An­gelina Jolie urges NATO to tackle sex­ual vi­o­lence in war

Business Sphere - - HOLLY WOOD -

U.N. refugee agency spe­cial en­voy An­gelina Jolie called on NATO on Wed­nes­day to help stop the use of sex­ual vi­o­lence as a weapon of war, as the Hol­ly­wood star broad­ened her in­ter­na­tional ef­forts to pro­tect women’s rights. Jolie, who ear­lier this week vis­ited a Syr­ian refugee camp in Jor­dan, made her ap­peal to the U.S.-led al­liance’s top de­ci­sion-mak­ing body, the North At­lantic Coun­cil, in Brus­sels, and later met NATO mil­i­tary com­man­ders. “Vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren, par­tic­u­larly sex­ual vi­o­lence, is an in­creas­ing fea­ture of con­flict,” Jolie told a news con­fer­ence at NATO head­quar­ters along­side the al­liance’s Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Jens Stoltenberg. “This is rape used as a weapon to achieve mil­i­tary or po­lit­i­cal goals. It af­fects men and boys as well as women and girls,” Jolie said. NATO, which counts 29 mem­bers and has mis­sions from Kosovo to Afghanistan, has agreed to help re­port on sex­ual vi­o­lence in war to help bring per­pe­tra­tors to jus­tice and chal­lenge the idea that rape is an un­avoid­able as­pect of con­flict. Jolie, a mother of six who last year re­leased her film “First They Killed My Fa­ther” about Cam­bo­dia’s Kh­mer Rouge regime in the 1970s, said she had met vic­tims of sex­ual vi­o­lence in con­flict and was try­ing to be a voice for them. Ex­press­ing frus­tra­tion at the lack of as­sis­tance avail­able to vic­tims, Jolie said she hoped that NATO could help by rais­ing stan­dards in other mil­i­taries through its train­ing pro­grames abroad, as well as pro­mot­ing the role of women in the mil­i­tary. Jolie sin­gled out the plight of Ro­hingya refugees flee­ing vi­o­lence in Myan­mar and what she said was the in­ad­e­quate re­sponse of many gov­ern­ments around the world. “I‘m very con­cerned about the Ro­hingya, I‘ m very an­gry at the re­sponse ... I‘ m very con­cerned about the sto­ries of the 10-year old girls be­ing raped,” she said. “We should all hang our head on how lit­tle we have been able to do,” she added. With some 65 mil­lion peo­ple forced from their homes by con­flict as of the end of 2016, Jolie said the sheer scale of the refugee cri­sis world­wide felt over­whelm­ing.

An­gelina Jolie

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