State Responsibility to Protect Human Rights Defenders
Sunila Abeysekera Commemoration, September 9th 2014
We as individual human rights activists, as well as the human rights community as a whole greatly miss Sunila today. As we struggle to grapple with myriads of contemporary challenges we miss her indomitable character, and energy. As we gather today to celebrate her life and work since she left us so suddenly – exactly an year ago, her memories still remain fresh in my mind. As I stated in my speech made in the first South Asian Sunila memorial lecture held in Dhaka organised last year by Sangat the South Asian Feminist, we will continue to remain in conversation with you Sunila.
UNITED NATIONS, Jul 16 2013 (IPS) - Despite the United Nations’ “zero tolerance” policy against sexual violence, there has been a rash of gender-based crimes in several of the world’s conflict zones, including South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Northern Uganda, Somalia, the Central African Republic – and, more recently, in politically-troubled Egypt and Syria.
Describing rape as “a weapon of war”, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council last month that sexual violence occurred wherever conflicts raged, “devastating survivors and destroying the social fabric of whole communities”.
“It was a crime under international human rights law and a threat to international peace and security,” he said.