In conflicts, there are no winners, not least the women and girls victimised by militants who have weaponised sexual violence as a tactic of war, terrorism and torture. The United Nations General Assembly in 2015 resolution proclaimed June 19 as day to "condemn and call for the end of conflict-related sexual violence, including rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy and enforced sterilization and honour victims, survivors and those fighting to end these most terrorizing and destructive of crimes."

The day was created by United Nations to create awareness about the issue and honour survivors of sexual violence. The day also pays tribute to victims of sexual violence in conflict zones. In 2021, International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict will be observed on Saturday.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his message said that sexual violence in conflict “reverberates down generations” and threatens both human and international security. Already a cruel tactic of war, torture and repression, COVID-19 brought turmoil “has made it even more difficult to hold perpetrators of sexual violence to account," he said.

“Even as we respond to the pandemic, we must investigate every case, and maintain essential services for every survivor”, the UN chief said.

The abuse, sexual violence against women has exponentially increased during the pandemic that swept through the world in 2019. Most of these crimes are often unreported due to fear of retaliation, and lack of security.

The latest United Nations report revealed that conflict-related sexual violence has indeed continued unabated in many parts of the world.

The only way to ensure that the women in the community, especially war-torn community, are protected is by establishing stringent laws and declaring a zero-tolerance policy against sexual violence. The world should condemn and punish sexual crimes and abuse levelled against women and children.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 19, 2021 08:42 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website