October 9, 2013


Burma Campaign UK today called on the British government to ensure that ending rape and sexual violence in Burma is included in the UN General Assembly resolution on Burma, a first draft of which is expected to be completed by the European Union this week.

Burma Campaign UK also called on the British government to raise rape and sexual violence in Burma when the United Nations Security Council discusses Women Peace and Security on 18th October.

Burma Campaign UK welcomes the British government’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI). However, despite numerous requests from the British government, President Thein Sein has refused to support the initiative. Burma Campaign UK has received increased reports of rape and sexual violence by the Burmese Army and security forces since Thein Sein became President.

Burma Campaign UK has written to Hugo Swire MP, the minister responsible for Burma policy at the Foreign Office, stating; ‘The upcoming UN General Assembly Resolution on Burma is an opportunity to include strong wording calling for an end to impunity for crimes of rape and sexual violence. We hope that the British government will ensure that such wording is included in the resolution…It is important to send a strong signal to President Thein Sein that the United Nations expects to see the government of Burma take action to stop rape and sexual violence and end the culture of impunity.’

“Thein Sein has been President for two and a half years and rather than taking action to stop rapes, reports of rape have actually increased”, said Zoya Phan, Campaigns Manager at Burma Campaign UK. “Thein Sein won’t even admit there is a problem, let alone take action to address it. It is clear that the current softly softly approach by the British government is not delivering results and that more pressure needs to be put on the government of Burma to tackle this serious issue. Highlighting the problem at the United Nations is one way of doing that. This is a matter of urgency, one rape is one rape too many.”

Notes to Editor:
More information about the campaign to end rape and sexual violence in Burma is available here.

More information on the United Nations Security Council discussion on Women, Peace and Security is available here and here.

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