Only by documenting the horrors of sexual violence in conflict zones can we hold perpetrators to account


Professionals working on the ground in Syria to help survivors and bring their cases to light deserve all of our admiration

Tariq Ahmad
The Independent Voices


This week, as the prime minister’s special representative on preventing sexual violence in conflict, I am honoured to be hosting the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative Film Festival in London. The event will shine a spotlight on sexual violence in conflict, highlight the need to take decisive action on a global scale, and take forward the fight against impunity and stigma.

Around the world, sexual violence continues to be used as a weapon of war on a scale that is truly appalling. This is particularly true of Syria: according to a United Nations Commission of Inquiry report earlier this year, “no one had been unaffected by sexual and gender-based violence during the Syrian conflict”. This horrifies us all – based on the UN’s findings, we are talking about a whole generation of people affected mentally and physically by these violent crimes.

But individuals and communities, with the UK’s assistance, are working to give voice to survivors and support them to secure justice. I am honoured to share today the voices of two Syrian activists who have done just that.

more:, Syria: ruined lives need proper support if they are to be rebuilt ( AFP/Getty )

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