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Angelina Jolie, Hague vow action to end sexual violence

Angelina Jolie, Hague vow action to end sexual violence
June 10
19:46 2014

Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and British foreign secretary William Hague have vowed to produce practical action from the world’s first summit on ending sexual violence in conflicts, as well as concrete steps to punish those responsible and help victims.

Up to 1,200 government ministers, military and judicial officials, and activists from up to 150 nations will attend the summit, which holds from June 10 to June 13, 2014, and is intended as a call for action to protect women, children and men from rape and sex attacks in war zones.

Hague and Jolie, special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said the conference is the culmination of two years of work.

“It is a myth that rape is an inevitable part of conflict,” Oscar-winner, Jolie, said at the opening of a fringe event at the summit in London’s dock lands, according to NAN.

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“It is a weapon of war aimed at civilians. It is done to torture and humiliate people and often to very young children … and as an international community, we are responsible for that.”

Jolie’s involvement in humanitarian issues dates back to 2001 when she travelled to Sierra Leone as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador to assess the impact of years of civil war.

It was estimated that 60,000 women were raped in Sierra Leone.

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In 2012, she joined forces with Hague to tackle sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations, which led last year to a declaration now signed by about 150 countries. They have pledged to end impunity and provide justice and safety for victims.

“This whole subject has been a taboo for far too long,” said Jolie, calling for the summit to be a turning point.

Hague said the meeting, to be attended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, would agree an international protocol on Wednesday to push for international standards on recording and investigating sex crimes, which are needed to bring more people to justice.

The summit comes after a recent run of shocking cases of violence against women that were expected to raise the pressure on the world community for action rather than just promises.

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These cases include the kidnap of 200 Nigerian schoolgirls nearly two months ago, the stoning to death of a pregnant woman in Pakistan in a so-called honour killing, and the gang-rape and murder of two Indian teenagers who were hanged from a tree.

Hague will host a ministerial meeting on security in Nigeria and the missing schoolgirls on Thursday.

 

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