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14       Historical Events— International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

The Leader of the Australian Greens in the Senate (Senator Waters) Leader of the Australian Greens in the Senate , also on behalf of Senators Faruqi and Steele-John, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 696—That the Senate—

(a)              notes that:

(i)                    Friday, 19 June 2020 marks the sixth annual International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict,

(ii)                  UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict (UN Action) plays a vital role in working towards ending sexual violence in conflict by uniting 13 UN entities to amplify advocacy, improve coordination and accountability, and support prevention and response efforts, and their six guiding principles are:

(A)                 rape is not an inevitable consequence of conflict - it must be prevented,

(B)                 gender-based violence, including sexual violence, is a violation of fundamental human dignity and rights,

(C)                 attempts to end sexual violence must address gender-based inequalities by empowering women and protecting and promoting their rights,

(D)                the constructive involvement of men and boys is vital,

(E)                 survivors of sexual violence must guide advocacy, and programming efforts to end sexual violence and secure peace, and

(F)                 sexual violence in conflict is one of history’s great silences - we all have a duty to act, and

(iii)                sexual violence in conflict continues to affect millions of people, especially women and girls; it persists due to ineffective protections, inadequate rule of law and judicial systems, and under-resourced support services for survivors, and sexual violence during conflict can constitute a war crime, crime against humanity and act of genocide, and it must be prevented;

(b)              acknowledges that:

(i)                    the focus of this year’s commemoration event is the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on victims and survivors of conflict-related sexual violence,

(ii)                  COVID-19 is having a detrimental impact on all aspects of the lives of victims and survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, and 

(iii)                quarantine, isolation and movement restrictions, and limitations on services, exacerbate the social and structural barriers to reporting and monitoring sexual violence in conflict; these crisis-related limitations also reduce the availability of support services for survivors, including health services, justice services, counselling services, and emergency housing services; and

(c)              calls on the Government to increase support for UN Action efforts to eliminate the occurrence of sexual violence in conflict.

Question put and passed.