British foreign secretary William Hague and American actress and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie hosted the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London this week, gathering aid workers, activists, NGOs and government leaders. Topics of discussion included rape as a weapon of war in regions like Yugoslavia, South Sudan, and DR Congo. Aid organizations say refugee camps can also make women vulnerable to sexual assault. According to British think-tank Institute of Development Studies, aid groups would be better off improving local justice infrastructures, but that is proving to be a difficult task. Recent progress on this front includes the development of an office that reports sexual assault crimes to the UN Security Council. On June 5th the ICC, who created the first international legal document to define several types of sexual violence as crimes against humanity, published its plans for prosecuting such crimes.
Global leaders, including Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague, united this week to talk about sexual violence in conflict zones.