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NEWS

International Day against Sexual Violence in Conflict

Ljubljana, 19 June 2019 – International Day against Sexual Violence in Conflict marks the fact that sexual violence, although prohibited under international law, is still at the centre of armed conflicts and other conflicts around the world. On this day, we call for the eradication of sexual violence and for consistent punishment of this crime.

 

Slovenian foreign policy supports a zero-tolerance approach to sexual violence in conflict, which also includes war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. In June 2018, Slovenia joined the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies and thus committed itself to a more active role in preventing and in responding to gender-based violence in emergencies.

 

In November 2018, the Slovenian government adopted the Action Plan for the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security in the 2018–2020 Period. This document not only includes activities for preventing sexual violence and gender-based violence in conflict, but also takes full responsibility for them. In this regard, in April 2019, Slovenia participated in the UN Security Council’s open debate on women, peace and security, which was dedicated to sexual violence in conflict. On 8 March 2019, as part of the event Slovenian Development Days, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with Platform SLOGA, a discussion was dedicated to sexual violence and gender-based violence in emergencies, including conflict.


Slovenia financially supports the fight against sexual violence. In 2018, Slovenia donated EUR 60,000 to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse. Over the next three-year period, Slovenia aims to contribute EUR 100,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross to respond to sexual violence in that country.


Slovenia is an active supporter of international criminal justice, especially the work of the International Criminal Court, which plays a major role in prosecuting perpetrators of war crimes and other criminal offences against sexual integrity, which, according to the Rome Statute (ICC), reach the threshold of atrocities.


In 2015, the UN General Assembly designated 19 June as International Day against Sexual Violence in Conflict in order to raise awareness of the fact that sexual violence in conflict must stop and to honour the victims and the survivors of this type of violence all around the world. On this particular day, we should pay tribute to all the people who have devoted their lives and lost their lives in striving to eradicate these crimes. The date, 19 June, commemorates the day in 2008 when the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1820. This resolution condemns sexual violence as a military tactic and as an obstacle to building peace. In this regard, in April 2019, the Security Council adopted a new resolution that confirms its commitment to end and prevent sexual violence in conflict. This resolution also underlines the importance of justice and responsibility for sexual violence.