Colombia

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 28th January 2015.

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Photo of Baroness Coussins Baroness Coussins Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what practical steps they are taking to follow up the visit of the Prime Minister's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict to Colombia in 2014; and how they are supporting civil society in Colombia to work on the agenda they set at the Global Summit on ending conflict-related sexual violence.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

I am proud to work with the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), on the issue of sexual violence in conflict and see the leadership that the UK is taking on this issue. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is working across Government and around the world to ensure that we make significant progress in addressing impunity and supporting conflict affected states in strengthening their responses to these crimes.

The Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), and Mr Hague regularly discuss the implementation of the commitments from the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence, which took place in London in June last year.

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-governmental 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 our Embassy will hold an event during the first week of February to support the campaign against sexual violence, Survivors United for Action, led by Jineth Bedoya. Bedoya is one of Colombia’s most respected leaders on this theme and was a speaker at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.

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