An initiative of Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

26-27 March 2019 Luxembourg City
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26 March


12:30 – 13:30

Registration and welcome coffee

13:30 – 13:50

Opening ceremony

Opening remarks by Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.

Speech from Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister, The Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Video message from Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund.

13:50 - 15:35

Understanding the root causes of sexual violence in fragile environments

Rape during conflict is not a by-product of the present era. In fact, it has existed for thousands of years, though only within the past few decades has it been recognised as an unacceptable violation of human rights. Despite humanity’s long history with rape in conflict and other fragile environments, our understanding of the root causes and contextual dynamics, from cultural to geopolitical, is limited. What precisely does sexual violence in fragile environments mean: what kind of acts, against whom, and in which situations? Why does this happen, who commits these acts, and for what purposes? We know sexual violence can be used as a weapon of war to destroy communities and take control of territories and resources, but what other factors drive high rates of sexual violence in fragile environments? It is imperative that the global community understands the causes of sexual violence so that it can better address prevention and protection, and develop solutions.

13:50 - 14:20

The geopolitical situation of sexual violence in fragile environments

Professor François Heisbourg, Senior Advisor for Europe, International Institute for Strategic Studies; Special Advisor, Foundation for Strategic Research.

Followed by Q&A moderated by Céline Bardet, Founder and President, We are NOT Weapons of War

14:20 - 14:50

Roundtable with survivors by HRH The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

With Nadia Murad, and survivors from the Mukwege Foundation’s Global Network of survivors.

14:50 - 15:35

Keynote by Dr Denis Mukwege, followed by Q&A

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

15:35 – 16:00


Workshops in parallel

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

16:00 – 17:00

Healing the body

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?

Confirmed speakers include:
- Raphaël Pitti, Doctor and professor of emergency medicine

16:00 – 17:00

Healing the mind

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?
  • 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?

Confirmed speakers include:
- Marie de Hennezel, Clinical and humanitarian psychotherapist
- Marguerite Barankitse, Founder, Maison Shalom
- Dr. Emilie Mereidos, Psychologist, anthropologist and advocate

16:00 – 17:00

Ending stigma for the victims

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 perpetrators’ goal of destruction and devastation. How can we end society blaming the victims of this violence?

  • What are common forms of stigmatisation that victims face across 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 replicating 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 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?

Confirmed speakers include:
- Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, United Nations

16:00 – 17:00

Nothing about us without us

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 traditional humanitarian efforts will need to be redesigned to incorporate the diverse voices 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’ are not one single voice. How to navigate potential divergence of opinions within the ‘survivor community’ and survivor movements?


Healing through dance

This active workshop provides an opportunity for the participants to immerse themselves in techniques designed for survivors of sexual violence to heal body, mind and soul.

- Bolewa Sabourin, Dancer and Choreographer; Co-Founder, LOBA


Conclusions of the day: Collaborating for scale

Sexual violence’s devastating impact on survivors – injuries, trauma, stigmatisation, shame – reaches through families, communities, countries, and across generations. Many survivors and support organisations are implementing innovative and promising initiatives to respond to these consequences. What can we take away from their experience and inspiration to improve and scale responses in different contexts? How can we ensure this expertise is shared and communicated where it is needed, and that survivors can participate effectively in the design and implementation of programmes? What are opportunities for different actors to work together and collaborate to scale responses, for and with survivors?

- Fire starter: Mara Marinaki, Principal Advisor on Gender, European External Action Service

- Rapporteurs from the workshops in parallel

- Concluding remarks from Nobel Prize laureates


Gala evening: A time for recognition

Evening at the Philharmonie, featuring the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra.

A time for recognition.

27 March


08:30 – 09:30

Registration: welcome coffee

09:30 – 09:50

Opening by Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, followed by fireside chat

09:50 – 10:00

Trailer of the film ‘Woman’

- Yann Arthus Bertrand and Anastasia Mikova

10:00 – 10:40

The state of play of international criminal law and justice

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

- Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor, International Criminal Court

Followed by Q&A moderated by Thierry Cruvellier, Journalist and author, expert on international justice; Editor-in-Chief, & Fondation Hirondelle

10:40 – 11:00


11:00 – 11:40

Keynote speech by Professor Mohammad Yunus, followed by Q&A

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



Workshops in parallel

Improving our responses to sexual violence in fragile environments

11:50 – 12:50

Uniting systems for justice

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. In 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 (e.g. the Murad Code), or should we focus resources on the implementation of existing norms?
  • What is the role of ‘traditional justice’ or ‘community-based dispute resolution’ mechanisms ?
  • How can we ensure that the interests of victims are placed at the centre of all these approaches?

Confirmed speakers include:
- Philip Grant, Director, TRIAL International

11:50 – 12:50

Fostering inclusion for children born of rape

The damage of sexual violence can transcend generations. Children born of rape are often blamed as ‘offspring of the enemy’, 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 these 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?

Confirmed speakers include:
- Ajna Jusic, President, Forgotten Children of War
- HRH Princess Claire of Luxembourg, Doctor of Bioethics
- Anne Marie von Arx Vernon, Member of the Grand Council of Geneva

11:50 – 12:50

Repairing the harm of sexual violence

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 repeated demand to restore justice, dignity, and respect. But in practice, reparations for survivors of sexual violence in conflict are rarely provided due to 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?

Confirmed speakers include:
- Feride Rushiti, Founder and Executive Director, Kosovo Centre for Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (KRCT)
- Esther Dingemans, Director, Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation

11:50 – 12:50

Innovating technology and finance for good

Technology and innovative 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 and fragile environments?

Confirmed speakers include:
- Karen Naimer, Director, Programme on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, Physicians for Human Rights
- Yves Francis, CEO and Managing Director, Deloitte Luxembourg

11:50 - 12:50

Healing through karate

This workshop provides an opportunity for participants to immerse themselves in techniques designed for survivors of sexual violence to heal body, mind and soul.

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

12:50 – 15:00


15:00 – 15:40

Conclusion of the day: Uniting for impact!

One of the aims of Stand Speak Rise Up! is to inspire and ignite the humanitarian in each of us. Yet in the face of the challenges faced by survivors of sexual violence in conflict, good thoughts are not enough. How can we build on the spirit of this event to support further knowledge sharing, innovation, and funding for promising initiatives? We have seen that, for change to happen, action will need to occur at the individual, organisational, and policy levels, requiring coordination among actors at all levels and steady support for survivors and the humanitarians that support them. What are some concrete ways that we can move forward the support and the collaboration? And how can we go further, to make strong linkages between sexual violence in fragile environments and other social impact work, such as aid and relief, education, refugee support, and climate change?

- Rapporteurs from workshops in parallel

- Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

15:45 – 16:00

“Le Grand Témoin”

- Jean-Christophe Rufin, Doctor, Diplomat, Historian, Novelist and Member of the French Academy

16:00 - 16:30

Closing ceremony by Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

- The Appeal of HRH The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.

- Song by the survivors.

- Concluding remarks by the Nobel Prizes laureates.