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Round Table

Is the WPS Agenda Working? Preventing Conflict Related Sexual Violence and Beyond

Wednesday 25 January 2023
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague

On Wednesday 25 January, the British Embassy, the Global Transformations and Governance Challenges (GTGC) programme at Leiden University and Women in International Security Netherlands (WIIS-NL) are hosting a round table with Professor Bina D’Costa to discuss the prevention of conflict related sexual violence (CRSV).

WPS agenda

21 years ago, the first resolution on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), Security Council Resolution 1325 (SCR1325), was unanimously adopted by United Nations Security Council on 31 October 2000. One of the key pillars of the WPS agenda has been the prevention of conflict related sexual violence. Yet new evidence reveals that between 20 – 30% of women still experience sexual violence in conflict settings. Is the WPS Agenda working, and if not why? In this round table on Professor Bina D’Costa will address what states should be doing to improve the situation on the ground and answer key questions about the future of the WPS Agenda and the limits of its current formulation.

Accelerate action

Key actors responsible for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 include the UN Security Council; states; UN agencies; and the parties to the conflict. At a recent conference hosted by the British Government on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict settings (PSVI) states agreed to urgently accelerate action to end conflict-related sexual violence, hold those responsible to account, shatter the existing culture of impunity, provide more comprehensive support to survivors, and tackle stigma.

Professor Bina D’Costa, has been researching this topic for over two decades and attended this conference as a representative for Bangladesh. At this round table event she reflects on the conference and speak about the progress that has and has not been made on this issue. In particular, she will address what states should be doing to improve the situation on the ground and answer key questions about the future of the WPS Agenda and the limits of its current formulation.

Professor Bina D’Costa

About the speaker

Professor Bina D’Costa is an activist-scholar of global politics at home in classrooms and conflict zones alike. Bina studies wars and forced migration, children and young people’s protection in emergencies, conflict-related sexual violence and war crimes, human rights advocacy, and indigenous rights. She is a Professor at the Department of International Relations, the Australian National University and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2022-2026) on humanitarian emergencies and global south approaches to protection. Bina has written many articles and seven books including Cascades of Violence, co-authored with John Braithwaite (2018); Children and the Politics of Violence in South Asia (2017), Children and Global Politics (co-authored, 2015), Nationbuilding, Gender and War Crimes in South Asia (2011, 2013), Gender and Global Politics in the Asia-Pacific (co-edited volume, 2010).

She has worked as a senior UN staff member, most recently at UNICEF to build its Migration and Displacement program at the Office of Research-Innocenti. As a frontline researcher and humanitarian practitioner, she has contributed to Europe’s and Horn of Africa’s refugee emergencies, and served in the UN Rohingya Emergency Response Team in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.  She has provided inputs and technical advice to transitional justice processes including witness protection and victim support mechanisms at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), International Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh, and civil society human rights initiatives in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. Bina is currently leading an advocacy research project on reparations and conflict related sexual violence (CRSV) with Bangladesh Legal Aid Services Trust (BLAST) and REDRESS. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award, Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame, United States in 2020.


17:00 – 18:15  Round table Event with Q&A

18:15 – 19:45 Drinks reception / Borrel (Brasserie Reception) sponsored by the British Embassy

Registration and questions

Interested in attending the event? Attendance is free, but please register via this form.

If you have any questions, please sent an e-mail to communicatie@fgga.leidenuniv.nl 

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