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Date: June 20, 2008
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Related materials from ESL Discussions.com on the United Nations and war crimes.

THE ARTICLE

United Nations says rape is a war crime

More than 60 nations met in the UN Security Council on Thursday to agree that sexual violence against women is a weapon of war. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced new measures to try to end what he called the "silent war against women and girls" in the world’s war zones. He called on UN bodies, national governments, aid organizations and rape survivors to help end sexual crimes against women in conflict areas. He said: "Violence against women has reached unspeakable…proportions in societies attempting to recover from conflict." He announced the creation of a UN Messenger of Peace, whose job will be to combat sexual crimes against women. He also promised there would be a "zero-tolerance policy against sexual…abuse” by UN workers.

Rape has been an ugly, but common feature of many armed conflicts around the world. Women are often rejected by their family or community because of the shame rape brings. Other women become infected with HIV and AIDS. Ban Ki-moon said these terrible wrongs make it difficult for a nation to heal and make peace with itself “after the guns fall silent". Condoleezza Rice said rape is a “security concern” that seriously affects “not only the health and safety of women, but the economic and social stability of their nations." She expressed concern about the widespread use of rape in Darfur. Aid groups there say it is used as a weapon of ethnic cleansing and has become a part of life for most women. Sudan’s government said: "There is no rape in Darfur," and that aid workers are just making up stories.

 

WARM-UPS

1. WAR CRIMES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about war crimes. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

nations / violence / weapons / war zones / aid organizations / messengers of peace / armed conflicts / rejection / shame / AIDS / security concerns / ethnic cleansing

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. MESSENGER OF PEACE: Can the new UN Messenger of Peace change troubled parts of the world? With your partner(s), discuss what (s)he should do to bring about change. Write your ideas below. Change partners and share your ideas.

Possible solutions for change

Chances of success

Rape / sexual abuse

Prostitution

Child soldiers

Child slavery

Ethnic cleansing

Suicide bombings

4. SENTENCE STARTERS: Finish the following beginnings to sentences about feet and shoes. Show what you wrote to your partner(s). Talk about what you wrote.

a)    Sexual violence will stop when ___________________________________________

b)    Armies guilty of sex crimes______________________________________________

c)    Sexual violence is _____________________________________________________

d)    The word ‘rape’ is _____________________________________________________

e)    Rape damages a whole nation ___________________________________________

5. HEADLINE PREDICTION: With your partner(s), use the words in the “Chat” activity above to predict what the news article will be about. Once you have your story, change partners and share them. Who was closest to the real story?

6. VIOLENCE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘violence’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

All of the countries in the UN have agreed that rape is a war crime.

T / F

b.

The UN Secretary General described rape as being a silent war.

T / F

c.

He said violence against women was controllable in conflict areas.

T / F

d.

The UN will no longer tolerate its workers committing acts of abuse.

T / F

e.

Women are rarely rejected by their family after they have been raped.

T / F

f.

Ban Ki-moon said rape makes it difficult for war-torn nations to heal.

T / F

g.

Condoleezza Rice said rape was a security concern for many countries.

T / F

h.

The Sudanese government said rape was not happening in Darfur.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

1.

nations

a.

voiced

2

measures

b.

acceptance

3.

proportions

c.

aspect

4.

combat

d.

injustices

5.

tolerance

e.

actions

6.

feature

f.

fight

7.

shame

g.

lies

8.

wrongs

h.

countries

9.

expressed

i.

humiliation

10.

stories

j.

levels

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

1.

sexual violence against women is

a.

many armed conflicts

2

the "silent war against women and girls"

b.

making up stories

3.

He called on

c.

unspeakable…proportions

4.

Violence against women has reached

d.

make peace with itself

5.

a zero-tolerance

e.

a weapon of war

6.

an ugly, but common feature of

f.

UN bodies

7.

rejected by their family or community

g.

in the world’s war zones

8.

difficult for a nation to heal and

h.

ethnic cleansing

9.

used as a weapon of

i.

policy against sexual…abuse

10.

aid workers are just

j.

because of the shame

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

More than 60 nations met in the UN Security Council on Thursday to ____________ that sexual violence against women is a weapon of war. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced new ____________ to try to end what he called the "silent war against women and girls" in the world’s war ____________. He called on UN bodies, national governments, aid organizations and rape ____________ to help end sexual crimes against women in conflict areas. He said: "Violence against women has ____________ unspeakable…proportions in societies attempting to ____________ from conflict." He announced the creation of a UN Messenger of Peace, whose job will be to ____________ sexual crimes against women. He also promised there would be a "zero-tolerance policy against sexual…____________” by UN workers.

