Media Releases

Alaa Murabit, Voice of Libyan Women co-founder, to keynote “Sexual Violence in the Recent Conflicts in Libya and Syria” conference on Feb. 8, 2013

February 7, 2013

What are the challenges to protecting victims and pursuing accountability?

TORONTO, ON — Twen­ty-three year old Alaa Mura­bit, co-founder of the grass­roots move­ment Voice of Libyan Women, will be the keynote speak­er on Feb. 8, 2013 at an inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ence high­light­ing the issue of sex­u­al vio­lence in the wake of the Arab Spring.

“Sex­u­al Vio­lence in the Recent Con­flicts in Libya and Syr­ia,” host­ed joint­ly by the Fac­ul­ty of Law’s Inter­na­tion­al Human Rights Pro­gram and the U of T Munk Cen­tre of Glob­al Affairs, will dis­cuss the chal­lenges of doc­u­ment­ing cas­es of sex­u­al vio­lence against both women and men, sup­port­ing sur­vivors, pur­su­ing account­abil­i­ty in inter­na­tion­al crim­i­nal law and the role of the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty in respond­ing to these unfold­ing human rights abus­es.

Mura­bit, in train­ing to be a med­ical doc­tor, has vis­it­ed remote areas of Libya to hear sto­ries of sex­u­al vio­lence direct­ly from women. She advo­cates for Libyan women’s polit­i­cal par­tic­i­pa­tion and eco­nom­ic empow­er­ment, and is cur­rent­ly draft­ing a “women’s char­ter.”

Oth­er speak­ers include: Dr. Laila Bugaighis, med­ical direc­tor of the Beng­hazi Med­ical Cen­tre, and polit­i­cal and human rights activist; Lau­ren Wolfe, jour­nal­ist and direc­tor of Women Under Siege, a project that uses inno­v­a­tive crowd-source map­ping to doc­u­ment sex­u­al vio­lence in Syr­ia; and U.S. Ambas­sador Patri­cia M. Haslach who will speak about the inter­na­tion­al community’s role in pre­vent­ing and doc­u­ment­ing cas­es of sex­u­al vio­lence.

View the full list of speak­ers, includ­ing human rights defend­ers, aca­d­e­mics, inter­na­tion­al lawyers and pol­i­cy mak­ers from around the globe. Read the back­grounder on the issues.

EVENT INFO:                                      

WHAT: Voice of Libyan Women co-founder, Alaa Mura­bit, to keynote “Sex­u­al Vio­lence in the Recent Con­flicts in Libya and Syr­ia” con­fer­ence

WHEN: Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 8, 2013; 8:30 am – 5 pm (Reg­is­tra­tion opens at 8:00 a.m.)

WHERE: Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Fac­ul­ty of Law, Flavelle House, Ben­nett Lec­ture Hall, 78 Queen’s Park Cres­cent [Muse­um sub­way stop] (Map:

RSVP: Seat­ing is lim­it­ed; media are asked to RSVP to

INFO: Inter­na­tion­al Human Rights Pro­gram

The con­fer­ence is gen­er­ous­ly sup­port­ed by the Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties Research Coun­cil of Cana­da, the Law and Devel­op­ment Pro­gram at the Fac­ul­ty of Law, Human Rights Watch Cana­da, the Cana­di­an Libyan Coun­cil and the Jour­nal of Inter­na­tion­al Law and Inter­na­tion­al Rela­tions.


For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact:

Lucian­na Cic­co­ciop­po, BA, MA (Jour­nal­ism)
Direc­tor, Exter­nal Rela­tions / Exec­u­tive Edi­tor, Nexus
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Fac­ul­ty of Law
84 Queen’s Park, Toron­to, ON Cana­da
Fol­low us: @UTLaw and our Dean: @mayomoran