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UN: Protect Survivors of Sexual Violence!

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Sponsor: The Hunger Site

A UN Sexual Violence Survivors' Rights Resolution would ensure that survivors' rights are fundamental human rights.


According to the World Health Organization, 35% of women on earth - 1.3 billion people - are sexual violence survivors, equivalent to the entire populations of North America and Europe, combined1.

Rape has become an epidemic2.

The United Nations (UN) was founded to protect the equality of all people, regardless of who they are or where they live. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights ensures that protection3, but the UN General Assembly has never passed a resolution focused solely on sexual violence outside of that related to armed conflicts4.

No human should be denied basic protections against sexual violence and access to justice based on gender, age, nationality or citizenship. Yet, in so many countries we see women, and especially minority women, treated like second-class citizens, or worse5.

A growing number of countries are passing sexual violence legislation to improve survivors' access to justice. In 2016, the United States Congress passed the Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights, codifying civil rights for 25 million rape survivors in America6.

In 2019, through the adoption of resolution 2467, the UN Security Council recognized the need for a survivor-centered approach to inform all measures to prevent and address sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations7.

In 2021, the United Nations unanimously adopted a new agenda item (134) introduced by Sierra Leone to ensure access to justice globally for sexual assault survivors, which permanently places the topic of sexual violence on the UNGA agenda to be discussed each year by UN Member States8.

The introduction by H.E. President Bio of Sierra Leone marked the first time that the more than 1.3 billion survivors of sexual violence were verbally recognized in the UN General Assembly agenda and the first time that the rights of all survivors will be discussed as a standalone issue outside of conflict9.

It's time to make survivors' rights official. A UN General Assembly Sexual Violence Survivors' Rights Resolution would ensure that survivors’ rights are fundamental human rights.

Sign the petition and call on the UN to adopt the Sexual Violence Survivors' Rights Resolution!

More on this issue:

  1. Claudia Garcia-Moreno, Alessandra Guedes, Wendy Knerr, World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization (2012), "Understanding and addressing violence against women."
  2. Bukola Adebayo, CNN (2022), "Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
  3. United Nations, "Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
  4. United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict "UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict."
  5. Oxfam (2021), "Gender justice and women's rights."
  6. Rep. Mimi Walters, 114th Congress (24 June 2016), "H.R. 5578: Survivors' Bill of Rights Act of 2016."
  7. United Nations Secretary-General, United Nations (3 June 2020), "Conflict-Related Sexual Violence."
  8. United Nations General Assembly (14 September 2021), "Organization of the seventy-sixth regular session of the General Assembly, adoption of the agenda and allocation of items."
  9. The State House, Sierra Leone (23 September 2021), "Sierra Leone's President Julius Maada Bio Leads UN Resolution for Survivors of Sexual Violence, Becomes First Such UNGA Agenda in History."
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The Petition:

To the Secretary-General of the United Nations and leaders of member states,

According to the World Health Organization, 35% of women on earth - 1.3 billion people - are sexual violence survivors, equivalent to the entire populations of North America and Europe, combined.

Until recently, the UN has let this violence go ignored.

When Sierra Leone's President Julius Maada Bio in 2021 spoke on behalf of the UN Resolution for Survivors of Sexual Violence, it was the first time that the more than 1.3 billion survivors of sexual violence were verbally recognized in the UN General Assembly agenda and the first time that the rights of all survivors will be discussed as a standalone issue outside of conflict.

This is a step in the right direction. Thank you for continuing the conversation on reducing incidents of sexual violence and protecting the rights of those victimized.

It's now time to make survivors' rights official. A UN General Assembly Sexual Violence Survivors' Rights Resolution would ensure that survivors' rights are fundamental human rights.

I call on you to adopt this resolution, to bear witness to all survivors in their pursuit of justice, guaranteeing basic civil rights protections and absolving them of any custom, tradition or religious consideration that may delay or diminish this pursuit.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: