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Assembly Series

A tradition of convening thought leaders since 1953

McKelvey School of Engineering

Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict: Theories, Myths and Holistic Responses

Wednesday, February 16 | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

The Public Health Speaker Series for Spring 2022 begins with a presentation from our very own Kim Thuy Seelinger. Her talk "Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict: Theories, myths, and holistic responses" addresses the reality that sexual violence has been part of war since time immemorial. It is only recently that we have begun to understand it as something besides "collateral damage". What do we know? What myths persist? And how can we draw upon multiple disciplines to develop a truly holistic approach to survivors' access to support and justice?

You can follow these links to learn more about Kim and her work.

Public Health Speaker Series lectures are free and open to the public


Event Type

Lectures & Presentations


Brown School


Medicine & Health

Public Health
Event Contact

Jonesey Johnson

Speaker Information

Kim Thuy Seelinger is an expert on sexual violence in armed conflict and forced displacement. She focuses on protection from gender-based violence in humanitarian contexts and accountability for these crimes in international and domesticcourts. She has spent years working with judges, prosecutors, and victims’ advocates in East and West Africa on war crimes trials, including contributing to the prosecution and conviction of the former president of Chad, Hissène Habré. She has also conducted several multi-country studies focused on protection needs of forcibly displaced survivors of gender-based violence in Central America, the Mediterranean, and North and Sub-Saharan Africa. This work has been integrated into global guidance for humanitarian response as well as the investigation of conflict-related sexual violence. Seelinger serves in several advisory roles at the international level. In September 2021, she was appointed Special Adviser on Sexual Violence in Conflict to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in the Hague. She has also served as a member of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ Advisory Group on Gender, Forced Displacement, and Protection, a technical advisor for the Global Survivors’ Fund, established by 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winners Denis Mukwege and Ms. Nadia Murad, and an expert contributor for the UK government’s International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict (2014, 2017). Seelinger’s writing appears in peer-reviewed and mainstream journals across multiple disciplines such as the Journal of International Criminal Justice, the California Law Review (online), the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Foreign Affairs, the Washington Post, and PLOS Medicine. She has authored several book chapters focused on sexual violence as an international crime and is a co-editor of “The President on Trial: Prosecuting Hissène Habré” (Oxford University Press, 2020). She has won various honors for her work and service, including a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency (2015) and a “Human Rights and Leadership Award” from the International Association for Gender Equity and the Law (2017). Prior to joining Washington University School of Law, Seelinger taught at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she directed the Sexual Violence Program at the Human Rights Center (2010-2019). At WashU, she is a Research Associate Professor at the Brown School Social Work, Public Health, and Social Policy. She is also a Visiting Professor at the School of Law and serves as the founding director of the University’s Center for Human Rights, Gender and Migration.

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