University of Toronto's faculty of law has organized a really interesting conference today on sexual violence in Syria and Libya with speakers from all over the world.
Rape is a little explored aspect of these wars unfortunately. After all, it is hard enough to convince victims in liberal democracies to come forward and for attackers to be prosecuted. In the context of the chaos of war and in Muslim societies such as Libya and Syria where there are enormous stigmas attached to sexual assault it becomes even more difficult.
How do you collect evidence? How do you protect victims? How can rape be prosecuted as a war crime? Can sexual violence cases be brought to an international criminal court? These are some of the issues that will be explored. I will be following the conference and blogging throughout the day.
Hamida Ghafour is a foreign affairs reporter at The Star. She has lived and worked in the Middle East and Asia for more than 10 years and is the author of a book on Afghanistan. Follow her on Twitter @HamidaGhafour