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RCOG statement on the announcement at the G8 Foreign Ministers’ meeting

News 11 April 2013

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) commends the leadership of Foreign Secretary William Hague and his team at the G8 Summit. Today’s announcement to end the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war is long overdue.

The G8 has recognised that this has been a neglected issue for too long and the international community must do its part to lift the stigma of sexual violence in conflict zones and to protect children and adults from unimaginable suffering. It is the slave trade of our generation and must be eradicated.

The Declaration announced today will ensure that systems of deterrence and accountability exist to make rape, torture and sexual slavery in war a breach of the Geneva Convention and a war crime. This historic agreement includes the development of international protocols to investigate and collect evidence against those who use sexual violence and to support survivors but more importantly, there will be no amnesty for the perpetrators.

Dr Tony Falconer, RCOG President said,

“It is a mark of our humanity that the weakest are protected by society and this responsibility is most pressing during times of war and conflict.

“Sexual violence results in long-term suffering and trauma for victims and it is fitting that the rights and freedoms of women, men and children are further enshrined in international law through today’s G8 Declaration.”