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UK govt set to tackle conflict-related sexual violence

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UK PM Johnson thanks Britons for abiding by lockdown on return to work
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson

By Victoria Ojeme

ABUJA: UK Government has said it is committed to tackling conflict-related sexual violence all over the world.

In a statement made available to journalists on the launch of June 19, 2020, International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict
yesterday said, ‘We want to eliminate the culture of impunity around such horrific crimes, strengthen justice for survivors, and hold perpetrators to account.

“This year the UK is announcing the launch of the Murad Code, a global survivor-centered code of conduct that will prevent the re-traumatization of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence.

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Experience has shown that when survivors report the crimes committed against them, they often relive harrowing experiences that can have a damaging impact.

The Murad Code sets expected standards of behaviour that government bodies, NGOs, and aid workers should follow when gathering evidence from survivors of sexual violence in conflict situations in order to protect their wellbeing.

Named after Yazidi Nobel Peace Laureate Nadia Murad the code will uphold international standards and best practice when documenting conflict-related sexual violence to strengthen investigation into sexual violence crimes, and support the UK’s efforts to strengthen justice and accountability for all survivors.

The draft Murad Code was developed through an intensive and inspiring process of inter-disciplinary research and in-depth preliminary discussions with more than 160 survivors, national and international documenters, humanitarians, researchers, donors, and other experts from across the globe.

The product of that process is now launched for broader in-depth global consultations and further development.

In Nigeria, the cases of rape and other forms of sexual violence have continued to rise in conflict areas, as well as across the country in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures put in place by the federal government to stem its spread.

The UK is working alongside organisations, civil society actors and individuals in partnership with the Nigeria Federal and State governments, to continue to challenge such harmful sexual crimes perpetrated against victims in conflict, and to support victims and survivors, especially women and girls particularly in the North-Eastern part of the country.

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