Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Press Release: Human Rights International Day with Community-led Solutions to Gender Inequality, Victimisation and Offending

Current developments and reforms in policy and legislation on victimization and offending will be explored and debated through the lens of gender at the 4th IARS International Annual Conference “Community-led Solutions to Gender Inequality, Victimisation and Offending”. The event  will be held on the 15th December 2015 (9:00-17:00) at the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, Middle Temple Lane, London EC4Y 9AT, UK. Tickets are still available by emailing contact@iars.org.uk The events full programme can be viewed here.

Dr Theo Gavrielides , IARS International Institute's Founder and Director, “We are very proud to announce our Annual Conference on this special day when human rights are celebrated internationally. Bringing together affected women, policy makers, practitioners and researchers and engaging them in  debate  we aim to develop stronger policies that respect and reflect the needs and the realities of those women. Human rights are first and foremost for those who cannot speak for themselves".

The conference will host a range of influential figures and presenters from research, policy and practice in the fields of human rights, criminal justice, gender and refugee studies, who will cover current issues including violence against women and girls (VAWG), migration and asylum as well as women offenders

Keynote speakers include Sir George Newman - The Surveillance Commissioner and IARS' Patron; Adv. Karen McKenzie, Head of Human Rights, Human Rights Unit, Commonwealth Office;  Professor Eleonore Kofman, Professor of Gender, Migration and Citizenship at Middlesex University; Professor Margaret Greenfields, Professor of Social Policy at Buckinghamshire New University and IARS Trustee; and Jude Watson, Violence against Women and Girls Strategy Manager, Operations Directorate, Crown Prosecution Service

The event will be co-chaired by Dr Theo Gavrielides and Simon Israel, - Channel 4 Home Affairs Correspondent and IARS Patron.

New research, innovative community-led practices and methodologies as well as learnings from existing programmes in the UK and overseas will be presented in 19 interactive workshop presentations  hosted by international experts.

In the context of this year’s conference, issues around protection of human rights of refugee and asylum seeking women will be also addressed.  Maimuna Jawo, a well-known anti-FGM activist, campaigner for women’s rights and expert by experience will be sharing her experiences and those of hundreds of women who have experienced gender-related forms of persecution including sexual violence, domestic violence, female genital mutilation (FGM), trafficking and discrimination. The events full programme can be viewed here.

Maimuna Jawo, a well-known anti-FGM activist, campaigner for women’s rights said:

“Events like this are very important because they raise awareness of problems that women, and in particular refugee women like myself, are facing in the UK today. People need to be educated about gender-based violence, such as FGM – and it is actually working, because FGM is now less widespread than it was in the past. Also, as refugee women we get empowered by working with organisations such as IARS. A refugee woman who is not involved in activism is a weaker refugee. We get courage and support when we take part in events such as this conference. We gain confidence and it takes away our stress and trauma that we have experienced as women affected by gender-based violence”.

Margaret Greenfields,Professor of Social Policy & Community Engagement, Director of the Institute for Diversity Research, Inclusivity, Communities and Society (IDRICS) and IARS Trustee said:  "I am delighted to have the opportunity to take part in this very important event. Sadly, all too often women's gender issues, affecting over half the world's population, are overlooked in terms of equalities debate, with an unspoken presumption existing for many, that in a 'post-feminist world'  there are few equality battles left to be fought. That IARS has chosen to focus on victimisation, gender inequalities and offending at this conference provides us with a welcome space to reflect on changes that have occurred, the significant amount of work which still needs to be done and the most effective processes by which we can bring about positive change to ensure women achieve equality within the criminal justice system and wider public space".

Natalia Paszkiewicz, IARS International Institute’s Equalities Coordinator said: “Gender inequality is at the very core of our society. At IARS we are trying to tackle it by giving voice to vulnerable women, with our Women’s Advisory Board who is involved in strategic discussions about the content of our programmes, organisation’s development and decision-making procedures so that they can input into every aspect of our work. The conference’s focus on women aims at developing our expertise further, and building national and international alliance against gender-based violence across different sectors and disciplines.”

Mirela Sula, CEO & Editor in Chief of Migrant Woman Magazine said: "Migrant women are strong, capable, devoted, with a lot of skills, and they never give up, even when faced with adversity, on their journey to search for a better life for themselves and their children. However they need help and support once they arrive in the new country". 

Jude Watson, Violence against Women and Girls Strategy Manager, Operations Directorate, Crown Prosecution Service “It is inspiring to see the IARS International Institute holding this conference to address such key issues as Violence against Women and Girls at an international level. I look forward to the debates and discussions.

Live tweets #IARS2015

Notes to Editors

  • We are grateful to the Middle Temple for the kind donation of the venue.
  • The Conference is co-funded by Comic Relief.

For more information: Contact Andriana Ntziadima – IARS Communications and Youth Projects Manager, a.ntziadima@iars.org.uk, +44(0)2070644380 or Direct Mobile 07931596900

About The IARS International Institute

The IARS International Institute is user-led and user-focused charity with a mission to give everyone a chance to forge a safer, fairer and more inclusive society. Over the last 10 years, the Institute has been providing world-class educational, research, policy and networking services of local, national and international significance. We are focused on empowering the most marginalised communities through direct service delivery, while enabling organisations to achieve, measure and improve their social impact. To find out more about the IARS International Institute please follow the link www.iars.org.uk

Contact details:

Phone: +44(0)2070644380

Mob: 07833224442

Email: contact@iars.org.uk  

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/_IARS_