An initiative of Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

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26 March


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Addressing the consequences of sexual violence for and with survivors: Challenges and emerging solutions

Workshop 1

Healing the body

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Sexual violence in any context traumatises the body, mind, and soul. Rape in war is an extreme physical ordeal amounting to torture and requiring specialised care to treat injuries and potential diseases. But very few survivors have access to basic health care, let alone the specific care they need. Further complicating their access is their fear of being identified and stigmatised if they come forward to receive necessary services.

  • What are the major obstacles preventing survivors to access medical care?
  • What are examples of models of care and best practices that help both victims and health workers overcome obstacles at each step of the care process?
  • How can we address the threat of stigmatisation which prevents many from seeking medical services?
  • How can we ensure that medical treatment, when available, is effective? How can we link medical care to other essential services to heal body and mind together?


Peter Maurer, President, International Committee of the Red Cross

Exchanges between:

- Sylvia Acan, Member of SEMA, the Global Network of Victims and Survivors to End Wartime Rape, Uganda

- Oumou Barry, Member of SEMA, the Global Network of Victims and Survivors to End Wartime Rape, Guinea

- Dr. Monika Hauser, Gynaecologist; Founder and Executive Member of the Board, Medica Mondiale

- Dr. Denis Mukwege, Founder and Medical Director, Panzi Hospital; Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2018

- Dr. Raphaël Pitti, Doctor and Professor of emergency medicine

Moderated by:

Marie Forestier, Researcher, writer, independent journalist; Former visiting fellow, Centre for Women, Peace and Security, London School of Economics

Workshop 2

Healing the mind

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Along with their physical injuries, survivors of sexual violence in conflict experience immense trauma requiring sustained psychological care. Survivors need this support to overcome the trauma and begin rebuilding their lives. Recent work has shown the benefit of providing this care holistically, as part of an effort to heal both body and mind. Yet, even the most basic psychological support is lacking in fragile environments.

  • What are the main barriers and gaps to access psychological care in fragile environments?
  • What can be done to improve survivors’ access to psychosocial support, side by side with other services? What are some innovative ideas and best practices that can be shared?
  • What programmes are effective to help survivors heal their psychological wounds, in different contexts and cultures?

Exchanges between:

- Marguerite Barankitse, Humanitarian Activist; Founder, Maison Shalom, Oasis of Peace

- Esperande Bigirimana, Member of SEMA, the Global Network of Victims and Survivors to End Wartime Rape, Burundi

- Marie De Hennezel, Clinical and Humanitarian psychotherapist, EliseCare

- Dr. Emilie Medeiros, Clinical Psychologist; Associate Victim Expert, International Criminal Court; MHPSS Expert, Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

- Guillaumette Tsongo, Member of SEMA, the Global Network of Victims and Survivors to End Wartime Rape, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Expert Commentator:

Doris Schopper, Professor, Medical Faculty of University of Geneva; Director, Centre for Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH); Former International President and Chair of Ethics Review Board, MSF; Member, ICRC

Moderated by:

Celeste Hicks, Independent Journalist, Sahel and North Africa

Workshop 3

Ending stigma for the victims

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Stigmas and taboos are at the heart of the tragedy of sexual violence, and significantly exacerbate all of its impacts. Because of the stigma attached to sexual violence, victims are often rejected by their family and community, facing the double burden of both being the victim of violence and carrying the blame for this violence. These dynamics destroy families and, ultimately, communities – achieving the perpetrators’ goals of destruction and devastation. How can stop society blaming the victims?

  • What are common forms of stigmatisation that victims face across different regions? What are the consequences of this stigmatisation for survivors, their families, and communities?
  • What can we learn from existing anti-stigmatisation programmes for effective interventions, and how can we replicate these in different geographies (see e.g. the PSVI ‘Principles for Global Action for Preventing and Addressing Stigma Associated with Conflict-Related Sexual Violence’)?
  • What kind of community interventions are useful, such as communication tools that reduce the community rejection of survivors (e.g. radio programmes, theatre plays, films)? What of community and faith leaders: how can they be engaged to fight against stigmatisation and help welcome victims back into their communities?


Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, United Nations

Exchanges between:

- Saran Cissé, Member of SEMA, the Global Network of Victims and Survivors to End Wartime Rape, Guinea

-Feride Rushiti, Founder and Executive Director, Kosovo Centre for Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (KRCT)

- Christine Schuler Descrhyver, Director, ‘City of Joy’; Representative, VDAY RDCongo; Vice-President, Panzi Foundation

- Mirsada Tursunovic,President and Co-Founder, Our Voice (Nas Glas); Member of SEMA, the Global Network of Victims and Survivors to End Wartime Rape, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Front row commentator:

Shawn Goodman, Husband of a survivor

Moderated by:

Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Member of the European Parliament, Coordinator for Children's Rights and Spokesperson on Violence Against Women

Workshop 4

Nothing about us without us

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Survivors must be at the centre of the response to sexual violence in fragile environments. They know best what can make a difference for them and for other victims. Yet, too often their voices are not heard and their priorities are not taken into account by decision-makers. Collaborating with survivors can make prevention, treatment and rebuilding efforts more effective and efficient, but humanitarian efforts would need to be adapted to better incorporate the voice of survivors.

  • How are survivors already acting together and raising their voices? What are some of the initiatives and programmes they are putting in place, at national and international levels?
  • How can we ensure that their voices are heard by national and international decision-makers, and that they have the opportunity to influence the policies and programmes that affect them?
  • Survivors do not necessarily speak with one single voice. How to navigate the potential divergence of opinions within the ‘survivor community’ and survivor movements?


Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Prime Minister's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Government of the United Kingdom

Exchanges between:

- Norma Bastidas, Ultra-athlete, Women’s Rights Activist

- Bineta Diop, Founder and Director, Femmes Africa Soldiarité; Special Envoy, Commission for Women, Peace and Security, African Union

- Nadia Murad, President of 'Nadia's Initiative', Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2018

- Bernadette Sayo, Secretary General, Central African Republic Survivors' Movement (MOSUCA); Member of SEMA, the Global Network of Victims and Survivors to End Wartime Rape, Central African Republic

Expert commentator:

Pierrette Pape, Head of Advocacy and Campaigning, Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation

Moderated by:

Zeina Awad, Former International Correspondent, Al Jazeera English; Chief of Communication, UNICEF Iraq

Workshop 5

Inclusion for children born of rape

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The damage of sexual violence can transcend generations. Children born of rape are often blamed as 'offspring of the enemy' and are rejected or abandoned. For many, stigmatisation is made worse by statelessness, further impeding these children's access to health, school, and work throughout their lives. By rejecting children born of rape, communities further perpetrate the damage inflicted by the rapists and make it harder for the society to heal.

  • What are the key priorities and needs of children born of rape? What challenges do they face and what kind of support do they need most?
  • What support - physical and mental - do the mothers need to face the challenge of pregnancy and ongoing childcare?
  • What can we learn from programmes and interventions that have helped these children integrate effectively? Can these be replicated and scaled to help more children in fragile environments?
  • What legal and administrative practices must be changed in order to prevent exclusion?

Exchanges between:

- Anne-Marie von Arx-Vernon, Deputy, Canton of Geneva; Expert on the fight against human trafficking and violence against women; co-director, 'Au Coeur des Grottes' Foundation

- Ajna Jusic, President, Forgotton Children of War

- HRH Princess Claire of Luxembourg, Doctor of Bioethics

- Mildred Mapingure, Zimbabwe Coordinator, We Are NOT Weapons of War

- Aline Mwamini, Member of SEMA, the Global Network of Victims and Survivors to End Wartime Rape, Democratic Republic of the Congo

- Martine Brousse, President, La Voix de l'Enfant

Moderated by:

Joyce J. Wangui, Freelance Journalist, Journalists for Justice

27 March


Workshop 6

Uniting systems for justice

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National and international tribunals must reinforce each other to increase accountability for sexual violence in fragile environments. While international courts play an important role in setting legal precedents, only local courts can ensure a more systematic response. ‘Traditional’ justice mechanisms also have a role to play in accountability. With all these approaches, it is crucial that victims are listened to and recognised, and that justice serves them rather than retraumatises or shames them.

