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“Thousands of women, men and children continue to suffer sexual violence in conflict”


In November 2018, the United Nations once again condemned all forms of sexual violence, stating that it is a matter of fundamental human rights. According to the UN, 200 million women and girls have suffered female genital mutilation in the 30 countries studied. 

ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
Secretary-General, United Nations
“Violence can take many forms – from domestic violence to trafficking, from sexual violence in conflict to child marriage, genital mutilation and femicide. It is an issue that harms the individual, but also has far-reaching consequences for families and society.”

In response to these concerns the UN recently held a 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence called “Orange the World: #HearMeToo.” Its aim is to promote more awareness to these rising concerns. 

Additionally, according to the UK and Belgian Holy See Embassies “thousands of women, men and children continue to suffer sexual violence in conflict.” This is often used as a weapon of war in order to humiliate and destroy a country.

Sr. Sheila Kinsey works for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission. She says sexual violence often happens in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, where another negative action is taking place. Here minerals are being extracted for large manufacturers of everyday products, mostly technology.  

SR. SHEILA KINSEY
Executive Co-Secretary for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission
“For example, if you look at your cell phones and your computers, coltan is from the DRC. The major producing place is in the DRC, areas of conflict.”

Kinsey says the International community and large corporations, such as Microsoft, need to defend human dignity; and ensure the countries they are receiving minerals from, are conflict free.  

SR. SHEILA KINSEY
Executive Co-Secretary for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission
“If we were to say to the people, for example Bill Gates, or those who use these materials, who are themselves in safe places... to say to the world you know what 'I want to see something in place where the materials I need to use for my equipment is coming from an area that is safe and that is peaceful.”

She also adds that a more concerted effort needs to be made also by individuals. This means being socially responsible in each investment and purchase, researching before what their money is funding.