 

survivors
recover
zones
abuse
agree
reached
combat
measures

Rape has been an ____________, but common feature of many armed conflicts around the world. Women are often ____________ by their family or community because of the shame rape ____________. Other women become infected with HIV and AIDS. Ban Ki-moon said these terrible ____________ make it difficult for a nation to heal and make peace with itself “after the guns ____________ silent". Condoleezza Rice said rape is a “security concern” that seriously affects “not only the health and safety of women, but the economic and social ____________ of their nations." She expressed concern about the widespread use of rape in Darfur. Aid groups there say it is used as a weapon of ____________ cleansing and has become a part of life for most women. Sudan’s government said: "There is no rape in Darfur," and that aid workers are just ____________ up stories.

 

fall
 
rejected
making
ugly
ethnic
brings
stability
wrongs

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

More than 60 ___________________ Security Council on Thursday to agree that sexual violence against women is a weapon of war. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced ___________________ end what he called the "silent war against women and girls" in the world’s war zones. He called on UN bodies, national governments, aid organizations ___________________ help end sexual crimes against women in conflict areas. He said: "Violence against women ______________________ …proportions in societies attempting to recover from conflict." He announced ___________________ Messenger of Peace, whose job will be to combat sexual crimes against women. He also promised there would be a "___________________ against sexual…abuse” by UN workers.

Rape has been ___________________ feature of many armed conflicts around the world. Women are ___________________ family or community because of the shame rape brings. Other women become infected with HIV and AIDS. Ban Ki-moon said ___________________ make it difficult for a nation to heal and make peace with itself “after ___________________ ". Condoleezza Rice said rape is a “security concern” that seriously affects “not only the health and safety of women, but ___________________ stability of their nations." She expressed concern about the widespread use of rape in Darfur. Aid groups there say it ___________________ ethnic cleansing and has become a part of life for most women. Sudan’s government said: "There is no rape in Darfur," and that aid workers are ___________________ stories.

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘sexual’ and ‘violence’.

sexual

violence

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • 60
  • silent
  • bodies
  • unspeakable
  • messenger
  • zero
  • ugly
  • shame
  • heal
  • seriously
  • part
  • stories

STUDENT WAR CRIMES SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about war crimes in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

Q.2.

Q.3.

Q.4.

Q.5.

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

WAR CRIMES DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘rape’?

c)

Are you surprised only 60 countries met in the Security Council to agree on rape being a war crime?

d)

What do you think of ban Ki-moon’s call for an end to the “silent war”?

e)

Do you think the UN is fighting a losing battle?

f)

Will levels of sexual violence against women always be at unspeakable levels?

g)

What can rape survivors do to help fight the war against sexual violence?

h)

Do you think the UN’s zero tolerance policy for its workers will work?

i)

What do you think of the idea of a Messenger of Peace?

j)

What would you do as the Messenger of Peace?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Is this an important topic or is to too sensitive to talk about?

c)

How can the UN help families support survivors of rape?

d)

Why do humans do such cruel things against other humans?

e)

If rape is a war crime, what should the punishment be?

f)

Do you agree with Condoleezza Rice that sexual violence is a threat to a county’s security and social stability?

g)

Do you think making something a war crime will make it happen less?

h)

Why do you think Sudan’s government would believe that aid workers make up stories about rape?

i)

What questions would you like to ask Sudan’s president?

j)

Did you like this discussion on flip-flops and footwear?

LANGUAGE

More than 60 nations (1) ____ in the UN Security Council on Thursday to agree that sexual violence against women is a weapon of war. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced new measures to try to end what he called the "(2) ____ war against women and girls" in the world’s war zones. He called (3) ____ UN bodies, national governments, aid organizations and rape survivors to help end sexual (4) ____ against women in conflict areas. He said: "Violence against women has reached (5) ____ …proportions in societies attempting to recover from conflict." He announced the creation of a UN Messenger of Peace, whose job will be to combat sexual crimes against women. He also promised there would be a "zero-tolerance policy against sexual…(6) ____” by UN workers.

