UN spl rep calls for steps to protect Rohingyas from sexual violence

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International Desk :

UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten has submitted her report on Cox’s Bazar visit to the UN Secretary General and called for enhanced measures to protect and assist Rohingya survivors of sexual violence.

“The international community must come together to support the Government of Bangladesh to address this vast humanitarian and protection crisis,” she said.

She visited Bangladesh from November 5 to 13 including Dhaka and Cox’s Bazar, to better understand the nature, patterns and trends of sexual violence related to the conflict in Myanmar.

Her visit also assessed options for providing support to the government of Bangladesh, the United Nations system and other partners to ensure that the rights of conflict affected women and girls are respected and upheld in the settlements.

Her office has agreed to develop a Framework of Cooperation with the government of Bangladesh, including relevant ministries, the armed and security services, the Islamic Foundation and the Independent National Human Rights Commission, focusing particularly on the documentation, training, capacity-building, and strengthening of sexual and genderbased violence services and programmes.

Bangladesh is also in the process of developing a National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, which is an important entry-point for action to address conflict-related sexual violence and other human rights violations against Rohingya women and girls.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has emphasised the “safe, voluntary, dignified, and sustainable return of refugees to Rakhine”.

There is a long and complex history behind this crisis, including a vicious cycle of violence, deeply-rooted discrimination, and successive waves of displacement, all of which complicate the possibilities of a shortterm solution, according to a message UNB received from UN office in Dhaka on Friday night.

“Ultimately, we must be guided by the voices and perspectives of Rohingya women themselves. One survivor told me: I need land under my feet. I need to feel at home in my country, just as you are in yours”.

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