UN envoy hails study into extent of sexual violence in DRC

09:41, May 13, 2011      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

The UN envoy leading the world body's efforts to eliminate sexual violence during conflict on Thursday welcomed the release of a new study on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which estimates that almost 2 million Congolese women have been raped.

The study, published on Wednesday in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), indicated the prevalence of the crime is much worse than previously reported, and said that women and girls are victimized at a rate of nearly one per minute.

Margot Wallstrom, the UN secretary-general's special representative on sexual violence in conflict, issued a statement describing the study as "a commendable effort that helps to fill the gap in empirical research in this area."

Wallstrom is tasked with tackling sexual violence committed during conflicts or in post-conflict situations while the AJPH study examined a broader field that included acts of domestic violence.

"This inevitably makes the AJPH figures higher," she said, noting that official UN figures tend to be conservative because the United Nations can only report to the Security Council on sexual violence that it has been able to verify.

In September 2010, a UN human rights team confirmed that more than 300 civilians were raped from July 30 to Aug. 2 in the Walikale region in eastern DRC by members of armed groups including the Mai Mai Cheka and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

The mass rape cases have led to strong condemnation from the UN Security Council, which urged the DRC government to immediately open a probe into the tragedy and bring the perpetrators to justice at an early date.

"The UN cannot extrapolate from a small sample the incidence of sexual violence throughout the DRC," said the statement. " Additionally, the UN has ethical obligations that are not generally incumbent upon academic researchers -- namely to avoid interviewing survivors or exposing them to any risk of reprisal/re- traumatization in the absence of the ability to deliver services or follow-up on the case."

However, the envoy stressed that 'studies like this are important, and valuable in shedding light on risk factors, such as age, or region of residence, which moves the analysis beyond isolated incident reports to convey a sense of patterns."

Meanwhile, Wallstrom also underscored that conflict-related sexual violence remains one of the biggest obstacles to peace in the DRC.

"Although a lot of work remains to be done, achievements include the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1960 last December, which gives us the instruments needed to ensure that mass rape is never again met with mass impunity," the statement added.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
BRICS Leaders Meeting 2011
 
Japan in aftershocks
 
     
 
 
 
  Weekly review  
 
April 23   Pictures catch ancient & cultural heritage of a Sichuan town
 
April 28   Will China's rise lead to the decline of U.S.?
April 25   Kunming-Singapore High-Speed Railway begins construction
April 25   Chinese path -- a marvel of world's economic growth
April 23   The week in pictures
April 26   Second excavation to sunken 'Nan'ao No 1' finished
April 27   Guizhou girl designs tea set for Prince William's wedding
April 26   PLA reserve force Type 07 uniform makes debut in Beijing
April 28   Old friends eye for new & higher levels of cooperation
April 29   Shanghai auto show closes
 
     
 
 

(Editor:石希)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • Al-Qaeda Chief Osama bin Laden dead
  • BRICS Leaders' Meeting 2011
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • 'Sleeping Beauty' hits Cannes
  • Senior Chinese leader urges Hunan to align economic growth with environmental protection
  • Chinese vice president calls for efforts to maintain Macao's prosperity
  • Quake museum opens in Qingchuan, SW China
  • Cast members promote movie 'Kung Fu Panda 2' in Cannes
  • Medvedev encourages political competition in Russia
Hot Forum Dicussion