Rape has been an ugly, but common feature of many (7) ____ conflicts around the world. Women are often rejected (8) ____ their family or community because of the shame rape brings. Other women become infected (9) ____ HIV and AIDS. Ban Ki-moon said these terrible wrongs make it difficult for a nation to heal and make peace with (10) ____ “after the guns fall silent". Condoleezza Rice said rape is a “security concern” that seriously affects “not only the health and safety of women, (11) ____ the economic and social stability of their nations." She expressed concern about the widespread use of rape in Darfur. Aid groups there say it is used as a weapon of ethnic cleansing and has become a part of life for most women. Sudan’s government said: "There is no rape in Darfur," and that aid workers are just making (12) ____ stories.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

meet

(b)

meets

(c)

meeting

(d)

met

2.

(a)

silent

(b)

silenced

(c)

silently

(d)

silencing

3.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

an

(d)

as

4.

(a)

criminal

(b)

criminals

(c)

crimes

(d)

criminalize

5.

(a)

spoken

(b)

speech

(c)

unspeakable

(d)

speaking

6.

(a)

abuser

(b)

abuse

(c)

abusive

(d)

abused

7.

(a)

arm

(b)

armour

(c)

armies

(d)

armed

8.

(a)

by

(b)

with

(c)

for

(d)

until

9.

(a)

to

(b)

with

(c)

in

(d)

at

10.

(a)

herself

(b)

us

(c)

them

(d)

itself

11.

(a)

so

(b)

and

(c)

but

(d)

that

12.

(a)

up

(b)

in

(c)

for

(d)

of

WRITING: 

Write about war crimes for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about the UN Security Council meeting. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. WAR CRIMES: Make a poster about the different conflicts around the world. Who is fighting? Why? Who is suffering? Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. LETTER: Write a letter to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Ask him three questions about his speech. Give him three pieces of advice on what the UN needs to do to better combat sexual violence. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

5. DIARY / JOURNAL: You are the UN Messenger of Peace. Write your diary entry about one day in your work. Include your thoughts the good you are doing and if you are making a difference. Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. T

e. F

f. T

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

nations

a.

countries

2

measures

b.

actions

3.

proportions

c.

levels

4.

combat

d.

fight

5.

tolerance

e.

acceptance

6.

feature

f.

aspect

7.

shame

g.

humiliation

8.

wrongs

h.

injustices

9.

expressed

i.

voiced

10.

stories

j.

lies

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

sexual violence against women is

a.

a weapon of war

2

the "silent war against women and girls"

b.

in the world’s war zones

3.

He called on

c.

UN bodies

4.

Violence against women has reached

d.

unspeakable…proportions

5.

a zero-tolerance

e.

policy against sexual…abuse

6.

an ugly, but common feature of

f.

many armed conflicts

7.

rejected by their family or community

g.

because of the shame

8.

difficult for a nation to heal and

h.

make peace with itself

9.

used as a weapon of

i.

ethnic cleansing

10.

aid workers are just

j.

making up stories

GAP FILL:

United Nations says rape is a war crime

More than 60 nations met in the UN Security Council on Thursday to agree that sexual violence against women is a weapon of war. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced new measures to try to end what he called the "silent war against women and girls" in the world’s war zones. He called on UN bodies, national governments, aid organizations and rape survivors to help end sexual crimes against women in conflict areas. He said: "Violence against women has reached unspeakable…proportions in societies attempting to recover from conflict." He announced the creation of a UN Messenger of Peace, whose job will be to combat sexual crimes against women. He also promised there would be a "zero-tolerance policy against sexual…abuse” by UN workers.

Rape has been an ugly, but common feature of many armed conflicts around the world. Women are often rejected by their family or community because of the shame rape brings. Other women become infected with HIV and AIDS. Ban Ki-moon said these terrible wrongs make it difficult for a nation to heal and make peace with itself “after the guns fall silent". Condoleezza Rice said rape is a “security concern” that seriously affects “not only the health and safety of women, but the economic and social stability of their nations." She expressed concern about the widespread use of rape in Darfur. Aid groups there say it is used as a weapon of ethnic cleansing and has become a part of life for most women. Sudan’s government said: "There is no rape in Darfur," and that aid workers are just making up stories.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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