Non-Governmental Organisations

Recommendation CONF/PLE(2014)REC1

adopted by the Conference of INGOs on 26 June 2014

Gender based violence as a political weapon

The Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) of the Council of Europe,

(1) alarmed by the increase of gender-based violence against women and men, girls and boys in conflict situations worldwide, in Europe, its neighbourhood countries and currently in some countries of the Middle East and North African (MENA) region;

(2) deeply concerned about the lack of national and international attention given to the widespread use of sexual and gender-based violence as a political weapon, particularly when perpetrated, condoned or abetted by authorities in power;

(3) bearing in mind that according to international commitments governments are responsible and accountable for providing adequate protection, for punishing the perpetrators and for ending impunity;

(4) convinced that for reconciliation and lasting peace the use of sexual and gender-based violence as a political weapon should be acknowledged and discussed;

(5) referring to its Recommendation and Resolution on Gender Equality – a condition for success of the Arab Revolutions [CONF/PLE(2013)REC1] and [CONF/PLE(2013)RES2] and to Parliamentary Recommendation REC2026(2013) on the situation in Syria;

(6) urges the international community to ensure that the issue of sexual and gender-based violence is put on the agenda of peace talks;

(7) urges the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe

    a. to condemn in the strongest possible terms the deliberate use of sexual and gender-based violence as a political weapon;
    b. to hold governments accountable to provide adequate protection, to punish perpetrators and to end impunity;

(8) urges the Parliamentary Assembly and its members to raise this issue in its meetings, in their own countries and in neighbouring countries through their official relations by

    a. promoting national legislation and the implementation of international commitments;

    b. monitoring the implementation of international commitments, particularly in their own countries;

    c. raising awareness through inter-parliamentary contacts and friendships groups with members of other countries, particularly of those involved in conflict;

(9) urges the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and its members to share this concern by

    a. encouraging local authorities to adopt adequate measures to combat and prevent this politically motivated gender-based violence against women and men, girls and boys;

    b. promoting and supporting awareness-raising activities among local communities.

                This recommendation was proposed by the Working Group ‘Gender perspectives in political and democratic processes, particularly dealing with conflicts’ and approved by the Human Rights Committee on 24 June