Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 23rd January 2015.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict regarding sexual violence in Colombia; and what assistance the Government has offered to Colombia since the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict has provided the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend, the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), with a number of progress updates since the Global Summit as well as suggestions for additional areas of engagement and political support. The Colombian government’s efforts internationally and at home have demonstrated a clear commitment to tackling sexual violence. There is still more to do and the UK is supporting three projects in Colombia through the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative:

1. Our Embassy is working with two non-government organisations (NGOs), LIMPAL and Casa Amazonia, to directly support survivors of sexual violence, train women’s organisations and connect them to government authorities.

2. We are working with DeJusticia and the Attorney General’s Office to train prosecutors to investigate sexual violence in armed conflict, in support of efforts to develop new national standards for investigation and prosecution.

3. We are working with NGO Casa de la Mujer to adapt and implement in Colombia the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict (launched at the June Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict), with pilots in two municipalities of the Pacific coast most affected by the armed conflict and with high incidence of sexual violence.

In 2015 we will continue working with civil society, the Colombian government and the international community to support and empower victims and to increase their access to justice. The Embassy will hold an event during the first week of February to support the campaign against sexual violence Survivors United for Action, lead by Jineth Bedoya, one of Colombia’s most respected leaders on this theme.

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