International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict 2021: History and Significance

·2-min read

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict is marked on Saturday, June 19. The day as the name suggests is to create and raise awareness around sexual violence in conflict and also to come up with ways and strategies through which this can be ended throughout the world. Ever since the coronavirus pandemic has started cases of sexual violence in general have also increased.

One of the major problem with cases pertaining to conflict-related sexual violence is insecurity, fear of reprisals and lack of services. All of this has increased many fold due to the pandemic situation as victims now have very limited access to resources like adequate medical help and legal aid.

Many safe spaces and shelters are also closed due to COVID-19 reasons. It is certain if a horrendous thing like sexual violence needs to be ended then people across the world will have to join hands and discuss strategies that can help.

United Nations General Assembly on June 19, 2015 officially announced that June 19 will be marked as the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. The main aim for doing so was to primarily raise awareness of the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence and honour the survivors and victims of sexual violence across the globe.

The day is also dedicated to give tribute to those who have bravely devoted their lives in making attempts to eliminate this social evil.

The date of June 19 was chosen in order to commemorate the adoption on 19 June 2008 of Security Council resolution 1820 (2008). On this day the Council had condemned sexual violence as a tactic of war.

António Guterres, the UN Secretary General in his statement has called sexual violence in conflict “a cruel tactic of war, torture, terror and repression.” The virtual event hosted by the UN on this day will talk about “Building back better: Supporting survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in the context of pandemic recovery”.

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