In London next week William Hague, the foreign secretary, and Angelina Jolie will be hosting a huge summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. This is such an important initiative and I really welcome it.
But it’s vital that when governments talk about protecting women who experience sexual violence in conflict, they don’t forget women who have to cross borders and seek asylum.
Most of the women who come to the UK seeking asylum who are locked up in Yarl’s Wood detention centre have experienced rape in their home countries. I think they should be treated with dignity and given a fair hearing, rather than being imprisoned.
You can come and hear me talk about this at the summit – I’ll be speaking at a fringe event which is open to the public in the ExCel Centre on Wednesday 11 June at 4.30pm with Shami Chakrabarti and Juliet Stevenson. It would be great to see you there! More details are on the Women for Refugee Women website – http://refugeewomen.com/events-2/
If you can’t make the event, it would be great if you could tweet about why women who experience rape as persecution shouldn’t be locked up if they seek asylum. The hashtag for the summit is #TimeToAct, so we are saying: If you care about women who have been raped in conflict, don’t lock them up! #TimeToAct #SetHerFree change.org/refugeewomen
thank you so much for your support
with best wishes from
Sexual violence in conflict destroys lives and damages communities.
The Foreign Secretary and Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, are co-chairing the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict on 10-13 June 2014 at ExCel London.
This is the largest gathering ever brought together on the subject, with a view to creating irreversible momentum against sexual violence in conflict and practical action that impacts those on the ground.
3 days of free public events are taking place in the Summit Fringe at ExCel London from the 10-12 June.
A webcast of key events during the Summit will be available here from 10 June.