BURMA: Amid Praise, End to Sexual Violence: G8

Friday, April 12, 2013
South Eastern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

The G8 Foreign Ministers noted that since President Thein Sein took office, Myanmar has made great steps towards democracy and to strengthen the rule of law. The comments came at the international world leaders' summit in London on April 10 and 11.

However, in a statement release following their meeting, the ministers called on the “Myanmar government to take further steps to end all violence, to respect the rights of ethnic and religious minorities and to pursue inclusive peace negotiations.”

They emphasized their continued support of the reforms and welcomed the government's commitment to responsible investment in Myanmar in line with the UN Global Compact and Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

During the summit, the foreign ministers endorsed a global Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict and “called for urgent action to address comprehensively the culture of impunity and to hold perpetrators to account for acts of sexual violence committed in armed conflict”.

In February, Mizzima reported that sexual violence remained rife in conflict-effected Kachin State.

At the time, Julia Marip said Kachin Women's Association of Thailand (KWAT) had continuing evidence of systematic rape by Myanmar troops against Kachin and other ethnic women. She said KWAT had recorded 30 incidents where 64 women or girls had been sexually assaulted in Kachin State since the conflict began.

“But there could be many more cases that we have not been able to document,” she said, explaining that NGOs were unable to make contact with many rural areas and villages under government control.

“Half of those women raped were killed afterward,” she said.