On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, Federica Mogherini, High Representative/ Vice-President, Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, and Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, made the following statement:
"Sexual violence in conflict, as well as all forms of violence and discrimination against women, girls, men and boys is a flagrant and unacceptable violation of human rights. Every person, who has suffered from sexual violence must have the right to comprehensive services, justice and reparations. It is the primary responsibility of all States, to support and assist the victims, as well as to hold perpetrators of sexual violence to account, to prevent and deter these crimes.
As a global leader, the European Union has taken decisive and concrete action to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual violence. We assist at least 700.000 Syrian refugees and internally displaced people in getting access to protection from sexual and gender-based violence through our Trust Fund for Syria. To tackle past abuses against women, we are preparing support to assist transitional justice processes in Kosovo, Colombia and the Philippines. And last year alone, the EU humanitarian aid for the prevention of and response to sexual and gender-based violence reached almost 3.4 million women, men, girls and boys through 84 different projects.
Our engagement to achieve true gender equality, conflict prevention, sustaining peace and realising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is at the heart of our daily work. Empowering women is an effective way to advance conflict prevention, conflict resolution, relief and recovery and for building sustainable peace. Along with our active contributions to tackling the root causes of conflict, we will continue to address inequalities and to help build peaceful and inclusive societies. These work goes hand in hand with the key objectives of the European Union's Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy and the new European Consensus on Development.
We work in a comprehensive and coherent manner to eliminate all forms of sexual and gender-based violence against women, men, girls and boys. This will continue to guide the implementation of relevant United Nations' and EU measures, such as Comprehensive Approach to the EU implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security, our Action Plan for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in EU External Relations for the period 2016-2020, our Guide to Practical Actions at EU level for Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict, our Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015-2019, our Guidelines on Violence against Women and Girls and Combating all Forms of Discrimination against them and our policy on Transitional Justice.
The EU is also leading by example in preventing sexual and gender-based violence and protecting individuals and communities from it within the European Union. We have allocated robust financial support for Member States and grassroots efforts to prevent gender-based violence and support its victims in the European Union.
The EU has also taken steps towards accession to the Council of Europe's 'Istanbul Convention' on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. This month, the EU will take over the leadership of the 'Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies'.
We have achieved a lot, together. And we won't stop working each and every day until women, men, girls and boys are able to lead a life free from fear and violence anywhere in the world."
For more information:
Campaign Say No! Stop Violence against Women implemented by the European Commission