A Global Symposium Bringing Together Scholars, Policymakers and Practitioners
February 14-16, 2013 

Please visit our event page for comprehensive information regarding the symposium

Date: February 14-16, 2012

Location: United States Institute of Peace, Washington, DC 

Sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict settings is increasingly recognized as a threat to international peace and security. From conflicts in the Balkans to the Democratic Republic of Congo and from East Timor to Guatemala, state and non-state armed actors have used sexual violence against women, men, and children to intimidate and to terrorize populations, and as a means of displacing people from contested territory, destroying communities and silencing victims. As these wars have ended, however, sexual violence often does not end—which, in turn, undermines reconstruction efforts and the transition to more stable, secure, and peaceful societies.

Despite the increased international attention to sexual violence as a weapon of war, including the adoption of UN Security Council resolutions, and important rulings in international criminal courts, initiatives to prevent or mitigate these violent acts continue to fall short. Existing international interventions may lack an integrated understanding of the causes for sexual violence and its implications for societies at large.

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley, the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and Stockholm International Peace Research Institute North America (SIPRI North America) will convene a group of scholars, policymakers, practitioners, and military and civil society actors to examine the issue of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict settings, identify gaps in knowledge and reporting and explore how to increase the effectiveness of current responses to such violence.