Australia Condemns Sexual Violence as Weapon of War in Joint International Statement

  • Media release
18 November 2021

The Australian Government is proud to join the international United Kingdom-led statement condemning the use of sexual violence and rape as weapons of war.

There has been a rise in gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, including human trafficking and sexual slavery, exacerbating the threats for women and children caught up in conflicts and humanitarian crises.

Signatories to the statement have agreed there must be a stronger international response for all affected by sexual violence in conflict.

Australia is working through United Nations and ASEAN forums to help secure justice for survivors of gender-based violence in Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Myanmar.    

Earlier this year, the Australian Government launched the $44 million Indo-Pacific COVID-19 Surge to help address urgent unmet needs for sexual and reproductive health services to protect the lives and health of women and girls from 22 countries in our region.

Australia also continues to call for an end to a culture of silence that prevents survivors from speaking out and securing justice.

We strongly support the important work of the UN Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Women’s Global Facility and Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund.

We are committed to implementing Australia’s second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2021-2031, through a survivor-centred approach that recognises gender inequality as a precursor to conflict and sexual violence.

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