Declaration of humanity by leaders of faith and leaders of belief

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the UK Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, today hosted the online launch of the Declaration of Humanity by Leaders of Faith and Leaders of Belief.

The first of its kind, the Declaration calls for the prevention of sexual violence in conflict and denounces the stigma too often faced by survivors, including children born of conflict-related sexual violence.

The Declaration of Humanity

Based on our fundamental belief that all persons have innate human dignity and value, we:

  • condemn utterly all acts of conflict-related sexual violence towards any person, at any time, and in any circumstance, and will encourage those under our care and others in the community to do the same
  • affirm that all survivors of sexual violence in conflict, and children born of conflict-related rape are innocent, are of equal worth and value to all people. They are to be fully accepted, respected, and honoured
  • refute the stigma associated with survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and children born of conflict-related rape, and deplore its use as a weapon that instigates the breakdown of families and communities and we will oppose and condemn all symptoms of stigma in our communities
  • acknowledge and honour survivors’ independence, courage, hope and resilience, and the right to shape their own futures

We will:

  • do all in our power to prevent conflict-related sexual violence and protect all persons vulnerable to such violence, including marginalised minority groups and those of other faiths or beliefs, recognising that adherence to a faith or belief can itself result in additional vulnerability
  • work to dismantle harmful interpretations of faith or belief and harmful cultural norms that may be used to condone or commit acts of sexual violence
  • support the voices of survivors, stand for justice to prevent oppression, violence and false accusations, and speak out to defend survivors and their right to justice while holding accountable those who have perpetrated crimes
  • foster unity between survivors and their communities to support effectively their social integration and their economic and psychological development
  • seek to understand the experiences of survivors and their needs, taking care to avoid their retraumatisation
  • utilise media, religious discussions, educational materials, texts and all other platforms of our faith or belief community to empower survivors, recognising the resources of our community and that faith or belief can be a source of strength for survivors