Eritrea: Sexual Offences

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 22nd June 2021.

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Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what progress he has made in deploying UK Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict experts to Eritrea.

Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking in Eritrea to help ensure that (a) perpetrators of sexual violence are brought to justice and (b) to ensure that evidence of sexual violence is (i) collected and (ii) preserved.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We are appalled at the prevalence of sexual violence in Tigray. We have raised this issue in a variety of multilateral fora, including the G7.

To strengthen justice for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, we are finalising the deployment of personnel from the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative UK Team of Experts. We are signing contracts and hope to deploy within the next few weeks. Recommendations from an initial scoping mission will outline options for supporting the Government of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and other key stakeholders to safely collect and preserve evidence, and bring the perpetrators of sexual violence to justice. We continue to explore options for addressing the immediate needs of survivors, preventing further sexual violence and delivering justice and accountability. The UK is also supporting the International Committee of the Red Cross, UN agencies, specialised NGOs and civil society partners to provide adequate essential services to survivors as well as supporting refugee survivors through the UN High Commission for Refugees.

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