25 May 2016
Today, the International Conference Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) National Civil Society Forum of Uganda, under the leadership of Akina Mama wa Afrika supported by Amplify Change, are gathered in Kampala for a 3 day advocacy workshop on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV). The workshop is aimed at strengthening the capacities of Ugandan civil society to encourage the effective the implementation of the Kampala Declaration and other related instruments on Sexual Gender Based Violence.
Recognising the prevalence and devastating impact of SGBV in the Great Lakes Region, the Heads of State and Government of Member States of the ICGLR held a special session on SGBV in 2011 at the Fourth Ordinary Summit, culminating in the signing of the Kampala Declaration. The same year, the ICGLR also launched the Zero Tolerance Campaign on SGBV, sending a strong message of governments’ commitment to end all forms of SGBV and promote human rights in the Great Lakes Region.
Yet, despite these commitments and the continued ratification of various international and regional instruments, SGBV continues to be perpetuated with impunity in the region as conflicts and generalized insecurity continues to fuel human rights abuses. Whilst patterns of SGBV cut across all countries in the Great Lakes Region, with for example, Uganda’s Police Crime Report, 2010 showing that 8645 cases of rape and other sexual violence were reported, the situation is even worse in countries affected by armed conflicts like Democratic Republic of Congo, where UN Secretary General report to the UN Security Council, indicated more than 1,100 women and girls being raped per month in Eastern regions alone, the Central African Republic, South Sudan and more recently in Burundi.
In a bid to accelerate the implementation of the Kampala Declaration and bring its spirit to life, CSOs are calling on governments of the Great Lakes Region and Uganda in particular to:
- Increase budget allocation to the one stop centres and to ensure that they comprehensively support survivors of SGBV
- Strengthen the partnerships between government, CSOs and other actors including the private sector to collectively address SGBV in the Great Lakes Region
- Launch and implement the zero tolerance campaign on SGBV in all members states
- Provide assistance to the survivors of SGBV by liberating and rehabilitating them from trauma and providing conditions favourable for the reconstruction of their lives
- End the impunity and bring to book the perpetrators of SGBV
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