10 June 2014

Africa: ICTJ Participates in Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie spoke at the opening of the Summit Fringe at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict on Tuesday 10 June. ... ( Resource: Angelina Jolie Speech at Opening of Summit Fringe )

More than 100 countries and over 900 experts will participate in the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, which takes place June 10 to 13 in London.

The Summit, co-chaired by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN Commissioner for Refugees, aims to launch a new protocol with international standards for investigating and documenting sexual violence in conflict zones that will allow for more successful prosecutions in the future.

Other goals of the largest gathering on sexual violence in history include improving educational resources about rape and gendered harms for soldiers and peacekeepers, improving the quality of and access to support services for victims/survivors, and shifting public attitudes about rape as a weapon of war.

Sofia Candeias, ICTJ Senior Associate and Criminal Justice Coordinator, will participate in a panel of experts during Session 8 entitled "Investigating and Documenting Sexual Violence in Conflict: Lessons Learned and Future Strategies" on Tuesday, June 10th. Joining her on the panel will be Flavia Pensieri, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights; Yasmin Sooka, Executive Director for the Foundation for Human Rights, Johannesburg; Siobhan Hobbs, General Advisor, Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in DPRK; Gloria Atiba Davies, Victims Expert in the Gender and Children Unit of the Office of the Prosecutor/ICC; and Xabier Agirre, Senior Analyst, Investigative Strategies and Analysis Unit, Investigations Division, Office of the Prosecutor/ICC. Judge Howard Morrison of the ICC will chair the panel.

The session will address the use of effective investigations and documentation of sexualized violence as a pathway to accountability for victims/survivors.

Panelists will share examples from their work of specific investigative strategies that were used successfully to bring justice to survivors.

Speakers will also discuss how particular aspects of the developing International Protocol may be used in different conflict and post-conflict settings alongside existing investigative strategies to increase the potential of access to justice.

"We are very happy to participate in the Global Summit and look forward to collaborating on the International Protocol," Candeias said.

"It truly looks to be an important tool to improve the documentation and investigation of sexual violence, further accountability, and contribute to justice for victims."

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