#Human Rights
President George W. Bush
United States of America

As present and future health professionals whose work is devoted to promoting health and well-being, and guided by the ethical tenets of our profession and fundamental principles of human rights, we urgently call on all relevant authorities within the United States government to act on the behalf of women and girls of Darfur--thousands of whom have been sexually violated and raped when they left the relative security of the camps for refugees and the internally displaced to gather firewood and water, vital commodities.

The vast majority of these violent incidents are perpetrated by the Janjaweed militias, with the knowledge and support of the Sudanese Government (GOS).

Yet, in spite of denials and declarations to the contrary by the GOS, there is TOTAL immunity for these attackers: to date, not a single rape of a displaced Darfurian has been successfully prosecuted.

The scourge of rape and sexual violence underlies the urgent need for stronger protection of civilians in Darfur and Chad. Therefore, we the undersigned ask you to do the following:

* Increase funding to the African Union Force already in Darfur so that it can better protect civilians by deploying more female staff on the ground and carrying out daily patrols around all civilian camps.

* Continue the pressure for a UN force for Darfur so that civilians will be better protected; this will lead to a decreased incidence of sexual assault and rape.

* Pressure the GOS to disarm the Janjaweed militia that have been responsible for many of the attacks in Darfur and Eastern Chad.

* Ensure that the GOS allows aid agencies to reach all displaced people, including victims of rape and sexual violence.

* Ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice either by the GOS or by the International Criminal Court (if the GOS is unable or unwilling to prosecute them).

Mr. President, thank you for your urgent attention to this grave matter.

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The Protect Women and Girls from Sexual Violence in Darfur petition to President George W. Bush was written by David Chen and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.