Statement on the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict

16 May 2012

Statement by a worldwide coalition of Burma campaigning groups on International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict in Burma

“Rape is used in my country as a weapon against those who only want to live in peace, who only want to assert their basic human rights, especially in the areas of the ethnic nationalities. Rape is rife. It is used as a weapon by the armed forces to intimidate the ethnic nationalities and to divide our country.” 

— Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi


This week marks the week of action for the global launch of International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict.
As member organizations of the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict, we – a worldwide coalition of Burma campaigning groups - support and pledge to help end this wanton scourge that affects so many countries like Burma, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya.

Focus on Burma since the by-elections has been on the regime’s efforts towards democratic reform in Burma and many states have announced they would ease sanctions to encourage change.  The unfortunate reality is that very little has changed for Burma since the by-elections. The military remains very much in control of the country. Even as it espoused peace and democratic reform internationally, the regime has not ceased its military offensive against ethnic minorities of Burma.

The military regime in Burma continues to use rape to humiliate women and their communities. Indeed, high incidents of rape and the systemic use of it as a weapon of war is one of the reasons why Burma is one of four target countries of the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict.

The Campaign is led by the women Peace Laureates of the Nobel Women’s Initiative—Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman—and an Advisory Committee comprised of 25 organizations. The Campaign is the first ever global collaboration between Nobel Peace Laureates, international advocacy organizations, and groups working at the regional and community levels in conflict areas.

As part of the Campaign, we will demand urgent and bold political leadership to prevent rape in conflict, to protect civilians and rape survivors, and call for justice for all—including effective prosecution of those responsible.  We support the Campaign’s broad focus on prevention, protection, and prosecution. We need the political will and resources to prevent and protect, while also ensuring that those who are survivors of rape find the justice and support they deserve.

Please join us in our efforts and pledge your support to stop rape in conflict.

The undersigned organisations are:

Actions Birmanie
Altsean-Burma
Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
Association Suisse Birmanie
Burma Action Ireland
Burma Campaign Australia
Burma Campaign UK
Burma Centre Delhi
Burmainfo
Burma Partnership
Canadian Friends of Burma
Christian Solidarity Worldwide
European Karen Network
Forum for Democracy in Burma
Free Burma Campaign (South Africa)
Info Birmanie
Nobel Women’s Initiative
People’s Forum on Burma (Japan)
Society for Threatened Peoples
Swedish Burma Committee
The Institute for Asian Democracy
US Campaign for Burma

For media interview please contact:
Mary Hla: Burma Campaign UK , +44 7853287330
Jennifer Quigley: U.S. Campaign for Burma, +1 202-234-8022
Tin Maung Htoo, Canadian Friends of Burma, +1613-297-6835



Burma Action Ireland

PO Box 6786, Dublin 1, IRELAND email: info@burmaactionireland.org web: www.burmaactionireland.org