Burma Briefing No. 35
On 5th June 2014 the government of Burma signed the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. Burma was the 150th country to sign the Declaration and join the global initiative to combat sexual violence in conflict, which was launched by the British Foreign Secretary William Hague and UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura, in September 2013. The declaration contains practical and political commitments to end impunity, promote accountability, and provide justice and safety for victims of sexual violence in conflicts. Although it took more than 8 months for the Burmese government to sign the declaration, it is a welcome step in the right direction, but must be accompanied by practical steps to implement the Declaration.
At the time of signing Burma Campaign UK expressed concern that President Thein Sein has a record of broken promises on implementing commitments to reform, and argued that pressure was needed to ensure the government of Burma delivered on the twelve commitments made in the declaration.
One month on from Burma signing the Declaration, there appear to have been no steps at all taken on implementation.