Angelina Jolie Urges World Leaders to Take Action on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones

LONDON — Angelina Jolie has urged delegates attending a four-day global summit in London to take action to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

“It is a myth that rape is an inevitable part of conflict. There is nothing inevitable about it. It is a weapon of war aimed at civilians,” said Jolie, who is special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “It has nothing to do with sex, everything to do with power. It is done to torture and humiliate innocent people.”

The conference — End Sexual Violence in Conflict — started on Tuesday, attended by 1,200 government ministers, officials from the military and the judiciary, and activists from up to 150 nations.

Jolie, who is co-hosting the event, added that countries should seek justice for the victims of sexual violence committed during military conflicts. Often, she said, the perpetrators escaped unpunished.

“We need to shatter that culture of impunity and make justice the norm, not the exception, for these crimes. We need political will replicated across the world and we need treat this subject as a priority.”

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