Written Question: Sexual violence against children as a weapon of war in conflict zones

(Source: European Parliament)

Date submitted: 8 March 2021

Question for written answer  E-001318/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Caterina Chinnici (S&D), David Lega (PPE), Hilde Vautmans (Renew), Franco Roberti (S&D), Pietro Bartolo (S&D), Patrizia Toia (S&D), Giuliano Pisapia (S&D), Pina Picierno (S&D), Pierfrancesco Majorino (S&D), Giuseppe Ferrandino (S&D), Brando Benifei (S&D), Simona Bonafè (S&D), Alessandra Moretti (S&D), Massimiliano Smeriglio (S&D), Irene Tinagli (S&D), Milan Brglez (S&D), Laurence Farreng (Renew), Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi (PPE), Cyrus Engerer (S&D), Frances Fitzgerald (PPE), Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (Renew), Nathalie Loiseau (Renew), Stelios Kympouropoulos (PPE), Karen Melchior (Renew), Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (Renew), Katrin Langensiepen (Verts/ALE)

Subject: Sexual violence against children as a weapon of war in conflict zones

Save the Children recently published a report entitled ‘Weapon of War: Sexual Violence against Children in Conflict’(1), within its ‘Stop the War on Children’ campaign, which shows that 426 million children worldwide live in conflict zones. 72 million of these children, or one in six, live within 50 kilometers of conflicts where, in 2019, armed groups or forces perpetrated sexual violence against children. In 1990, ​this figure was 8.5 million​​.

Compared to 30 years ago, the risk of experiencing sexual violence at the hands of armed groups or forces for children in conflict zones has increased tenfold, particularly in Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Colombia and South Sudan. Rape, sexual slavery, prostitution, forced pregnancy, sterilisation and forced abortions, sexual mutilation, sexual abuse and torture by armed groups have become real weapons of war.

In the light of the imminent publication of the EU strategy on the rights of the child (2021-2024), particularly with regard to its external dimension:

  1. What specific actions does the Commission intend to pursue in order to strengthen data collection, address the causes and tackle the impunity of this tragedy?
  2. How does it intend to support services provided by non-governmental organisations operating in these high-risk areas?

Supporter(2)

(1) https://resourcecentre.savethechildren.net/library/weapon-war-sexual-violence-against-children-conflict
(2) This question is supported by a Member other than the authors: Olivier Chastel (Renew)

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