The Missing Peace Initiative brings together expert scholars, policymakers, practitioners, and military and civil society actors. By bringing together these different actors, the initiative aims 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.
About the Missing Peace Initiative
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. Even after these wars have ended, sexual violence often does not – which, in turn, undermines reconstruction efforts and the transition to more stable, secure, and peaceful societies.
Despite the increased international recognition of the serious impact that sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict poses to security and peace, initiatives to prevent or mitigate these violent acts continue to fall short. Even with the adoption of UN Security Council resolutions and important rulings in international criminal courts, existing international interventions may lack an integrated understanding of the causes for sexual violence and its implications for societies at large.
The Missing Peace Initiative is a collaborative project of PRIO, the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and Women In International Security (WIIS). In February 2013, the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley, PRIO, USIP and WIIS convened for the first time 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.
An explicit aim of this overall initiative is to include findings from the latest academic research as well as insights from practitioners working in conflict and post-conflict situations, including civil society actors, the military, and police. This initiative has also launched the Missing Peace Young Scholars Network, aimed at supporting PhD researchers and recently minted PhDs in their research and the dissemination of research results to the practitioner and policy communities.
Missing Peace Symposium series
Since 2013, the Missing Peace Initiative partners have organised five international symposiums:
- Missing Peace Symposium 2013: Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post Conflict Settings
- Missing Peace Symposium 2015: Accountability for Sexual Violence
- Missing Peace Symposium 2017: Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict. Is fighting impunity the only game in town?
- Missing Peace Symposium 2019: Youth: The Missing Peace
- Missing Peace Symposium 2023: Taking Action Together with Survivors, Policymakers, Practitioners and Scholars
Missing Peace Young Scholars Network
The Young Scholars Network, formed in 2013, is an extension of the Missing Peace Initiative to bring together a global community of scholars currently researching innovative methodologies to address the prevention of sexual violence in conflict.
Some of the most innovative research on sexual violence is being undertaken by Young Scholars who spend months in the field researching, analysing and writing about the complex and difficult aspects of understanding and preventing sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict settings. These scholars are frequently on the cutting edge of data collection methodologies and have important insights to share with the broader academic and policy communities.
However, Young Scholars often face challenges in disseminating the results of their research to mainstream international relations and security studies communities. In addition, they may lack the necessary networks to disseminate their work to the policy and practitioner communities.
The partners of the Missing Peace Initiative, with their combined extensive networks and contacts in academia, the policymaking and non-governmental communities, decided to help with the development of a network to help overcome these challenges.
- New PRIO Paper on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict
- Missing Peace Symposium 2017: Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict: Is fighting impunity the only game in town? December 2017
- Public opening event to the Missing Peace Symposium 2017: How does international criminal prosecution of conflict-related sexual violence impact peacebuilding? December 2017
- PRIO Blog on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Contexts, November 2017
- Fifth Annual Missing Peace Young Scholars Network Workshop, July 2017
- Missing Peace Symposium 2015: Practitioners’ Workshop on Accountability for Sexual Violence, August 2015
- Missing Peace Young Scholars Network Workshop, June 2015
- Panel Event on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict, May 2014
- Open Letter to William Hague and Angelina Jolie, June 2014
- Missing Peace Symposium 2013: Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post Conflict Settings, February 2013
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