UNAIDS Update – June 2014

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Update on Global Summit to end sexual violence in conflict.

 

Faith leaders and faith-based organisations have a vital role to play in engaging their communities in both the prevention of, and response to, sexual violence in conflict. That was one of the main outcomes coming out of the ministerial dialogue held as part of the Global summit to end sexual violence in conflict.

The ministerial meeting brought together Ministers, senior faith leaders and representatives of faith-based organisations and other NGOs to discuss the role of faith leaders and faith-based organisations in tackling sexual violence; to examine how to enhance greater collaboration between faith leaders and governments and other key civil society groups; and to identify resources and training for faith leaders to enable them to respond effectively and appropriately to survivors of violence.

Participants agreed that faith communities are often at the centre of communities and able to be first responders in times of crisis. They can challenge the attitudes associated with sexual violence and address perceptions that can lead to inequality and the spread of violence.

“Addressing discrimination in all its forms and manifestations is central to responding to sexual violence in conflict and faith leaders have a central role to play,” said UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Luiz Loures. “It is intolerable that women and girls suffer from so much violence in conflict and insecure settings. These brutal acts are a violation of human rights, place women at risk and make them vulnerable to HIV,” he added.

UNAIDS is working in conflict settings in South Sudan, Mali, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo to: Secure HIV services and reduce vulnerabilities of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in conflict, post conflict as well as fragile environments; engage the military, police and peacekeepers as agents for change in reducing risks of HIV transmission among civilians and combatants; and address sexual and gender-based violence by taking steps to protect vulnerable women and girls and in the event of abuse ensure access to post exposure prophylaxis.

For further information visit UNAIDS website here.

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