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UN: Combating Sexual Violence, Great Lakes, Africa

UN looks to combat sexual violence in Africa's Great Lakes Region

16 June 2008 - Government representatives, military officials, key community representatives and women's rights defenders from across Africa's Great Lakes region have gathered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for a three-day conference focusing on eradicating sexual violence.

The main aim, according to the organizers of the conference, is to draw up an action plan to root out sexual violence and combat impunity for crimes against women and children across the Great Lakes Region.

The conference - being held in Goma in the northeast of the DRC - will examine community sensitization for the reintegration of women and girl rape victims, including approaches to change attitudes and behaviour of young people and men.

Participants are expected to discuss access to medical and psychological care and the rehabilitation of sexual violence survivors, and also access to justice and the legislative frameworks at national, regional and continental levels.

The conference has been organized by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region with the support of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (UNOHCHR) and the UN mission in the DRC (MONUC).

ENDS

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