Hollywood star Angelina Jolie urges crackdown on sex attacks
Europe's first academic centre to combat the brutality faced by women in warzones has been opened in London by Angelina Jolie, who said "there is no stable future for a world in which crimes committed against women go unpunished".
The Oscar-winning actress and special envoy for the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) believes the centre at the London School of Economics (LSE) will help to boost the global campaign for women's rights and stamp out the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon.
"I am excited at the thought of all the students in years to come who will study in this new centre. There is no stable future for a world in which crimes committed against women go unpunished," she said.
"We need the next generation of educated youth with inquisitive minds and fresh energy, who are willing not only to sit in the classroom but to go out into the field and the courtrooms and to make a decisive difference."
She joined former British foreign secretary and minister William Hague at the launch.
The pair co-founded the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) in 2012 to bring academic expertise to focus on preventing crimes of sexual violence, holding perpetrators to account and protecting the rights of survivors.
Study towards an MSc degree in Women, Peace and Security will be available at the centre from 2016.
LSE director Professor Craig Calhoun and Professor Christine Chinkin, are heading up the new centre.
Prof Calhoun said it as "a remarkable opportunity for us to bring together academic and policy experts and those in the front line of tackling violence against women" while Prof Chinkin described it as "a ground-breaking initiative".
Messages of support were read from US Secretary of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton.
She said the LSE centre would help give women "the tools and resources to break the barriers that keep them from contributing and participating fully in their governments, economies and societies".
Mr Kerry, wrote: "This initiative would be welcome at any moment but it is especially timely now as we strike to prevent further atrocities, by Daesh, al Qaida, Boko Haram, al Shabab and other terrorist groups that are kidnapping and abusing women and girls and are consigning thousands into slavery."