IWD in Sri Lanka Focuses on Violence Against Women in Conflict Zones
Friday, March 13, 2009 2:28 PM

In a statement released 8 March 2009, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) urged the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to cease hostilities in the Vanni area of Sri Lanka in order to evacuate civilians. According to a 4 March 2009 article by Human Rights Watch, the conflict between the LTTE and national government has caused a humanitarian crisis that has killed at least two thousand civilians and injured several more thousand in the past two months alone.

APWLD is concerned that the conflict has made women and girls more vulnerable to human rights violations, and especially that internally displaced women and girls have limited access to support mechanisms (legal, medical, etc.) that are already in place. According to recent reports from eastern Sri Lanka, APWLD’s fears are well-founded.

Because Sri Lanka is a member of the United Nations (UN) and signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), APWLD highlighted several international law instruments regarding violence against women in order to urge the government to a ceasefire: UN Security Council Resolution 1325, CEDAW General Recommendation 19, Paragraph 131 of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) on women and armed conflict, and the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

For the full text of the APLWD statement, please click here.

For the full text of the Human Rights Watch article, please click here.

Compiled from:

Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), Rural and Indigenous Women Task Force, Women against War! Stop Human Rights Abuse of Women, and Uphold Gender Equality and Non-discrimination on the International Women’s Day (8 March 2009).

Human Rights Watch, News: Sri Lanka: Urgently Evacuate Civilians (4 March 2009).