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India calls for UN sanctions against terrorists on sexual violence

United Nations, Oct 26 (IANS) India has asked the Security Council to impose sanctions against terrorists involved in sexual violence in armed conflicts after Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had reported a huge increase in such brutalities.

“Sexual violence, abductions and human trafficking continue to be used as weapons of war in armed conflict by non-state actors and terrorist organisations,” Paulomi Tripathi, First Secretary in the Indian Mission told the Council on Thursday.

“The Sanctions Committees of the Security Council need to address the issue of proactively listing terrorist individuals and entities involved in sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflicts,” she said while participating in a debate on Women, Peace and Security.

“International cooperation for prosecution of criminals engaged in trans-boundary crimes are important to bring justice to the victims majority of whom are women and girls,” she added.

Earlier, Guterres told the Council: “The UN documented more than 800 cases of conflict-related sexual violence in 2017 – a 56 per cent increase since 2016.”

“Conflict continues to have a devastating effect on women and girls,” he added.

Various UN reports have chronicled the systematic rape, kidnapping and enslavement of of thousands women and girls by terrorist organisations like the Daesh or Islamic state in Syria, Boko Haram in Nigeria and Lord’s Resistance Army in several countries in the eastern side of Africa.

While several Security Council committees have imposed sanctions on terrorists and terror groups, none have so far meted out sanctions specifically for crimes against women and girls.

Tripathi also spoke of the general toll that instability caused by terrorism and criminal networks impose on women.

“Rapidly expanding trans-boundary criminal networks finance terror, arms supply, recruit and train of foreign fighters and destabilise whole regions which disproportionately affect women,” she said.

“Large scale movements of refugees emanating from armed conflicts increase the vulnerability of women to discrimination and exploitation.”

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in and followed on Twitter @arulouis)

–IANS
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