The highest United Nations official tasked with advocating against the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war urged today Libyan authorities to protect migrants from rape and other human rights violations.
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Violence against women
While the exact number is unknown, at least 200 million girls and women in 30 countries throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia have been subjected to female genital mutilation, or FGM, according to the UN Children's Fund ( UNICEF).
Female genital mutilation denies women and girls their dignity and causes needless pain and suffering, with consequences that endure for a lifetime and can even be fatal, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has said, stressing that the UN Sustainable Development Agenda promises an end to this practice by 2030.
"When my husband beat me, I came here," said Bu Meh (alias), a Karenni mother of five from Myanmar. She was referring to a community-based multi-sectoral project that works to end violence against women and supports survivors in one of the many Karenni refugee camps dotted along the Thailand-Myanmar border.
The United Nations today announced that it plans to strengthen its approach to preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse by creating a high-level task force that will develop a "clear, game-changing strategy" to achieve "visible and measurable further improvement."
Shukria was married off at just 9 years old. The wedding was arranged to settle a debt her family owed to a 50-year-old man. “He told my father he would forget the debt and give even more money if he could take me as his bride. So that is how I got married,” Shukria recounted.
Children make up almost a third of all human trafficking victims worldwide, according to a report released today by UNODC. Additionally, the report states that women and girls comprise 71 per cent of human trafficking victims, and highlights the recruitment or abduction of children by armed groups for forced marriages, sexual slavery or as combatants.
Approving a one-year extension of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, the Security Council today demanded an end to the fighting in the war-riven country, and decided that the mission, known as UNMISS, shall "use all necessary means" to "deter and prevent" sexual violence within its capacity, and "monitor, investigate and report incidents of hate speech."
Kachin, Myanmar - Five years ago, armed conflict engulfed Nam San Yam Village in northern Myanmar, forcing Aung Htwe to flee for his life. Since then, he has lived in the Maina AG displacement camp, unable to return home. Yet even in this safe haven, he sees - and hears - violence all the time.
WINDHOEK, Namibia - In many ways, Lelanie Basson is the picture of an empowered woman. But the best-selling Namibian author and entrepreneur remembers darker times: an abusive relationship that turned her life upside down. "He would threaten my life and that of my son.