More still needs to be done on sexual violence, UN now says

Kenya joined the rest of the world in marking the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, with calls on the need to put an end to conflict related sexual violence.

Now on its10th anniversary, stakeholders still believe that no effective measures have been put in place initiated by governments’ years later to provide rehabilitation, reparation and justice for survivors of historical injustices as well as human rights violations.

Speaking in Nairobi during the commemorations, United Nations Senior Human Rights Advisor, Marcella Favretto decried the status of many women and girls who conceived unwanted pregnancies from brutal rapes that they have suffered from such injustices and violations.

She explained that a study conducted by Human Rights Watch documented 37 cases of women and girls who got pregnant from post-election violence (PEV). The study further depicts the multiple layers of ongoing stigma, rejecting, discrimination, violence, trauma and human rights violation suffered by the children born from rape and their mothers.

Survivors endure significant physical injuries, psychological trauma, debilitating health conditions and socio-economic losses resulting from sexual violence yet no effective measures have been initiated by the state to date to provide any worthy solutions, said Favretto

She further noted that survivors propose urgent rehabilitation and psycho social support established in county-based special units for rehabilitation of survivors of conflicts related sexual violence spearheaded by the affected counties’ Women Representatives working in conjunction with Governors, non-state stakeholder, working groups and networks to establish a safe, secure and survivor-centered mechanism for survivors to report their experiences.

The Commission of Inquiry into the Post-Election Violence (CIPEV) established that at least 900 women, girls, men and boys were sexually violated during the post-election violence in 2007 and 2008.

This is a tip of the iceberg representing the survivors who came forward or could access medical care within 72 hours, Favretto stressed, adding that many survivors could not report their experiences in a timely manner due to various reasons like insecurity and lack of transport.

Claris Atieno from Migori County, a survivor from PEV rape said that she was able to survive for the last 10 years with no opportunities of getting healed. She also lost her husband with no better settlement, something which has been painful to endure.

The United Nation (UN) General assembly adopted a resolution in 2015 proclaiming 19th June of each year the international Day for Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Source: Kenya News Agency