UNITED NATIONS (Bernama) – The United Nations marked the start of the ‘Activism against Gender-based Violence’ campaign by drawing attention to the hundreds of abducted women and girls suffering abuses and atrocities by terrorist groups.
UN secretary-general’s special representative for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, on Wednesday referred to kidnapped women and children as “Iraq’s bleeding wound”, and pledged the UN will continue to push to obtain their release and support the Iraqi government in its efforts to bring them back home.
The UN envoy urged relevant authorities to create safe shelters for survivors of violence, ensure that justice is served and perpetrators of violence against women come before the law. The 16-day campaign is held from Nov 25 to Dec 10 in Iraq.
Islamic State insurgents in Iraq have carried out mass executions, abducted women and girls as sex slaves and used child soldiers in what may amount to systematic war crimes that demand prosecution.
In August, the Islamic State known also as IS or ISIL took 450-500 women and girls to the Tal Afar citadel in Iraq’s Nineveh region.
“Around 150 unmarried girls and women predominantly from the Yazidi and Christian communities were reportedly transported to Syria either to be given to ISIL fighters as a reward or to be sold as sex slaves,” said the report.