Harriet Harman

Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham. Mother of the House of Commons.

Humanitarian situation in Libya – 19/04/2011

The humanitarian situation in Libya is dire. International pressure must be stepped up to stop Gaddafi flouting the UN resolution which requires unfettered access for the delivery of vital humanitarian aid across the entire country.

The situation in Misrata is particularly worrying. Hundreds have been killed and thousands, including children, have been injured.  Many are stranded and cannot escape the violence. 

There are alarming reports of rape and sexual violence with particular concern about the vulnerability of women in the Misrata region. The United Nations have highlighted the importance of protecting women from sexual violence and that is a major concern now.  The UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Margot Wallström, is right to be raising it.  The UK government must heed her concerns.  In Libya, the international community must do all they can to protect women from sexual violence. Today in New York the UK Government must make protecting women from sexual violence a priority.

Today's talks come at a crucial time .  We must see renewed support from the whole international community for UN-led  action to help those who need it and to get those stranded in Misrata out. We support the UK government's efforts in this respect and the vital aid they have already provided to those suffering in Libya and those still stranded on the Libyan borders.


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