Minister Yelich delivers Canadian statement at United Nations Security Council open debate on sexual violence in conflict
April 15, 2015 - New York City, New York - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular), on behalf of the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced an additional $5.5 million to fight sexual and gender-based violence.
This programming will include community-based education in Kenya and civic engagement in Pakistan, as well as work with policy and security institutions in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The campaign to end sexual violence in conflict is a priority for the Government of Canada. Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights abuses in the world. It is a leading cause of injury and disability and a risk factor for other physical and mental health problems. Violence against women undermines the ability of women to participate in rebuilding their communities and livelihoods in the aftermath of armed conflict.
The projects will be funded from the Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF), managed by the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START).
One example where Canada’s efforts to address sexual violence have been producing results is in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since 2006, over 60,000 survivors have accessed health and psychological support; over 15,000 survivors have acquired new job skills; and over 800 perpetrators have been convicted.
Children’s rights and protection are priorities in Canada’s foreign policy and development assistance. Girls face particular risks and abuses in situations of armed conflict. All too often they become the victims of rape, sexual violence and sexual exploitation. They are used as slave labour and face abuses such as sexual slavery, and child, early and forced marriage.
START is the Government of Canada’s centre of expertise for stabilization and reconstruction in fragile and conflict-affected areas throughout the world. GPSF allocates funding to START to address stabilization and reconstruction throughout the world. These efforts are the Government of Canada’s response to violent conflict, political instability and unrest abroad.
“It is my honour as a minister of the Government of Canada to convey the very deep concern of my government and of the people of Canada over the increase in sexual violence against women and girls in conflict situations. Much remains to be done to support survivors and ensure that they can live in dignity with their families and participate fully economically and socially in their communities and countries.”
- Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular)