Sexual violence in conflict destroys lives and damages communities. The UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, co-chaired the End Sexual Violence in Conflict Global Summit held in London in June 2014. This was the biggest ever international meeting on sexual violence in conflict: 115 governments, over 100 NGO and international partners and more than 950 experts from the legal, medical, military and academic professions were present at the summit.
Restless Development was invited to attend the fringe event on the youth day on first day of the summit. Some of our international volunteers who went to Sierra Leone spoke about their experiences and work on sexual reproductive health and rights and premièred a film further showcasing our work. Panel speaker Eric analysed the role that governments and men have to play to end sexual violence. Princess, a volunteer from Sierra Leone, called to “not just say ‘End SVC’, let’s see results”. Rabia passionately dissected how gender discrimination lies at the root of sexual violence and Development Advocate Laura brought together the big global picture by suggesting what we can do with this summit and what we can do in the UK.
Angelina Jolie and the whole audience were completely captured by the speakers and the great film, with Jolie watching from the front row and commenting, “this film is incredible and so relatable. Going to Sierra Leone changed my life.”
Click here to watch the film shown at the event, which is of Restless Development Sierra Leone volunteers representing some of the most common violence related issues that women face through a drama performance, with the aim to raise awareness and stimulate debate.