Wednesday 18 October 2017

Jolie urges sex attacks crackdown

Angelina Jolie and William Hague launch the Women, Peace and Security Centre at the London School of Economics.
Angelina Jolie and William Hague launch the Women, Peace and Security Centre at the London School of Economics.

Angelina Jolie has said "there is no stable future for a world in which crimes committed against women go unpunished" as she opened the UK's first academic centre on women, peace and security.

The Oscar-winning actress and special envoy for the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) believes the centre at the London School of Economics (LSE) will help to boost the global campaign for women's rights and stamp out the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon.

She said: "I am excited at the thought of all the students in years to come who will study in this new centre. There is no stable future for a world in which crimes committed against women go unpunished.

"We need the next generation of educated youth with inquisitive minds and fresh energy, who are willing not only to sit in the classroom but to go out into the field and the courtrooms and to make a decisive difference."

She joined former foreign secretary and Cabinet minister William Hague at the launch.

The pair co-founded the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) in 2012 to bring academic expertise to focus on preventing crimes of sexual violence, holding perpetrators to account and protecting the rights of survivors.

Study towards an MSc degree in Women, Peace and Security will be available at the centre from 2016.

Mr Hague said: "By founding this centre LSE is setting an impressive example to other universities in the UK and around the world.

"I'm delighted that as we take forward the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative we'll be able to work with the UK's first academic centre on Women, Peace and Security at the LSE, providing the ideas and rigorous academic understanding needed to expand equal rights, equal freedom and equal opportunity for women everywhere."

LSE director Professor Craig Calhoun and Professor Christine Chinkin, are heading up the new centre.

Prof Calhoun said it as "a remarkable opportunity for us to bring together academic and policy experts and those in the front line of tackling violence against women" while Prof Chinkin described it as "a ground-breaking initiative" .

Messages of support were read from US Secretary of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton.

She said the LSE centre would help give women "the tools and resources to break the barriers that keep them from contributing and participating fully in their governments, economies and societies".

Mr Kerry, wrote: "This initiative would be welcome at any moment but it is especially timely now as we strike to prevent further atrocities, by Daesh, al Qaida, Boko Haram, al Shabab and other terrorist groups that are kidnapping and abusing women and girls and are consigning thousands into slavery."

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