Leading UK women unite in call to end sexual violence against children in conflict
Ahead of International Women’s Day, Author J.K. Rowling, International Fashion Designer Victoria Beckham, Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts, Human Rights Barrister Amal Alamuddin and Unicef UK Ambassador Jemima Khan are among signatories of an open letter calling for action from the UK Government to protect women and children from sexual violence in conflict.
Read their letter below, and join their call by adding your name.
In war zones sexual violence is as devastating as bullets and bombs. According to Unicef, those most at risk are women and their children, both girls and boys.
One of the starkest reminders is Syria, where an entire generation is at risk of being lost as a fourth year of conflict and unimaginable atrocities approaches.
Between February and May last year nearly three quarters of the Syrian refugees newly arrived in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq who spoke to child protection researchers said that sexual violence is on the rise inside their country.
Ahead of International Women’s Day this coming Saturday, March 8, we stand together to call for change. In June the UK hosts a crucial global summit on sexual violence in conflict. International leaders must seize this opportunity to defend women and to commit to protect children in war zones from rape and sexual abuse.
UK ministers must do their utmost to ensure the summit prioritises measures to help children to report sexual crimes and hold their abusers to account. The UK must also secure more funding for psychological and long-term support for child survivors.
Sexual violence in conflict is preventable, not inevitable. Together we can end this.
Jemima Khan; Baroness Lane Fox of Soho CBE; J.K. Rowling OBE; Victoria Beckham; Justine Roberts, Mumsnet; Amal Alamuddin, barrister; Professor Geraldine Van Bueren QC; Anita Tiessen, Unicef UK; Baroness Stern CBE; Megha Mittal; Rosie Huntington-Whiteley; Sophie Dahl; Lady Edwina Grosvenor; Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin; Claudia Schiffer; Cat Deeley; Sigrid Rausing; Keeley Hawes; Cathy Turner; Ilse Howling; Baroness Grey-Thompson DBE; Denise Lewis OBE; Heather Kerzner; Kirsty Young; Carolyn McCall OBE