Panel discussion in The Hague (19/06/2019)

Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice marked the 2019 International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict with a panel discussion called “Translating the Lived Experience of Sexual Violence Survivors into Law”, co-hosted with the Embassies of Canada, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom to The Netherlands.

The lively panel discussion touched on many critical issues fundamental to the Call it what it is campaign, including how sexual violence in conflict is addressed in various accountability efforts and what needs to be done to better understand this form of violence. Central to the panelists’ interventions was the need to involve survivors in initiatives aimed at addressing sexual violence.

The panel discussion took place at the Leiden University the Hague Campus on June 19, 2019. Read the full report here.

Launch of the Civil Society Declaration on Sexual Violence (26/09/2019)

On 26 September 2019, Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice launched the Civil Society Declaration on Sexual Violence during a meeting with Call it what it is campaign partners based in The Hague. We are grateful to the 550 survivors, 525 survey respondents, 54 NGO campaign partners and more than 30 expert reviewers contributed to the Civil Society Declaration, making it a unique guidance document to better understand sexual violence

The Declaration explains what may constitute an “act of sexual nature” and indicates when an act of sexual nature may become an “act of sexual violence”. It is a document that is firmly grounded in the lived experience of survivors and informed by a wide range of actors who are engaged firsthand in the field of sexual violence.

Besides a presentation on the Declaration, the launch also featured a discussion on the implementation of the Declaration by campaign partners and on key advocacy opportunities. The next stage of the Call it what it is campaign will focus on raising awareness around the Declaration, advocate for its use, and develop two documents:

  1. The International Criminal Law (ICL) Guidelines – The guidelines will explain when acts of sexual violence as set out in the Civil Society Declaration amount to international crimes, as well as practical elements (e.g. mens rea, modes of liability, gravity) to inform the international criminal prosecution of these acts;
  2. Key Principles for Policymakers – a tool to implement the Civil Society Declaration for a wide array of policy makers around the world.

The three documents (the Civil Society Declaration, the ICL Guidelines and the Key Principles for Policy Makers) will together form The Hague Principles on Sexual Violence, to be launched at the PSVI International Conference in London in November 2019.

Panel discussion at the International Institute of Social Studies (09/10/2019)

Organized in cooperation with the Human Rights, Gender and Conflict Studies: Justice Perspectives major at the International Institute of Social Studies and the Refugee Law Project, based in the Faculty of Law at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, the panel will discuss the Call it what it is campaign and efforts to enable disclosure by survivors of sexual violence.

Panel discussion in Paris (14/10/2019)

On 14 October 2019, Women’s Initiatives together with the University of Paris II Pantheon-Assas and the Centre Thucydide will hold a panel discussion entitled Better understanding what is sexual violence: Exchanges in the context of the Call it what it is campaign. Partners to the campaign which are established in Paris are cordially invited to attend the event.