Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Sexual Violence and Armed Conflicts

Today is 19 June - International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict
While I was doing my Master's course on International Relations, I read a lot on conflict and how it affects people of all genders and all sections of a society. Particularly the classes on Gender gave me an insight on women and how armed conflicts impacts on their lives.

United Nations defines "Conflict-Related Sexual Violence" as rape, sexual, slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, enforced sterilization, forced marriage and any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity perpetrated against women, men, girls or boys that is directly or indirectly linked to a conflict.

United Nations has dedicated year 2018 to the children that are born out of war or more specifically the children who are called "bad blood" because they are born to women who were raped by the enemy.

Abortion is not always an option available to rape victims, and therefore the children born to them live with stigma,  and do not live a normal life.

The problems such children face are:
  • statelessless
  • human trafficking
  • lack of human rights
  • recruitment by extremist groups and organizations to spread violence and hatred
  • no education
  • no healthcare
  • poverty
While the issue is decades old, United Nations proclaimed in 2015, a day for spreading awareness on conflict related sexual violence and make a move towards peacebuilding.

The kind of security and comfortable lives that we privileged ones live, it wouldn't be a surprise that we never encounter such souls and get a chance to help them, unless we actually decide to visit places that have been war zones and rehabilitation camps are set up wherein rape victims and their children are waiting for help.

What's sad is that we read about war and conflicts of any scale, but forget the victims and hardly ponder about what happens to them. They are the "Forgotten Victims of War".