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Minister Costello calls for action to end sexual violence at London summit

Irish Aid, Minister Joe Costello, Human rights, Press Releases, Ireland, Europe, Africa, 2014


Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello TD is today attending a meeting seeking to end sexual violence in conflict situations.

The ’Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict’ takes place in London and is co-hosted by William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary and Angelina Jolie, the Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. At the summit, representatives from around the world are discussing how to halt the use of rape and sexual violence in conflict zones.

Minister Costello also announced an additional €100,000 in funding for the Irish Consortium on Gender-Based Violence, which draws together Irish Aid; Irish humanitarian, development and human rights agencies, and the Irish Defence Forces to tackle gender-based violence.

At the conference today Minister Costello said:

“Every day more cases of sexual gender based violence are reported in international media. The rape and murder of two girls in India, the targeted shooting of women in the US and the kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria are just recent examples. Violence against women is a global challenge, affecting one in three women, and a manifestation of gross inequality and discrimination. It prevents women and girls from achieving their potential and perpetuates situations of poverty for individual women, their families and whole societies.

“Gender based violence is the most pervasive - yet least recognised - human right abuse in the world. It is now time to act. Women’s voices must be heard. We must translate our global commitments into concrete actions to ensure that women and girls can reach their full potential and live a life free from fear”.

Preventing and responding to all forms of violence against women is an essential part of Ireland’s development cooperation programme, Irish Aid. Ireland’s policy on international development, One World, One Policy describes gender-based violence as “a major abuse of human rights, which can have serious impacts on women’s health, well-being and livelihoods”.

Irish Aid is committed to tackling gender-based violence in our partner countries, including Uganda, Zambia, Timor Leste, South Africa, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mozambique. This includes delivering healthcare, counselling and other services to survivors of gender based violence (GBV), developing and implementing legislation on GBV, engaging men in programmes to prevent GBV, and building awareness of the impact of this violence among communities.

Irish Aid is an active member of the Irish Consortium on Gender-Based Violence, which is a unique collaboration between Irish humanitarian, development and human rights agencies, and the Irish Defence Forces. The Consortium counts Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as patron.

The funding for the Consortium announced by Minister Costello will be used to prevent and respond to gender based violence and promote a coherent and coordinated response to such violence.



Press Office

12 June 2014


Notes for Editor: