Newsroom: International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict


On Friday 19th June Sarah Reilly and John Coster hosted a newsroom to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Programme: all timings GMT

1.00pm Start of newsroom – Conflict Reportage Archive Facebook Page – ‘live’ broadcast

1.30pm Sri Lanka – joined by Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan, Author of Bodies As Sites Of War

Zinthiya discussed her book, ‘Bodies As Sites Of War‘, the impact of global sexual violence during the Covid-19 on-going pandemic and beyond, and her international work in Sri Lanka and Nepal.



2.30pm Srebrenica – joined by Kim Sadique, Associate Professor in Community & Criminal Justice, De Montfort University

Kim discussed the Srebrenica Genocide in 1995, the upcoming Remembering Srebrenica programme of events #Srebrenica25 and how to get involved as #EveryActionCounts, and her role as Co-Chair of the Remembering Srebrenica East Midlands Board.  Twitter @EastSrebrenica



Kim is also Co-Chair of the Global Peace & Transitional Justice Research Group at De Montfort University – Twitter @DMU_GPTJRG



4.00pm Finish


Documentary Media Resources List (Film, Photography, Audio and New Media)


Shake Hands with the Devil: The journey of Romeo Dallaire

Full film:



James Nachtwey – Reflections on the Rwandan Genocide

When the World Turned Its Back


Rwanda Genocide Revisited: What Happened to the Children of Rape Victims?

Jonathan Torgovnik, Documentary Photographer



Podcast: Ending The Silence on Child Sexual Exploitation – Middle East and North Africa

This episode provides some context and puts the spotlight on some of the biggest issues in the region: how conflict can influence sexual violence and exploitation of children.


New Media:

United Nations


Addressing sexual violence in a humanitarian and conflict-related context


Report of the Secretary-General on conflict-related sexual violence


UNICEF in Emergencies & Humanitarian Action – Sexual exploitation and abuse


Gone with the war: exploitation of women in conflict


Sex Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation in Settings Affected by Armed Conflicts in Africa, Asia and the Middle East: Systematic Review


Syria conflict: Women ‘sexually exploited in return for aid’


Stop Rape Now campaign


All Nigerian States Declare State of Emergency Over Rape and Gender-Based Violence


Remembering Srebrenica – 25th anniversary on 11th July 2020

Fifty years after the world said “Never Again” to the horrors of the Holocaust, genocide took place on European soil.

The name Srebrenica has become synonymous with those dark days in July 1995 when, in the first ever United Nations declared safe area, thousands of men and boys were systematically murdered and buried in mass graves. The victims, predominantly Muslim, were selected for death on the basis of their identity. This was the worst atrocity on European soil since the Second World War.



Women’s Media Center’s areas of focus is Women Under Siege, which reports on how sexualised and other violence is being used around the world, and has an ever-growing list of analyses (eg articles and witness accounts) looking at where women’s bodies have been weaponised in war across a number of conflicts. They also have a really interesting article on the importance of taking a victim centred approach and focus, highlighting that pressuring survivors to “speak out” can lead to traumatisation, stigmatisation, and even ostracism, as well as retaliation by perpetrators.


Global Fund for Women – works for sexual and reproductive health and rights, freedom from violence, economic justice, and leadership. They also produced a #fundamental film documentary series focusing on gender justice.


REDRESS – works with NGOs in Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Nepal, and Peru to ensure the effective documentation of sexual and gender based violence to bring legal claims against perpetrators, and litigates on behalf of victims before national, regional, and international courts. The have also produced a report on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Peacekeeping Operations.



Christina Lamb, Our Bodies Their Battlefield: What War Does to Women (2020)

– Powerful book by Sunday Times’ Chief Foreign Correspondent, where she does extensive research and interviews with women who have been the victims of sexual and gender based violence during in conflicts spanning 4 continents


Judith Butler, Frames of War: When is Life Grievable? (2009)


Pat Barker, The Silence of the Girls (2018)

– This is the retelling of key events from Homer’s The Iliad told from the perspective of Briseis’, one of the women captured as ‘spoils of war’. Similarly, Madeleine Miller’s The Song of Achilles (2012) covers the same events, but is told from a less hetero-normative masculine perspective.