  • How can we enhance the judicial response at all levels? How can international tribunals step up the prosecution of emblematic cases of sexual violence, and how can local actors be better equipped to apply the law more effectively?
  • Should we concentrate on the development of new legal instruments, or should we focus resources on the implementation of existing norms?
  • What are the roles of alternative justice mechanisms, such as human rights bodies, truth commissions, or other non-criminal justice bodies?
  • How can we ensure that the interests of victims are placed at the centre of all these approaches?

Exchanges between:

- Vasfije Goodman, Member of SEMA, the Global Network of Victims and Survivors to End Wartime Rape, Kosovo

- Philip Grant, Director, TRIAL International

- Olha Klymenko, Member of SEMA, the Global Network of Victims and Survivors to End Wartime Rape, Ukraine

- Maxine Marcus, International Crimes Prosecutor and Investigator; Director, Transitional Justice Clinic

- Alain Werner, Director, Civitas Maxima

Moderated by:

Thierry Cruvellier, Journalist and author, expert on international justice; Editor-in-Chief,

Workshop 7

Repairing the harm of sexual violence

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Victims of sexual violence in conflict must bear the physical and emotional consequences of their rape, often while living in communities where they may be rejected and isolated . They also rarely receive justice, or even just recognition for the serious crimes they have suffered. For survivors around the world, reparations are a recurring demand to restore justice, dignity, and respect. But in practice, reparations for survivors of sexual violence in fragile environments are rarely provided due to a lack of judicial proceedings around these crimes and lack of state and individual resources to fund them.

  • What forms can reparations take, and why are they an essential part of survivors’ demands?
  • What are the key ways of obtaining reparations, and the main obstacles in these processes?
  • What can be done to ensure more survivors receive appropriate and necessary reparations? What could be alternative means for providing them (e.g. the Mukwege Foundation’s International Reparations Initiative)?
  • What challenges arise when providing reparations to victims of sexual violence?

Exchanges between:

- Pieter de Baan, Executive Director, Trust Fund for Victims, International Criminal Court

- Esther Dingemans, Director, Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation

- Ángela Escobar Vásquez, National Coordinator, Red de Mujeres Víctimas y Profesionales; Member of SEMA, the Global Network of Victims and Survivors to End Wartime Rape, Colombia

- Maître Thérèse Kulungu, Former executive secretary, Panzi Foundation; Former Coordinator, Panzi Legal Clinic

- Tatiana Mukanire, Member of SEMA, the Global Network of Victims and Survivors to End Wartime Rape, Democratic Republic of the Cong

Moderated by:

Leela Jacinto, International News Reporter, France 24

Workshop 8

Innovating technology and finance for good

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Technology and finance have great potential to enhance the response to sexual violence in fragile environments. Survivors can benefit from technological innovations – such as mobile applications, protected databases, and data analysis software – which can create alerts, record evidence, and improve access to services. Financial innovations, such as impact bonds, can ensure sustainable flows of resources to these projects, guaranteeing their viability and efficiency in the long-term.

  • In what ways can technology support the response to sexual violence in fragile environments? What are existing projects, and what are their advantages and risks?
  • What are some innovative forms of programme funding, and how can they be applied to sexual violence response initiatives?
  • How can we boost technological and financial innovations to improve the response to sexual violence in fragile environments?


Professor Muhammad Yunus, Founder, Grameen Bank; Nobel Prize Laureate 2006

Exchanges between:

- Fabrice Croiseaux, CEO, InTech S.A.

