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Sexual violence in conflict destroys lives and damages communities. Next week sees the largest gathering ever brought together on this subject, with a view to creating irreversible momentum against sexual violence in conflict. This global summit will be held in London from 10-13 June 2014. More than 140 world leaders will take part in these discussions aimed at bringing an end to sexual violence in conflict.
Background to this summit
The United Nations established the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence in Conflict in 2009. This office has six priorities:
- to end impunity for sexual violence in conflict by assisting national authorities to strengthen criminal accountability, responsiveness to survivors and judicial capacity
- the protection and empowerment of civilians who face sexual violence in conflict, in particular, women and girls who are targeted disproportionately by this crime
- to mobilize political ownership by fostering government engagement in developing and implementing strategies to combat sexual violence
- to increase recognition of rape as a tactic and consequence of war through awareness-raising activities at the international and country levels
- to harmonise the UN’s response by leading UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict, a network of focal points from 13 UN agencies that amplify programming and advocacy on this issue in the wider UN agenda
- to emphasise greater national ownership.
The Office has eight priority countries:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Central African Republic (CAR)
- Colombia; Cote d’Ivoire
- Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
- South Sudan
While six of the eight priority countries are in Africa, this problem is widespread and the Office of the Special Representative is engaged on this issue in Asia and the Pacific (in Cambodia for residual cases from the Khmer Rouge period) and the Middle East (Syria).
UN Security Council Resolutions about ending sexual violence in armed conflict
Resolution 2106 on 24 June 2013
Focuses on accountability for perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict and stresses women’s political and economic empowerment.
Resolution 1960 on 16 December 2010
Establishes a monitoring, analysis and reporting mechanism on conflict-related sexual violence in situations on the Council’s agenda, and also calls upon parties to armed conflict to make specific, time-bound commitments to prohibit and punish sexual violence; asks the Secretary-General to monitor those commitments.
Media reports about the Global Summit
- 'Foreign minister Julie Bishop speaks out against sexual violence in war zones', SMH, 2 June 2014
- 'Ending sexual violence in conflict: what’s your message to world leaders?' by Liz Ford, The Guardian, 29 May 2914
- 'Jolie to seek end to sexual violence as war weapon at London summit' by Julian Borger, The Guardian, 1 April 2014
The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence in Conflict have established an online forum: Stop Rape Now. It invites everyone to take a stand against the use of sexual violence as a tactic of war by adding a cross-armed picture to their global campaign.
Stay Smart Online Week is an awareness campaign conducted by the Australian Government, in partnership with the industry, the community sector and all levels of government. This week is a good time to consider protecting personal and financial information online.
This year the theme is 'On The Go' which reflects the importance of staying safe and secure online while using mobile devices when social networking, banking, shopping, and navigating the internet.
Find out about:
- securing your mobile device
- securing your desktop or laptop computer
- protecting your identity and privacy
- protecting your online accounts and banking
- safely connecting and sharing
- protecting children
- smart online shopping
CERT Australia, the national computer emergency response team has released the 2013 Cyber Crime and Security Survey Report. This annual survey provides a picture of the cyber threat environment, helping the CERT to provide major Australian businesses the best cyber security advice and support possible. See media release, 29 May 2014
Finding out more about cyberlaw
Use our Research Guide: Preliminary Part II: HSC Legal Studies - Cyberlaw to find information about:
Between September 2012 and March 2014 the NSW prison population rose by 13%, reaching a record high in March this year of 10,917. If the current trend in inmate numbers continues, the NSW prison population will likely rise by another 17% (about 12,500 inmates) by March 2015.
The increase in the prisoner numbers is due to two factors: higher arrest rates and tougher penalties. This is the conclusion of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research in a new report 'Why is the NSW prison population growing?' See the media release for a summary of the findings of this report by Don Weatherburn, Wai-Yin Wan and Simon Corben (Issue paper No 95, April 2014).
The Attorney General is hailing this as a mark of success in making the community safer. See his media statement 'Community safe as arrests and imprisonment rise', 15 May 2014.
More about prisons and prisoners
For further information you can look at the following resources:
- NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research – scroll down the alphabetic list to 'prison'
- Australian Institute of Criminology – imprisonment and detention
- Find Legal Answers - prisoners
- Magazine articles: Use Informit Online - Law if you have a Library card for the State Library. Type in 'prison' or 'imprisonment' and select full text
- Case study on new style of prison for Indigenous offenders: See Law Report, 20 May 2014.