(ANSA) - ROME, DEC 1 - Pramila Patten, the United Nations
Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative on Sexual
Violence in Conflict, has told Expo 2020 Dubai that the voices
of women survivors of violence must be heard in order to bring
about positive change.
"Let us ensure that survivors' voices are heard, not just as vulnerable individuals who require protection and the subject of international peace and security, but as agents of change," Patten said during an event at the World Fair.
"What survivors need is the encouragement and opportunity to use their voice and a world that is ready to listen.
"Very little in human history is inevitable; it is often said that history repeats itself, but the truth is that people repeat history or they make the choice to take a stand and say never again".
She said the escalating crises in Ethiopia and Yemen showed that secure and unconditional access for humanitarian workers must be accompanied by protection measures if we are to address the ongoing risks of sexual violence and ensure the availability of lifesaving assistance.
She added that, unfortunately, this is not always the case.
In the Central African Republic alone, there have been over 300 attacks against humanitarian workers in 2021, she said, making it one of the most dangerous countries for them to work.
This violence also prevents survivors from accessing the holistic care that they so desperately need in time, she said.