- Ekhlas Khudhur Bajoo, Ambassador of Hope, Roads of Success

- Chékébe Hachemi, Author; Founder and President, Afghanistan Libre

- Karen Naimer, Director, Programme on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, Physicians for Human Rights

- Thomas Seale, Chairman of LuxFLAG

Moderated by:

Shirin Wheeler, Senior International Press Officer, European Investment Bank

Workshop 9

Sexual violence on the migrant route

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Whether they are fleeing war, poverty, criminal violence, natural disasters, or sexual violence itself, displaced populations - women and girls, as well as men and boys - are exposed to numerous risks on their journey, including shocking levels of sexual violence. Their dangerous path compounds their psychological and medical needs, all while necessary services are rarely available during displacements and in refugee camps. Nor does migrants' vulnerability end when they reach transit or event destination countries: institutional and criminal violence, including sexual predation, continues to be a daily reality for many.

  • How can assistance and care be provided to migrant and displaced populations at the beginning of their journey, during that journey and in destination countries?
  • How can we prevent sexual violence on migration routes and reduce migrants' vulnerability?
  • Do existing remedies need to be strengthened? How can we improve the implementation of existing national and international norms?

Exchanges between:

- Sarah Chynoweth, Sexual Violence Project Director/Consultant, Women's Refugee Commission

- Ravda Nur Cuma, Founder, Chairperson, Ravdanur Foundation

- Stefania Parigi, Shelter Director, Adoma; former Director, SAMU Social Paris

- Prof Doris Schopper, Professor, Medical Faculty of University of Geneva; Director, Centre for Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH); Former International President and Chair of Ethics Review Board, MSF; Member, ICRC

- Nadine Tunasi, Leader, Policy and Research Working Group, Survivors Speak OUT - Freedom From Torture

Moderated by:

Thomas Kauffmann, Executive Director, ECPAT Luxembourg

Workshop 10

Know the system, fix the system

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Slow progress on ending sexual violence in fragile environments is not a reflection of efforts to combat it. Indeed, sexual violence in fragile environments is steadily rising on global policy and humanitarian agendas. International organisations, governments, researchers, NGOs, foundations, and the private sector are devoting increasing resources to this issue. Yet, despite growing attention and the private sectors' increasing willingness to help address social issues, usually reserved for government and humanitarian organisations, responses to sexual violence in conflict remain lacking in coordination, scale and efficiency. That's because to fix the system, we need to understand the system.

  • What are the main obstacles to building a complete and accurate understanding of sexual violence in fragile environments globally?
  • How will survivor involvement and initiatives accelerate the changes needed to "fix the system"?
  • What examples of cross-sectoral and/or intra-sectoral collaboration offer best practices for knowledge sharing and impact?
  • What should be the role of the private sector in these efforts (e.g., funder, solution provider)?

Exchanges between:

- Céline Bardet, Founder and President, We are NOT Weapons of War

- Antonia Mulvey, Founder and Executive Director, Legal Action Worldwide

- David Pereira, President, Amnesty International Luxembourg

- Kim Thuy Seelinger, Director, Sexual Violence Programme, Human Rights Center, Berkeley Law School

- Michel Wurth, Director, ArcelorMittal Luxembourg; Vice-President, Luxembourg Red Cross

Expert commentator:

Elise Boghossian, Founder, EliseCare

Moderated by:

Alanna Vagianos, Women's Reporter, HuffPost

Workshop 11

Healing through sports

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Participating in sport presents an opportunity for many survivors to rebuild and regain their self-confidence. How can medical and psychological practitioners and survivor communities work together to ensure we make the most of sport's potential to help survivors manage and deal with trauma? This session focuses on how an interdisciplinary approach to Karate, a sport focused around respect and the connection between head, heart and body, might create new and powerful networks of women survivor educators.

  • How can medical and psychological organisations better work with survivor communities, to improve the potential for sports like Karate to have a real impact?
  • Where are there opportunities for greater interdisciplinary collaboration in sport?
  • Where can the benefits of sports be amplified across survivor communities, for instance by activating networks to support one another through training?


Laurence Fischer, Karate World Champion; Founder, Fight for Dignity