CONSERVATIVES MUST NOT UNDERMINE INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS TO COMBAT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

OTTAWA - In a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Opposition Foreign Affairs critic, Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre) and Status of Women critic Niki Ashton (Churchill) cautioned the Conservatives against playing a spoiler role on this important issue at the 23rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

A recent media release from Action Canada on Population and Development stated that at the UN meetings in Geneva, Conservatives have been seeking to renege on previously-agreed upon policy measures to take action on violence against women.

"We would like to take this opportunity to stress the importance of a comprehensive package of services that should be available to survivors of sexual violence," wrote the Opposition critics. "Blocking recommendations such as access to sexual and reproductive health services, access to emergency contraception, access to safe abortion, access to post-exposure medicine for HIV infection, and diagnosis and treatment for STIs would be a grave mistake."

The full text of the letter is attached.