colorful posters and signs protest sexual violence
June 19th commemorates the elimination of sexual violence in conflict. | Image: UN Women Asia and the Pacific via flickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Shattered Lives: The Global Crisis of Sexual Violence in Conflict

June 19th is the international day for the elimination of sexual violence in conflict. It is a day of silent remembrance, as the crime of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) is not a priority on political agendas. Survivors are often too traumatized to report, or experience further criminalization and stigmatization. The recent annual report of the UN Secretary General stresses the continuous prevalence and the global scale of this horrific crime. This blog summarizes its core findings.

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Photograph of a landscape with four wind turbines.
The peaceful appearance is misleading: Wind park in La Guajira in northern Colombia. Photo: © Martin Gubsch/PRIF.

Resisting Energy Transition? Understanding Roadblocks in Northern Colombia

La Guajira in northern Colombia has seen a disproportionate number of roadblocks recently, especially connected to wind park construction sites, staged by people demanding that the state implement economic, social, and physical security improvements. This conflict is an example of local impacts of the global energy transition on historically marginalized people. In this Spotlight we argue that La Guajira is a prime case showing how the energy transition is leveraged to indirectly address the state through private companies.

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Abbildung einer indigenen Frau, zusammengesetzt aus vielen einzelnen Portraitfotos
Gender based violence and Indigenous resilience need to gain visibility. | Image: “Still Dancing” © Jonathan Labillois

Time for True Stories: Stereotypes Absolve Gendered Violence against Indigenous in Canada

Across North America, May 5 is a day to commemorate the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit, and gender diverse people. Beyond giving space for remembrance and mourning, May 5 is connected to the aims of building knowledge, raising public awareness, stimulating solidarity and underlining the need for action to end the disproportionate deadly violence. While politics and the judicial system are reminded on this day to deliver rights and justice, another important factor for change should also gain attention: the collective imagery of the Indigenous needs to be decolonized to transform the systemic structures of violence.

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desolate landscape with trees and grey sky. A sign warns of nuclear contamination. With added logo “Socio-ecological Transformation Conflicts”
The exploitation of Ukraine's resources by external actors has caused environmental damage extending far into the future. | Foto: Oleksandra Bardash via Unplash

A Green Recovery for Ukraine: How to Avoid the Trap of Green Colonialism?

The environment is not a silent victim in Russia’s war against Ukraine; the long-term threats for the people of Ukraine are already visible. The environmental dimension of the war has been documented from early on. In this respect, the war is a model for future military conflicts. President Zelenskyy emphasized in his peace plan that green reconstruction is an essential element for a just and sustainable future. Green reconstruction, as every reconstruction, needs international support and local engagement. In this blog post, we identify the conditions that must be met to ensure that local groups are empowered and new international dependencies are avoided.

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Officers of the Philippine National Police
Officers of the Philippine National Police at the celebration of the 118th Independence Day of the Republic of the Philippines | Photo: Llocos Norte via flickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED

The Philippine National Police: Finally Putting Limits to Police Use of Deadly Force?

On March 22, 2024, Davao City mayor Sebastian Duterte declared that “Davao City is at war against drugs.” In the following days, seven suspects were killed in police anti-drug operations. However, shortly thereafter the mayor’s call to arms was met with resistance from the police. Several police officers were relieved of their duties and the PNP-chief declared that “there is no need for a drug war.” Is the Philippine National Police finally taking on its dismal record on the use of deadly force?

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The German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act represents significant progress but faces several challenges. | Foto: Arno Senoner via Unsplash

A Gap between Social and Ecological Rights: A Commentary after One Year of the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act

Frequent violations of human, labor, and environmental rights continue to impact supply chains globally, with notable prevalence in the Global South, but also in the Global North. The German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (SCDDA, in German: Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz [LkSG]), enacted in 2023, represents significant progress in upholding rights within the context of socio-ecological transformation across value chains. However, the law faces challenges, particularly in terms of its prospective enforcement and the absence of a cohesive link between social and ecological rights. This article provides a commentary and argues that addressing these issues should be a priority.

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Mine with large construction crane
The current socio-ecological transformation is causing and exacerbating socio-political conflicts. | Photo: Jandira Sonnendeck, Unsplash

Socio-ecological Transformation Conflicts: A Central Field of Conflict and Research in the 21st Century

Conflicts over climate and energy policy, security and geopolitical dimensions of global decarbonisation, or human and environmental rights violations in global value chains: The current socio-ecological transformation is causing new and exacerbating existing socio-political conflicts that will characterise the 21st century. The new working group on socio-ecological transformation conflicts, which introduces some of its fields of research in this blog series, brings together existing expertise on these conflicts at PRIF.

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Black and white texture with a line in the middle
German debates about the Israel-Gaza war often get caught up in polarising terminology. | Photo: Siora Photography, Unsplash

Israel–Gaza Beyond the Concept of Genocide: End Mass Violence Against Civilians Now

German debates about the Israel-Gaza war often get caught up in polarising terminology. This applies in particular to the dispute whether a genocide is occurring. Apart from the legal assessment currently being made by the International Court of Justice, a parallel, polemical discussion about the concept of genocide distracts from actual priorities for action. The war has already cost tens of thousands of lives, and many more Palestinians will die as a direct and indirect consequence of the war. The mass violence against civilians and the destruction of conditions of life in Gaza must end immediately – regardless of whether the legal conditions for genocide are met.

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Internally displaced people in Shire, Tigray, April 2021
Internally displaced people in Shire, Tigray, April 2021. | Foto: User Rastakwere via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0 Deed

Potentially Vital AU Meeting on Tigray Leaves Communities of Interest in the Dark

Politics, violence, and secrecy have held back progress in post-war Tigray. This highlights not just the need to directly address security issues. It also emphasises the importance of improving transparency and giving marginalised stakeholders adequate information about current developments in the peace process.

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Image shows a screen with footage from two surveillance cameras and the caption "Camera 08" underneath. The footage shows an open room with several people, in the front you can see two women wearing medical masks
AI detection security camera feed from Mobile World Congress 2022 © picture alliance / NurPhoto | Joan Cros

Beyond the Code: Unveiling Gender Dynamics in AI and Cybersecurity for International Security

Emerging technologies are transforming foreign and security policy as they challenge traditional understandings of power, influence and security. Developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and the increasing importance of cyberspace are some of the most prominent in this regard. Yet, not only are there repercussions for security when narrowly conceived as state security, but they also affect gender relations and human security more broadly. Gender as an analytical category allows us to shed light on the impact of emerging technologies on inequalities, power and violence.

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