Civilian populations are often the foremost victims of contemporary conflicts. Importantly, however, historical and recent examples show how civilians can also be change makers. Civilians can promote peaceful development through various civil society initiatives, but they can also exacerbate conflicts as instigators of violence. The Civilians in Conflict research group focuses on the role of civilians before, during, and after conflict, with the aim of contributing to policies that work to improve the situation for civilian populations.
Today, Save the Children launched its new report Stop the War on Children: A crisis of recruitment. The report is based on a new mapping of children at risk of being recruited or used in armed conflict conducted at PRIO, as well an update of the yearly estimation of children living in conflict zones. The findings are alarming. In 2020, approximately 337 million children, or more than 1 in 8 children, were living in a conflict zone in which one or more actors recruited children. This is the highest recorded number of children at risk of being recruited by armed actors.
Save the Children's report Stop the War on Children: A crisis of recruitment shows that, in 2020, almost all children in Syria and Yemen were at risk of recruitment by armed actors.
A new article introduces the Repertoires of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (RSVAC) data package.
This data source assembles reports from 1989 to 2015 of forms of sexual violence by government/states forces, insurgent/rebel organizations, and pro-government militias for each conflict and year, as well as extensive qualitative notes. The new data package helps disaggregate ‘sexual violence’ into its distinct forms and will therefore enable analysis of the reported presence of forms of sexual violence across time, conflicts, and organizations.
This year, four master's students at the UiO-PRIO Student Programme have successfully defended their master's theses on topics related to the Middle East. Their theses address a wide variety of topics: effects of sectarian violence in Egypt, sexual violence during the Egyptian Revolution, France's involvement in the Lebanese Civil War, and the Reagan administration's approach to the Palestinian question.
In honor of International Women's Day, we're highlighting the research of Jenny Lorentzen. Jenny is a Senior Researcher at PRIO and a Post-Doc at Lund University. Her PhD work focused partly on women’s participation in Malian peace processes, so today she's talking about what women in Mali had to do to get a seat at the table, and what can be learned from their efforts, and the work of female negotiators around the world.
PRIO has conducted a study for Save the Children estimating the number of children at risk of experiencing wartime sexual violence. A staggering 72 million children—17% of the 426 million children living in conflict areas globally, or 1 in 6—are living near armed groups that have been reported to perpetrate sexual violence against children.
PRIO has long been at the forefront of research on protest movements.
As of 2020 PRIO houses three major projects that simultaneously are investigating mass mobilizations and protests. As a result, we will have a large team of leading experts in the field. This is something that no other research institution can boast of, either nationally or internationally.
Read more about this in Tora Sagård's summing up of these projects and the links between them.
Despite the magnitude of displacement, extant knowledge on how refugees affect host populations is derived almost exclusively from Western societies. We lack completely evidence-based, generalizable insights of such dynamics in the Global South.
A project addressing this challenge has today received funding from the FRIPRO Programme of the Research Council of Norway: TRUST: Attitudinal Impacts of Refugees on Host Communities in the Global South.
The project will last for 3.5 years, and will be led by Halvard Buhaug. Other PRIO members of the project team are Andreas Forø Tollefsen and Siri Aas Rustad, as well as a new PhD position. Congratulations!
The Research School on Peace and Conflict invites applications for the PhD course on Civil Resistance: Causes and Consequences to take place at PRIO in Oslo on 11-13 February 2020. The course is a collaboration between the Norwegian University for Science and Technology (NTNU) and PRIO.
The deadline for applications is 1 December 2019.
With so much attention on the destructive role of Facebook in Myanmar, Doctoral Researcher Julie M. Hansen points out the constructive side of Facebook by bringing in examples of how women in Myanmar use of the social media platform. She writes:
spread of hate speech and misinformation online that incites real-life violence
are serious issues that deserve the media attention they have received, and the
tech community must prioritise finding a solution. Yet, for a fuller
understanding of the role of Facebook – which has become such a dominant tool in
Myanmar for information and communication that is almost synonymous with the
internet – we should also recognise the platform’s constructive side. And this becomes apparent when we look at how
the social media platform is used by women."
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