Written by: Sandra Neuman
A day that in pop culture is marked by roses, chocolates and lovebirds is now widely commemorated as a day of global action protesting violence against women and girls - February 14th is the day for the One Billion Rising for Justice campaign. Every year, the One Billion Rising for Justice Campaign, organized by the V-Day Movement, brings attention to women rising to demand justice and an end to violence against women including through dance, song, art, testimonies, and spoken words.
On this day, WILPF rose as well and we will continue to rise for justice! With the One Billion Rising for Justice campaign, we are demanding justice for victims of sexual violence performed by peacekeepers. Today there are still reports of United Nations (UN) peacekeepers committing crimes of sexual violence, including rape, sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Victims of violence are confronted with many problems and obstacles on their way to justice, such as, immunities of criminal prosecution, whistleblower sanctions, and a lack of will from the international community to take action.
WILPF's ‘Paths to Justice' project addresses these issues and demands accountability from the international community. The project commenced with two international legal conferences which discussed and researched these complexities, legal issues and obstacles and ultimately resulted in an Outcome Document with recommendations for ending impunity. WILPF has also created an infographic outlining the problems of the peacekeeping accountability system. To support the campaign and raise awareness about this grave issue, you can share the cover photo featured below and tweet why you feel the culture of impunity needs to be addressed using the hashtag #PathsToJustice. You can also petition your government to bring attention to this issue and demand strengthened accountability for the UN's Zero Tolerance Policy.