Sexualized Violence in Sri Lanka
At the 48th session of UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee), ECCHR presented a report on the foreseeability of sexual violence in conflict in the context of Sri Lanka. The report calls for new legal means to hold perpetrators accountable and calls on the UN, as it works to uphold human and women's rights, to take into account the frequent occurrence of sexualized violence during conflict situations.
In June 2012 ECCHR called on three UN Special Rapporteurs and a UN Working Group to carry out further investigations into the situation of women and girls in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. Pressure must be exerted on Sri Lanka to comply with its international obligations and in particular to bring its Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in line with the UN CEDAW Convention. This law makes it easier for police and military personnel to carry out body inspections and searches without giving any reason. These searches often involve sexual harassment and violence of a sexual nature.
Debate / Publications
ECCHR presented its study on criminal accountability at an event held parallel to the 15th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. ECCHR’s dossiers on the Dias and Silva cases were widely reported on by television and print media in Germany, Switzerland and the UK. In addition, numerous discussions were held on a diplomatic level as well as with various parliamentarians.
ECCHR reported on the situation of women in northern Sri Lanka at an event parallel to the 19th and 22nd sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council as well as to the CEDAW Committee in Geneva and the European Parliament in Brussels. In addition, public events on this issue were held in Berlin.
ECCHR also contributed two witness statements to the UN study on accountability in Sri Lanka.