PBI UK's conference on Women Human Rights Defenders, Oct 2012At the G8 meeting on 11 April in London, delegates adopted a Declaration on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Paragraph 7 of the Declaration was a result of PBI's engagement with the Government's Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) team, both at our October 2012 conference on Women Human Rights Defenders, and in subsequent consultation meetings with the PSVI team, together with GAPS and Amnesty UK:

In defending and promoting women’s and children’s rights and confronting sexual violence in armed conflict, women’s civil society organisations and networks, in particular women human rights defenders play a particularly important role in monitoring, fact-finding and documenting cases of sexual violence and empowering victims to pursue judicial and other remedies. They can also strengthen frontline protection, service provision and access to justice for such victims. Ministers recognised the need to afford better protection to human rights defenders and committed to support conflict-affected countries develop and implement country-level action plans with the involvement of local organisations to provide such protection. Ministers also agreed to enhance the coordination of their protectionefforts in countries of concern, drawing, as appropriate, on existing guidelines such as those developed by the EU, for the protection and support of human rights defenders where applicable. 

Download the full declaration

Nicola Blackwood MP, Chair of the APPG Women, Peace, and Security, participated in PBI's conference in October 2012. In a parliamentary debate on 11 April, which was timed to coincide with the G8 foreign ministers meeting, Ms Blackwood said the APPG had pushed for "participation, as well as protection and impunity, to be part of the PSVI package".

She said it was important that "support and protection are in place for the survivors of sexual violence and for those women human rights defenders who are brave enough to stand up but who face extreme intimidation and abuse", and a commitment to the implementation of the EU guidelines on human rights defenders was necessary to acheive the goal of ending conflict-related sexual violence and stabilising conflict-affected states.