August 24, 2019

Getting Congress focused on sexual violence against Darfuris

A great effort underway by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today in D.C. They are giving a lunchtime briefing to Members of Congress on sexual violence against Darfuri women and girls. In the (unlikely) event that any members of Congress or their staffers are reading this, I urge you to attend.This issue is not covered well in the media (while “the act” of rape itself gets more media play these days, the actual issues that matter to those who live through it – like the medical, psychological and legal services they need afterwards – and the interlinkages between reporting, treatment and prevention, are generally overlooked).

From PHR:

“An immediate goal for US policy which is not explicitly addressed in the new comprehensive approach is an end to the gender-based violence occurring inside and outside camps in Chad and Darfur and an end to impunity for the crime of rape.

In line with US Strategic Objective #1, “A definitive end to conflict, gross human rights abuses, and genocide in Darfur,” UNAMID and all UN agencies must be tasked with specific reporting on the problem of gender-based violence and must be free to report without obstruction by local authorities. The current system, which discourages women from reporting rape and seeking justice, must be reformed and existing rape laws must be strengthened.

The US and UN must also immediately demand a commitment from the Government of Sudan to cease impeding support programs for victims of gender-based violence and remove any obstacles to gender-based violence programming in technical agreements between the government and humanitarian NGOs.”

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