Sexual violence debate at Vatican Radio

ROME-Vatican Radio English in cooperation with the British Embassy to the Holy See will host a studio discussion on sexual violence in zones of conflict.

 The panel debate titled “End sexual Violence in Conflict: #TimeToAct” will be organised on Tuesday 3 June at 12 noon on the occasion of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict taking place in London between June 10-13, co-chaired by the British Foreign Secretary William Hague and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie, which is expected to be the largest international gathering ever held on this issue.

 The discussion will be live streamed on Vatican Radio’s You Tube channel and will focus on three main aspects of the theme of sexual violence in conflict: problem, progress, and prevention. Topics to be explored include the role of the Catholic networks and their expertise in conflict zones, root causes of the problem, as well as practical actions that can impact and help those who are witnesses and victims of violence.

 The speakers in the studio will be: British Ambassador to the Holy See Nigel Baker, Secretary General Caritas Internationalis Michel Roy, Comboni Missionary Sister Elena Balani and Sister Victoria Chiharhula (MSOLA, Congo). The panel will also be joined by Pádraic MacOireachtaigh, Regional Advocacy officer for Jesuit Refugee Service Great Lakes Region, who will be web-connected from Burundi, and Vatican Radio’s Philippa Hitchen, who will moderate.

 “We are steadily building the global momentum needed to end the use of rape and sexual violence in conflict once and for all,” said the British Ambassador. “These crimes have ruined the lives of millions of women, men and children in our lifetimes.  As witnesses on the ground, supporting and assisting victims, the Catholic networks have a big role to play in this international effort”.

 According to Vatican Radio Director General Father Federico Lombardi, “We have to use every means of communication at our disposal in order to defend the most vulnerable, to give voice to those with no voice, and to increase awareness of our own responsibility in the face of suffering and violence”.


The webcast will be streamed live on Vatican Radio’s You Tube channel