"Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Central African Republic A/HRC/45/55
Agenda Item 10: Technical assistance and capacity-building"
Statement by: International-Lawyers.org
2 October 2020
Thank you, President.
We welcome the Independent Expert, Mr. Yao Agbetse, and thank him for engaging with us. We are deeply concerned with the status of women and girls in the Central African Republic. Conflict-related sexual violence is a major issue in the country. Many armed groups, including the Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de la Centrafrique, are guilty of harming innocent women and girls by perpetuating such human rights violations as rape, attempted rape, sexual slavery, and forced marriage.
Unfortunately, perpetrators of these crimes often escape justice because many of their victims do not file a complaint for fear of revenge and stigmatization. We fear that even if women want to seek help after experiencing conflict-related sexual violence, they often cannot receive the aid they need because the judicial, medical, and psychosocial services in the Central African Republic are greatly limited in their capacity to respond to victims.
International-Lawyers and Geneva International Centre for Justice call for:
- Immediate measures toward the reduction of armed groups’ influence.
- The Central African Republic’s government providing better judicial, medical, and psychosocial services to victims of conflict-related sexual violence.
We ask Mr. Agbetse to put a focus on the issue of conflict-related sexual violence in the Central African Republic as his predecessor did. Only by doing so can we better ensure the safety of women and girls in the Central African Republic.