UK Foreign Secretary urged to emphasize sexual violence in Burma
12 September 2013: British Foreign Secretary William Hague has been urged to prioritise issues of rapes and sexual violence in Burma at the UN meeting on 24 September.
A delegation from Burma Campaign UK with British MP Valerie Vaz today delivered over 2,000 letters and campaign postcards to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.
Valerie Vaz MP said: “The use of rape and sexual violence against women in any circumstances is simply unacceptable. The on-going practice of sexual violence by the Burmese armed forces is alarming and should not be ignored by the British government.”
“William Hague should ensure that Burma is fully included in the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative,” said Valerie Vaz, who delivered the letters and campaign postcards on behalf of supporters of Burma Campaign UK.
A statement by Burma Campaign UK stressed on a significant increase in reports of the use of rape and other forms of sexual violence against women by the government’s troops since the Burma Army broke ceasefires two years ago in Kachin and northern Shan States.
Women and girls have been forced at gun point to guide and porter for the Burmese Army’s troops and are subjected to sexual violence, according to the statement.
There is almost no support for these women and it is very difficult for them to speak out as many face threats and harassment by Burma Army soldiers and dare not speak out about the abuses. the statement said.
Burma Army soldiers continue to act with impunity.
Burma Campaign UK called on the British government to highlight Burma when Foreign Secretary William Hague travels to New York for a major meeting at the UN to discuss sexual violence in conflict on 24 September.#