By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) called for action against the rise of sexual violence in areas of conflict in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as it joined in the observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict on Friday, June 19.
“Ngayong patuloy ang banta ng COVID-19, mas nagiging mahirap ang pagbibigay tulong at proteksyon sa mga biktima ng ganitong mga pang-aabuso. (As the COVID-19 threat continues, it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide assistance and protection to victims of such abuses),” the Commission said in a tweet.
The CHR said the capacity of law enforcement units, including the police, to address cases of sexual violence remains limited during this time. Health providers and courts likewise face difficulties in addressing these threats.
“Bago pa man dumating ang panganib dala ng kasalukuyang pandemya, matagal nang humahamon sa atin ang isyu ng mga conflict-related sexual violence (Even before the dangers of the current pandemic came into the picture, the issue of conflict-related sexual violence has already been a challenge),” the CHR said.
The Commission said that nobody deserves to experience this kind of violence, and it is important for affected communities to have access to various humanitarian assistance, and for offenders to be held accountable for their actions.