Sexual violence: a leading theme at #OYW2018

Over the past year, sexual violence has quickly risen to the top of the global agenda as one of the most critical issues plaguing both developed and developing countries. Long have the atrocities committed in wartime gone unrecognised, with sexual violence used as a common tool of abuse typically against women and children. Yet with the upheaval of the #MeToo movement and the subsequent outpouring of international outcry, this matter now remains a fixture in world news. 

Just last week, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege who were honoured for their campaigning against sexual violence. Shining the greatest of lights on this matter demands urgency - One Young World (OYW) is leveraging its global platform at the OYW 2018 Summit to address the root causes and solutions to this pandemic in the following sessions:


1. Young Leaders Against Sexual Violence

OYW is proud to announce a new initiative which will task ten young leaders with working together to create tangible change in preventing sexual and gender-based violence worldwide. These ten have been selected as leading voices on these issues - join the OYW livestream on Thursday afternoon to learn more.  This session will be chaired by One Young World Counsellor Fatima Bhutto, alongside Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah and will focus on encouraging all One Young World delegates to take action in their own communities to prevent, intervene, and respond to sexual violence in all its forms.

Date & time: Thursday 18 October, 6.20pm (CEST)


2. Plenary Session: Human Rights - SDGs: where do human rights fit in?

Opened with a keynote introduction from Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International, this session will address the rollback of human rights witnessed in 2017. In this session, Abid Shamdeen will present his work - he is a Yazidi human rights activist who is the Director of Nadia's Initiative, named after Nadia Murad, which is aimed at increasing advocacy for women and minorities and assisting to stabilise and redevelop communities in crisis.

Date & time: Thursday 18 October, 12.10pm (CEST)


3. Terry Crews - Ending the “cult” of masculinity

Actor Terry Crews knows from personal experience how hard it is to experience harassment and muster the courage to speak out. Recognized as one of the Silence Breakers, TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year, he believes that men have a responsibility to lend credence and support to women’s claims and that it’s imperative that men advocate for women’s rights. He will deliver a keynote about this at the Summit.

Date & time: Saturday 20 October, 1.12pm (CEST)


4. Ilia Calderon & Katheryne Bomberger - The Reality of the Refugee Journey

This session will be led by Ilia Calderon, Emmy Award-winning journalist and Katheryne Bomberger, Director General of the International Commission on Missing Persons. The nature of the infrastructure in refugee camps leaves vulnerable people further exposed to risk of sexual violence. Additionally, many refugees will have experienced sexual violence in the conflict they fled or en route to the refugee camp. Providing care and protection for survivors of sexual violence is immensely challenging - they will discuss approaches they have taken and the actions that other young people can commit to in order to support. 

Date & time: Thursday 18 October, 4.02pm (CEST)


5. Clifford Samuel - Sexual Violence and HIV

Wars and civil unrest are increasingly wreaking havoc on the lives of women and girls who often become refugees vulnerable to abuse. The effects of such violence can be devastating and long-lasting and are a particular danger to a woman’s reproductive health. Women and girls who are subjected to sexual violence are at risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Clifford Samuel explains how Gilead, one of the biggest manufacturers of antiretroviral medications, is creating partnerships that help break the link between sexual violence and HIV.

Date & time: Thursday 18 October, 5.49pm (CEST)


6. LUMOS - ending institutionalisation of children by 2050

Lumos CEO, Georgette Mulheir, is joined by Lumos celebrity Ambassador and OYW Counsellor Rossana Bee and young women who have experienced institutionalisation to discuss the importance of female role models. Eight million children live in orphanages and other institutions globally despite the fact that 80% are not orphans but have been separated from their families because of poverty and discrimination. Orphanages harm children, exposing them to all forms of abuse and trafficking and that is why Lumos is working to end institutionalisation of children by 2050.

Date & time: Thursday 18 October, 5.03pm (CEST)


7. Amber Heard - The world’s most vulnerable people: why we need to do more for refugees

Having spent a significant amount of time in Jordan, Amber Heard will share her experiences on working with refugees and the daily reality of the life of women in a refugee camp. She will also light on the recent opprobrium of the forced family separation on the border of Mexico and her native Texas and explain why she is dedicating herself to campaigning for the rights and dignity of migrants, particularly women and children.

Date & time: Thursday 18 October, 3.49pm (CEST)