The HRRC and Udayana University Host Studium Generale on Gender-Based Violence

Bali, 12 August 2014—The Human Rights Resource Centre and the Udayana University this afternoon commenced the 7th Summer Institute on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights with a side event at the campus of Udayana University. The Studium Generale, entitled Local wisdom, global justice: rethinking gender-based violence in the context of war and beyond,” acknowledges the 50th year anniversary of the Faculty of Law of Udayana University and is centred around the jubilee’s theme: “Local Wisdom and Global Justice.”

 The Studium Generale aims to draw attention to sexual violence in situations of armed conflict—not only those committed against girls and women, but also those inflicted on boys and men. Gender-based violence has become a term commonly associated with violence against girls and women, with discussions tending to ignore increasing evidence that violence against boys and men is prevalent both during and after periods of conflict. There has been comparatively little discussion and analysis of sexual violence perpetrated against men and boys. Local understandings of these crimes can contribute important knowledge and understanding to the international human rights system, by bringing to light the importance of including men and boys’ experiences of sexual violence in ensuring accountability for gross violations of human rights. At the same time, understanding sexual violence in its historical context can shed light on why traditional emphasis has been placed on ensuring women are included in any discussion about gender.

Professor Harkristuti Harkrisnowo of the Faculty of Law of the University of Indonesia and Director-General of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights delivered the keynote address. 

Ms. Leigh-Ashley Lipscomb, member of the first UN Women Protection Adviser (WPA) team of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan; Dr. Sandesh Sivarkumaran, Professor of Public International Law at the University of Nottingham; and Mr. Alastair Hilton, Technical Advisor for First Step Cambodia were invited to share their expertise on the issue of sexual violence. Drawing from experiences from Uganda, Latin America, East Timor and Cambodia, the Studium Generale considered the impact of gender-based violence on the community and the responses to address this issue so far. The panel also touched on the challenges faced by social workers providing services to victims and their supporters, as well as those confronting practitioners who are engaged in preventing and prosecuting gender-based violence.

 The 7th Summer Institute, to be held from 12-15 August 2015, is supported by the United States Government and the British Embassy in Jakarta. The talk at the Udayana University was attended by students, representatives of business associations, social workers, and government officials dealing with sexual violence and other human rights issues.