World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Iraq: UN officials voice concern about abuse of women, girls

Iraq: UN officials voice concern about humanitarian situation, abuse of women, girls

2 July 2014

Amid reports of deliberate targeting of women and girls in Iraq, senior United Nations officials today voiced deep concern about the deteriorating humanitarian and security situations in the country, where more than 1.2 million people have fled their homes in fear for their lives.

“As the security situation continues to worsen, I am extremely worried about the families urgently in need of water, food, shelter, healthcare, sanitation and protection from violence,” said Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.

That includes targeting of women and children, who have reportedly been kidnapped, raped and forcibly married to militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) and other armed groups.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, expressed deep concern yesterday following the reported suicides of some women who had been raped, and of men who had been forced to watch the rape of their wives and daughters.

“UN Women strongly condemns sexual and gender-based violence, and calls on all parties to address such reports and protect the rights of Iraqi women and girls,” she said.

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said such targeting is “a grave violation of human rights” and warned against the risk of growing extremism to women’s rights in the region and worldwide.

An estimated 20,000 women and girls in Iraq are at an increased risk of sexual violence as a result of the mounting crisis in the north and west, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said earlier this week.

The agency also noted since this latest violence erupted three weeks ago in northern Iraq, of the approximately one million people displaced by the crisis, some 250,000 women and girls – including nearly 60,000 pregnant women – are in need of urgent health care.

In total, more than 2.2 million people are now displaced in Iraq, including one million people already seeking refuge in Iraq as a result of the Syrian conflict and previous conflicts.

The bulk of them have fled to the autonomous Kurdish region, where UN agencies are doing their best to support the humanitarian response despite continued finding and ongoing security constraints, Ms. Amos said, adding: “But we have struggled to raise the funds required.”

To that end, she echoed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s gratitude to the Government of Saudi Arabia, which yesterday donated $500 million towards the humanitarian effort.

More than 2,417 Iraqis were killed last month and another 2,287 were injured in acts of terrorism and violence, according to the UN Assistance Mission in the country (UNAMI) human rights team.

Mr. Ban and senior UN officials have called for the immediate formation of an inclusive Government in the country and for all sides to take immediate steps to protect civilians.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>


Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news