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Inter-communal violence in Papua New Guinea is widespread and so is sexual violence against women and girls. Caritas supports women’s groups like this one who try to bring about change. Credit: Patrick Nicholson/Caritas

Caritas secretary general Michel Roy has taken part in a studio debate to discuss sexual violence in conflict zones.

Held at Vatican Radio studios a week before the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, the debate focused on issues surrounding sexual violence, progress made and prevention.

“This practice for us is a dehumanising practice. It’s destroying families and communities, so our work has to be re-humanising, rebuilding families and communities,” said Roy during the event.

The debate was organised by the British Embassy to the Holy See and other participants were British Ambassador to the Holy See, Nigel Baker; Sr. Elena Balani, Comboni Missionary Sister in South Sudan; Sr Victoria Chiharhula, MSOLA (Congo) and Pádraic MacOireachtaigh, Regional Advocacy officer for Jesuit Refugee Service Great Lakes Region (by weblink).

Michel Roy spoke to Vatican Radio’s Philippa Hitchen after the debate about the devastating effect of sexual violence on communities. He says that part of the work of Caritas is to help women work in groups to regenerate themselves and become proactive.

The Vatican Radio debate was organised on the occasion of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, which will take place in London on 10-13 June 2014. The summit will be co-chaired by the British Foreign Secretary William Hague and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie.

Follow @MichelleCaritas @UKinHolySee and @news_va_en #TimeToAct for live tweets.