of war.

The summit follows a series of violent incidents against women that was expected to raise pressure for action, including the kidnap of 200 Nigerian schoolgirls, the stoning of a pregnant Pakistani woman to death, and the gang-rape and murder of two Indian girls.

Opening the four-day summit in London's docklands, Jolie, special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said political will was needed globally to treat sexual violence as a priority and tackle a culture of impunity.

"It is a myth that rape is an inevitable part of conflict. It is a weapon of war aimed at civilians .. done to torture and humiliate people and often to very young children," she said.

"We need to see real commitment and go after the worst perpetrators, to fund proper protection for vulnerable people, and to step in to help the worst-affected countries."

Jolie's involvement in humanitarian issues dates back to 2001 when she travelled to Sierra Leone as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and saw the impact of years of civil war when an estimated 60 000 women were raped.

Her link-up with Hague was sparked by her 2011 directorial debut "In the Land of Blood and Honey" that was set against the backdrop of the 1992-95 Bosnian war in which more than 100 000 people were killed and an estimated 20 000 women believed raped.

Last year the unusual partnership led to the launch of a declaration, now signed by about 150 countries, pledging to end impunity and provide justice and safety for victims but Hague said the summit would take this further.

Power in numbers

Hague said the conference, to be attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry, would agree a protocol to push for international standards on recording and investigating sex crimes to bring more people to justice.

Other practical steps would include strengthening laws in certain countries, training armies and peacekeepers, and increasing funding to help survivors, some of whose harrowing stories were retold in documentaries on show at a fringe event.

"There is power in numbers and if we unite behind this cause we can create an unstoppable momentum and consign this vile abuse to history," Hague said, unveiling a six million pound ($10m) fund for victims from the UK government.

Organisations with stands at the meeting and members of the public attending the fringe event of theatre and discussions said concrete action was critical and that the public and activists needed to ensure governments stuck to promises made.

"The momentum is with this summit, with Angelina Jolie and Hague and the news agenda - now is the perfect time for action on women's rights. This could be a turning point," said Nick Harvey, spokesperson for healthcare charity Doctors Of The World.

Canadian lawyer Guylaine Grenier, on holiday in London with her niece from Vancouver, said this should be just the start.

"I hope it does not end here, that it goes further. This kind of event should happen every year so we can see what has really happened in the past year," Grenier, 45, told Reuters.

Read more on:    unhcr  |  angelina jolie  |  william hague  |  uk  |  gender equality
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music
 

17 photo illusions that look so real

What if they aren’t illusions? What if that dog really has a human foot – then what?

 
 

For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!
Puppy goes crazy over iPad game

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Don`t judge so quickly or expect too much, be more accepting and understanding and make space for fun and spontaneity. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.