Rape as a Weapon of War: a Growing Problem
Thursday, June 22, 2006 2:00 PM

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has organized a 3-day conference in Brussels focused on rape and sexual violence with delegates from 14 conflict-affected countries. It is the first conference of its kind to focus on this increasing problem. Although sexual violence during conflict is not a new issue, there is a growing amount of evidence that indicates that its prevalence is increasing. Delegates at the conference have heard first-hand testimony from women about their experience in conflict areas.

Rape as a weapon of war has been used in past conflicts, such as in Bosnia-Herzegovina where approximately 40,000 women were raped, but is also now reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo, East Timor, Haiti, and Sudan. A UN declaration and additional funding is what UNFPA is calling for to better address the issue not only during the conflict, but also in refugee camps and areas of post-conflict development.

Compiled from: "Rape in war 'a growing problem'," BBC News, 22 June 2006, www.bbc.co.uk, Accessed: 22 June 2006.