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Justice for Peru’s victims of sexual violence during conflict

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Joanna Perkin
WVoN co-editor

Peru’s parliament has unanimously approved a bill that will enable victims of sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced abortion and kidnapping during the country’s armed conflict between 1980 and 2000 to claim compensation.

The new law builds on the National Plan of Reparation (NPR) by extending the definition of ‘sexual violence’.

It is a result of lobbying by DEMUS (Institute for the Defence of Women’s Rights) since 2004. The Commission for Truth and Reconciliation has also been closely involved.

In its press release DEMUS wrote (translated for the purposes of this story):

“We welcome this important step in the recognition of rights for victims of sexual violence during the internal armed conflict, but we believe that still outstanding are the issues of forced sterilization and forced pregnancy as forms of sexual violence, both removed from the project by the political interest of the Fujimori bloc.”

Shuna Kennedy, executive director of Womankind, which has been funding DEMUS’s work on justice for women survivors of armed conflict since 2003, said:

“We applaud this decision taken by the Peruvian government and congratulate our partner DEMUS for their campaign victory.

“Through them we will monitor the implementation of this law, as justice for women in Peru is already long overdue and will need more than just words on a page.”

Alberto Beingolea Delgado, president of the Commission for Justice and Human Rights, also expressed his support for the new bill, pointing out that it now goes beyond simply recognising survivors of rape.

The new legislation allows the police, army and self-defence citizens committees, whose human rights were also violated during the conflict, to claim compensation.

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