© Università degli Studi di Padova - Credits: HCE Web agency
On the 19th of June, the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict, together with the Office of the SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict and the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the United Nations has organised a virtual event to mark the 6th annual International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.
This year, the already under-reported conflict-related sexual violence has been further obscured by this pandemic. COVID-19 hampers the possibility of survivors to report sexual violence and further exacerbates the existing structural, institutional and socio-cultural barriers to reporting such crimes.
According to the United Nations experts, the pandemic has caused such problems as hampering the possibility of survivors to report social violence, detrimental effect on the rule of law response, services needed by survivors risk being deprioritised, the rise of fear of the spread of the virus and, therefore, a further obstacle to access services needed by the survivors, increased risks for woman and girls already in abusive situations, disruption of monitoring, reporting and outreach work of Senior Woman Protection Advisors.
Five years ago, on the 19th June of 2015, the UN General Assembly proclaimed the 19th of June the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict with the resolution A/RES/69/293. Among the main ideas standing behind, it is raising awareness of the society of urgent necessity to put an end to sexual violence in conflict.