Pramila Patten, the UN Secretary-General's special representative on sexual violence in conflict, speaking at a press briefing in the city yesterday. -AA
United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten on Sunday said they consistently heard about sexual violence from survivors, including gang-rape of women by multiple soldiers. "One survivor described being held in captivity by the Myanmar armed forces for 45 days when she was raped repe-atedly," she told a press conference at a city hotel.
Patten said others still bore visible scars, bruises and bite marks attesting to their ordeal."Any actor who commits and commands or condones sexual violence against civilians must be held to account," she said.The UN special envoy visited Bangladesh to better understand the patterns and trends of the sexual violence related to the conflict in Myanmar.
The Special Representative visited several field locations, including the Bangladesh-Myanmar border itself.She will met relevant Bangladeshi authorities in Dhaka and Cox's Bazar, including the security services, to discuss strengthened collaboration and coordination with the UN to respond to sexual and gender-based violence, as well as potential protection concerns arising from the unprecedented influx of Rohingyas into Bangladesh, reports UNB.
The scope of this mission is to bring greater and more focused attention on the patterns and trends of sexual violence in the affected communities; and to foster a coordinated and enhanced response in terms of services to survivors as well as fact-finding and documentation of violations.
Ultimately, the aim of the Special Representative is to carry the voices of Rohingya women and children to the Bangladesh authorities, the United Nations Security Council and the international community.The mandate of the Special Representative is focused on protection and prevention of conflict-related sexual violence, with particular emphasis on fostering accountability for such crimes as a critical aspect of deterrence.
The mandate stresses a 'survivor cantered approach' in every aspect of work, and encourages national ownership and responsibility in addressing sexual violence.Upon her return to New York, the UN envoy will brief the UN Secretary General on the situation she observed on the ground.
Her office will compile the annual report of the Secretary General on conflict-related sexual violence to be presented to the Security Council next March which includes a dedicated section on Myanmar.
-AA News Desk
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