Sartaj calls victims of sexual violence the most vulnerable, neglected

Adviser believes societal and cultural issues affect ‘hidden victims’ mostly

LONDON – Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has declared that hidden victims of sexual violence are the most vulnerable and neglected people and said that there is a need for greater international recognition of their existence in a large number.

He was addressing the ministerial dialogue on the theme – hidden victims of sexual violence – during a global summit to end sexual violence in conflict. The adviser said that the hidden victims were affected by societal and cultural issues. He pointed out that the normal mechanisms of data collection and identification of the victims was not enough and there was a need for new innovative approaches.

He called upon greater collaboration between the civil society organisations and the media in highlighting the issue and raising public awareness. Effective response to the issue could be strengthened both at the national and regional levels through various measures including comprehensive data collection, sharing of information, creation of regional networks, strong public-private partnerships and capacity-building of local organisations.

Sartaj commended the efforts of the organisers and hoped the dialogue would help protect the most vulnerable and forgotten victims of sexual violence and bring the perpetrators of sexual violence to justice. British Foreign Secretary William Hague and special envoy for UN High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie are co-chairing the four-day summit.

The main objective of the initiative is to create irreversible momentum against sexual violence in conflict and practical action that impacts those on the ground.

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