Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Hosts International Forum on Gender-based Violence and Hu

Security is a basic human requirement. Reports from around the world confirm that women and children are the most violated, targeted and have the least security during and after conflicts. Everyday millions are living without any security to gather firewood or food, care for their homes and children because those charged to protect are not.  How to work with security sectors (peacekeepers, police services, armed forces, paramilitary groups, prison personnel, the border patrols) and support their awareness and training in protecting the state and citizens is a primary focus area in the Fifth Annual Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ) Women PeaceMakers Conference, entitled “Crafting Human Security in an Insecure World.”

From Sept. 24-26, at the University of San Diego, experts and human rights advocates will gather with women and men coming from, or working in, war-torn areas around to the world to exchange experience and resources to address this global problem.  Speakers will include past participants of the Women PeaceMaker’s program, non-governmental agency advocates, and international military peacekeeping personnel, among others.

“Everyday we read of the massive human rights violations as women and girls are subjected to forced rape, incest, and abducted for forced labor both in and out of refugee camps,” said Dee Aker, interim executive director of the IPJ. “This is true on every continent. Those charged to protect are often not prepared or given the cultural excuse for these acts.  International attention, training and law does make a difference; however the public must be aware of the depth of the problems to demand real action that can promote human security.” 

The conference brings together those on the forefront of informing, creating or facilitating the training and mandates that must be active to overcome rampant human rights abuses and the brutality of conflict-related sexual violence which is now so common, according to organizers. The conference begins with a Distinguished Lecture Series at 7 p.m., Sept. 24, featuring The Honorable Louise Arbour, former United Nations high commissioner for human rights.

The conference is co-convened by the IPJ, Global Justice Center, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, United Nations Development Fund for Women, and the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women. Panel discussions will be held to address the following topics: Ending Cycles of Violence Through Gender Inclusive Peacebuilding; Protecting Civilians in Armed Conflict from Violence, including Sexual Violence; Advancing Inclusive Security During DDR and SSR; and Enforcing Justice, Overcoming Impunity for Conflict Transformation. 

For more information on the conference and the Women PeaceMakers program, go to

About The University of San Diego

The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice is part of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego. The institute is dedicated to fostering peace, cultivating justice and creating a safer world through education, research, and peacemaking activities.

The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls approximately 7,500 students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The inauguration of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies brings the university’s total number of schools and colleges to six. Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business Administration, Law, Leadership and Education Sciences, and Nursing and Health Science.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.