South Sudan: Rape

Department for International Development written question – answered on 21st May 2019.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking to tackle the prevalence of rape in South Sudan; and what programmes he has established to educate (a) women and (b) men that rape is unacceptable.

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Sexual violence is widespread in South Sudan. In most cases perpetrators of sexual violence are men who are known to the victims. Rape is also regularly used as a weapon of war by all parties. The UK strongly condemns all forms of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). We continue to lobby the Government of South Sudan to address SGBV and end impunity for perpetrators, and support organisations working to tackle the prevalence of SGBV in the country.

This includes a four-year, £14.8 million programme with the International Medical Corps, which has reached more than 850,000 women, men, girls and boys with SGBV interventions in South Sudan. Through this we are supporting survivors of SGBV, including in seeking justice, as well as trying to change damaging attitudes within communities. As attitudes and behaviours are shaped at an early age, our Girls Education in South Sudan programme also educates both boys and girls about healthy relationships.

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