Commissioner joins stars of the stage and screen in support of ending rape and sexual violence in Burma

Commissioner joins stars of the stage and screen in support of ending rape and sexual violence in Burma

Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has joined forces with well-known names from the world of stage, comedy and music.

She has joined Maureen Lipman, Dame Judi Dench, Jo Brand and Annie Lennox in support to end rape and sexual violence in Burma

A new report by the Women’s League of Burma (WLB) ‘Same Impunity, Same Pattern’, highlights the continuing use of sexual violence against minority women by the Burmese military.

Ethnic women and girls suffer horrific sexual abuse while military perpetrators enjoy guaranteed impunity.

When Vera Baird was a Member of Parliament, she used to Chair the All Parliamentary Group for Burma and her interest in the country has remained ever since.

Mrs Baird said: “Burma needs the support of developed countries and we all have a duty to stand up to support the women of Burma in their struggle to end rape and sexual violence.”

The Commissioner added: “Celebrities from the world of stage, comedy, music and politics have joined together to support a list of demands which have been made by the women of Burma.”

These demands include:

·        An international investigation into rape and sexual violence by the Burmese military against ethnic women and girls.

·        An end to impunity for rape and other forms of sexual violence in Burma.

·        Amendment of the 2008 constitution that guarantees impunity for military perpetrators, so further sexual violence can be prevented.

·        The inclusion of women in the peace negotiations between the Burmese Government and the ethnic armed political groups, where the issue of rape and sexual violence in conflict is properly addressed.

·        The inclusion of women at every political level in Burma.

·        Burma’s rape law to be in line with international human rights standards to outlaw rape in marriage.

·        The British Government should provide funding for the Women’s League of Burma and its members to support their work in documenting cases of rape and providing support for victims of sexual violence.

Northumbria’s Commissioner has also asked the Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening to support the campaign.

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