Podcasts and Film:

BBC Health Matters podcast ‘Aftermath of War’, discussing the health consequences for the survivors of conflict and civil war around the globe. A look at the aftermath for those fleeing a war, with a look at those displaced by the Kosovan conflict. Rape and sexual violence is common among refugee camps and many pregnant women are either losing their lives of their babies as they seek to escape from the conflict (27 Apr 1999)


United Nations:

Dan Plesch, Susana Sácouto & Chante Lasco, The Relevance of the United Nations War Crimes Commission to the Prosecution of Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes Today (2014) 25:349–381 Criminal Law Forum = comprehensive overview of the origin and development of international criminal law case law relating to the prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence.


The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict (SRSG) has lots of information and documents on their website including their annual reports, and also a YouTube Channel with  videos from the Special Representative and speakers at the 10 year anniversary of the mandate including legal practitioners and ICC prosecutors, NGOs, as well as testimonies from sexual violence survivors.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on Systematic Rape, Sexual Slavery and Slavery-like Practices During Armed Conflict,” E/CN.4/Sub/2/1998/13, 22 June 1998


United Nations Development Fund for Women, ‘Women, War and Peace: The Independent Experts’ Assessment on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Women’s Role in Peace-building’ by Elisabeth Rehn and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf


United Nations Human Rights Council Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic: “They came to destroy”: ISIS Crimes Against the Yazidis (16 June 2016).


UN Human Rights Council Paper “I lost my dignity”: Sexual and gender-based violence in the Syrian Arab Republic (March 2018)


In Courts and Law:

The following articles provide an overview of international criminal law concerning sexual violence as war crimes, including its development and major cases:


Dan Plesch, Susana Sácouto & Chante Lasco, The Relevance of the United Nations War Crimes Commission to the Prosecution of Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes Today


Nicole Brigitte Maier, The Crime of Rape Under the Rome Statute of the ICC (with a Special Emphasis on the Jurisprudence of the Ad Hoc Criminal Tribunals) (2011). Amsterdam Law Forum Vol. 3, No. 2, p. 146, 2011. Available at SSRN:

Democratic Republic of Congo: 

Dr Denis Mukwege is a world-renowned gynaecological surgeon and the founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital and Foundation in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Dr. Mukwege and his staff have treated more than 50,000 survivors of sexual violence. The hospital treats not only survivors’ physical wounds, but also provides legal, and psycho-social services to its patients.

See also Maud-Salome Ekila’s film ‘The Hospital of Doctor Mukwege’

He won the Noble Peace Prize with Nadia Murad in 1998 – his speech/lecture is available here.


Christine Schuler Deschryver – director and founder of City of Joy, and Vice President of the Panzi Foundation. The City of Joy opened in 2011 and is a community for women survivors of violence, providing them with therapy and life skills which they can take back to their communities. The women live at the centre for the 6 month intensive course, with 90 survivors of gender violence aged 18 to 30 living at the centre at any time. The City of Joy has graduated 1472 women leaders since it opened in 2011. Find out more about the centre and it’s work by watching this Netflix documentary.


Yazidi People:

Nadia Murad is the UN ambassador for the Dignity of Human Trafficking for her campaign work highlighting the genocide and war crimes that ISIS committed against the Yazidi people.

She won the Noble Peace Prize in 2018 with Dr Denis Mukwege – her speech/lecture is available here.

She has written a book (The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State) about her experience and campaigning.

Channel 4’s Kylie Morris interview with Nadia Murad and Amal Clooney

Aftermath –Nadia Mura raised ongoing hardship of Yazidi people when she met President Donald Trump along with other survivors of religious violence.


Former Yugoslavia:

Women’s Media Center overview of the conflict, including political background and how sexual violence was used as a weapon of war.


Bakira Hasečić – Bosniak survivor of rape, campaigner for justice and war criminals hunter, – ‘Only One Bakira’ BBC podcast (December 2008). She set up Association of Women Victims of War for women (and later men too) to feel safe and supported while testifying before the courts and seeking out justice. Read about her story and work on Remembering Srebrenica.


Work of Nela Pamukovic and the Centre for Women War Victims (ROSA) in Zagreb, Croatia, including their work focusing on empowering women – including survivors of sexual violence in conflict eg offering economic and leadership activities, access to legal services, and psychological support, and works to advance women’s rights and equality in Croatia. They also campaigned and worked with

On May 29th, 2015, the Croatian parliament passed the first law in the country that recognises rape as a war crime

Should we go back??


Women’s Court initiative – a group of 10 organisations (including ROSA) across the former Yugoslavia. They provide those who have experienced gender-based violence a safe space to share their stories and learn their rights, provide access to legal services, and strengthen cross-border solidarity between women. Their website has a number of resources including reports and publications, seminars and videos



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