William Hague and Angelina Jolie to highlight problem of warzone rape on visit to Africa
Monday 25 March 2013
Foreign secretary William Hague will travel with Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie to Africa this week to raise awareness of warzone rape.
Mr Hague and Jolie, a United Nations special envoy, will meet survivors of rape and sexual violence during their visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, the Foreign Office said.
The pair intend to call on all governments to help eradicate sexual violence in conflicts when they meet local political leaders.
Golden Globe award winner Jolie is continuing the work she started with Mr Hague in London last year, when they launched the UK's Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative.
Her 2011 film In The Land Of Blood And Honey depicted the experiences of women in the infamous rape camps set up during ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and was a catalyst for the UK initiative, the Foreign Office said.
Jolie said: ""This visit is about hearing first hand from people who have endured rape and sexual violence during the conflict in the Eastern DRC. We want to identify ways in which the international community can help them to rebuild their lives.
"Unless the world acts, we will always be reacting to atrocities, treating survivors rather than preventing rape in the first place. I welcome the United Kingdom's efforts to galvanise the international action that is so desperately needed."
The actress and mother-of-six has highlighted the plight of refugees worldwide for over a decade in her role as a UN High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy.
The visit comes three weeks before the foreign ministers meet in London with their counterparts in the US, France, Canada, Japan, Germany, Russia and Italy for the annual meeting of the G8.
Mr Hague said: "Rape is often used as a weapon of war in conflict zones around the world. It destroys people's lives and communities in the most horrific manner imaginable.
"Yet more often than not the international community looks away, the perpetrators of these brutal crimes walk free and the cycle of injustice and conflict is repeated. We have to shatter this culture of impunity."
Mr Hague and Jolie will urge G8 members to agree landmark measures to secure justice for survivors of sexual violence and deter perpetrators.
These include a new international protocol on the investigation of rape and sexual violence and an agreement that the attacks constitute grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, as well as practical commitments to tackle the violence.
Hague added that meaningful action by governments to tackle sexual violence in conflicts was a "personal priority" of his during next month's meeting.
After the G8, he will take the campaign to the UN Security Council in June and to the UN General Assembly in September.
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 SAG Awards: Fake applause track interrupts Reese Witherspoon
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: On behalf of a successful academy i...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...
£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...