To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to prevent sexual violence towards Christian women and girls around the world.
23 November 2021
The Foreign Secretary has put ending violence against women and girls, including the use of sexual violence in war, at the heart of UK foreign and development policy. The UK is building a new consensus with our partners to condemn sexual violence in conflict as a "red line". We are committed to exploring all options for further international action, including the possibility of a new international convention. Through our investments of up to £67.5 million in the What Works to Prevent Violence: Impact at Scale programme, we are also scaling up proven violence prevention approaches globally, including sexual violence, for the most at-risk groups of women and girls.
In 2020, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon launched the Declaration of Humanity, which unites multiple faiths and beliefs in a common front to challenge damaging societal norms and calls for support for survivors of sexual violence internationally. Bilaterally, Ministers and officials regularly raise specific cases of concern, and discuss practices and laws that discriminate on the basis of religion or belief. Multilaterally, we also work with the UN, Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Council of Europe, G7 and other multilateral fora to promote Freedom of Religion or Belief. In 2022, the UK will host an international Ministerial conference on freedom of religion or belief to energise collective efforts on this agenda as well as a major global summit to unite world leaders around action to prevent sexual violence in conflict.