The United Nations envoy for addressing sexual violence during conflicts will be traveling to Israel and the West Bank.
Pramila Patten, appointed by the UN Secretary-General as the Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict, will be traveling to the occupied West Bank. During her visit, she will engage with the Palestinian Authority, various civil society groups, recently released detainees, and other relevant individuals.
The visit is scheduled to begin on Monday and will finish in the beginning of February.
Empowering those who have experienced trauma to share their stories
The Special Representative’s goal is to advocate for survivors, witnesses, and recently freed hostages, as well as those impacted by the situation. They aim to find ways to provide support, such as seeking justice and accountability, and to collect, analyze, and confirm information for reporting to the Security Council as part of their duties. This statement was released by their office on Thursday.
This does not have the purpose of being investigative. The responsibility of investigation is given to other United Nations organizations, who have stated their readiness and ability to conduct investigations.
The task will involve a technical aspect to collect, examine and confirm pertinent data concerning accusations of sexual violence related to conflict.
Ms. Patten will be accompanied by technical experts who specialize in conducting safe and ethical interviews with victims and witnesses of sexual violence. They will also offer their knowledge in interpreting medical and forensic information, as well as analyzing open source and digital information.
The authorities have discussed the details and conditions of the visit, and have agreed that it can only proceed if the team is able to maintain an unbiased and autonomous approach. This includes having unrestricted and confidential access to necessary individuals and information. The statement also mentioned this understanding.