From 10-13 June 2014, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict attended the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London. The Summit brought together 1,700 delegates and 129 country delegations including 79 Ministers from around the world to discuss ways to end sexual violence in conflict. Rape and other forms of sexual violence is also one of the six grave violations committed against children in situations of armed conflict.
Watchlist’s members War Child, Save the Children and World Vision ensured that children were included in the Global Summit through several events that highlighted the particular impact and challenges faced by children in armed conflicts around the world. Special Representative to the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (SRSG-CAAC), Leila Zerrougui, delivered a keynote address during the session “The Particular Vulnerabilities of Children to Sexual Violence in Conflict”. She pointed out that children are at an increased risk of sexual violence due to the collapse of family and social system, their physical and mental vulnerabilities, and displacement. Girl survivors from Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo shared their testimony, and urged the international community to end impunity and improve accountability.
The Summit’s outcomes include: 1) an International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict, 2) a Statement of Action signed by Governments, which agreed upon a range of legal, humanitarian and security sector reforms to end the culture of impunity for sexual violence in conflict, and 3) National Action Plans on Sexual Violence for Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.