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Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL3229, tabled on 27 November 2014

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of reports of systematic sexual violence against women in Burma, as documented by the Women’s League of Burma in their recent report; and what action they plan to take under their Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative to help prevent further violence and to bring the perpetrators of sexual violence to justice.

Answered on

4 December 2014

We are aware of the reports, not least the most recent one from the Women’s League of Burma, alleging sexual violence on Commander during his visit to Burma in January. In October the Minister of State for the Department of International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for New Forest West (Mr Swayne), took up the issue when he met with Burma’s Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement. The UK has allocated over £300,000 to projects supporting the prevention of sexual violence in Burma. Prevention of sexual violence in conflict is also a key element of our defence the part of the Burmese army. These are extremely concerning and we continue to press the Burmese military and government to hold perpetrators to account. The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), raised this issue directly with the Commander in Chief of the Burmese military and the Northern engagement with Burma and is included, along with the importance of human rights and the rule of law, in any education courses we deliver to the military in Burma.