An initiative of Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

26-27 March 2019 Luxembourg City
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Who We Are

© Smita Sharma for Human Rights Watch

Stand Speak Rise Up! was hosted by Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg and her Foundation, in cooperation with the Women’s Forum and with the support of the Luxembourg Government. The conference was in partnership with the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation and We Are Not Weapons of War.

Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

Ever since her marriage in 1981, Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg has dedicated a large portion of her time and energy to social and humanitarian issues. She has placed women’s and children’s rights and the fight against all forms of violence against them at the heart of her humanitarian action. She has crystallised this personal commitment over time, by encouraging women to participate in building fair societies that will uphold a universal respect for human dignity and solidarity.

As a result, she was appointed UN Goodwill Ambassador in 1997 for her fight against poverty, for the education of young girls and for the promotion of microfinance. In 2007, she was appointed Eminent Advocate for Children at UNICEF. The Grand Duchess has been ceaselessly pursuing her commitment to youth and education ever since. In January 2016, she organised an international forum on learning difficulties where her son, Prince Louis, spoke about his own struggle with dyslexia.

Through the Foundation of The Grand Duke and The Grand Duchess, of which she is the president, The Grand Duchess has launched a number of initiatives to support vulnerable people both in Luxembourg and abroad. Having found herself particularly affected by the damage, isolation and stigma experienced by survivors of sexual violence in fragile environments, Her Royal Highness has decided to act on their behalf by hosting the international conference Stand Speak Rise Up!

The Foundation of The Grand Duke and The Grand Duchess

Since its inception in 1981, the Foundation of The Grand Duke and The Grand Duchess has prioritised the social integration of vulnerable people. Under the initiative of its president, HRH the Grand Duchess, the Foundation opposes all forms of social exclusion, both within the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and abroad, by contributing to the financing of social and humanitarian projects.

The Foundation finances international development and humanitarian projects, in close collaboration with partners on the ground. In Luxembourg, the Foundation provides practical assistance to families that find themselves in positions of significant vulnerability. The Foundation also supports people who suffer from physical and mental disabilities - notably through education, work and sport - in order to facilitate their social reintegration. The Foundation is also invested in aspects of the social economy. It participated in the creation of “6zero1”, the Grand-Duchy’s first business incubator, which welcomes small business initiatives from the non-profit sector.

Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation

The Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation is an international human rights organisation working together with survivors of wartime sexual violence from around the world. Drawing attention to the most shameful crimes committed during conflicts, the Foundation envisions a world in which rape as a weapon of war is no longer tolerated. Together with its special adviser, the Congolese gynaecologist, women’s rights activist and joint recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Dr. Denis Mukwege, the Foundation works for a future where survivors worldwide receive the holistic care they need and obtain reparations; where they have the freedom to speak out and to organise globally to end wartime sexual violence. Through international advocacy and country-based programmes, the Foundation supports survivors in their struggle for recognition and their active participation in the development of international and national policies related to justice, peace and women’s rights.

We Are Not Weapons of War (WWoW)

We Are NOT Weapons of War (WWoW) is a non-profit start-up based in Paris, France, dedicated to fighting sexual violence in conflict at a global level. For almost 20 years, Céline Bardet, war crime jurist and international criminal investigator, has worked in more than 40 countries. She has witnessed the systematic use of rape as a weapon of war in most conflict, post-conflict and fragile zones in the world. She founded WWoW in 2014 to propose a global, holistic, and impactful response to the endemic use of rape in fragile environments; through innovating and creative legal responses. Because the scourge of sexual violence is used as a tool with a specific purpose in so many countries, targeting women, girls and sometimes men, WWoW strongly believes that there is an urgent need to better understand its causes, scope and modus operandi, and to provide thoughtfully designed and effective solutions. WWoW has a deep interest in using new technology. It is developing a tool called Back Up to enable the identification of sexual violence survivors, and to facilitate their access to essential services. The Back Up also provides a secure system which allows users to transfer documents and evidence, which can then be authenticated and analysed, to accelerate the justice process. WWoW also conducts a global public advocacy on the issue of rape used as a weapon of war and provides support for rehabilitation of survivors, and of children born from rape; through its program “Foster a Survivor”.

The Luxembourg Government

By implementing a feminist foreign policy, Luxembourg promotes gender equality and supports women in targeted way. They are firmly committed to equal opportunities and strengthening the social and political role of women, especially regarding access to education, employment and basic health services.

With the recent National Action Plan "Women, Peace and Security" implementing Resolution 1325, the Government of Luxembourg has set itself precise objectives: equal participation of women and men at all levels of the peace and security process; prevention of sexual violence; and promoting the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

Combining diplomacy, development and defense (the so-called 3D policy), the Luxembourg Government continues to act relentlessly, at all levels, in the fight against sexual violence in conflicts and situations of fragility. The Government act with the imperative: ensure the protection of the human rights of victims and survivors of such violence, women and men, girls and boys. These efforts must take into account the root and systemic causes of conflicts, but also all forms of discrimination.

In this context, Luxembourg also devotes particular attention to the fight against impunity, supporting efforts for international justice, inclusion of the International Criminal Court and the impartial mechanisms put in place by the United Nations.

In Cooperation with The Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society

The Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society is the world’s leading platform featuring women’s voices, views and values on major social and economic issues to generate impact. Throughout the year, it gathers inspiring leaders from around the world to engage in high-level discussions and action-oriented working groups through enticing formats.

The Women’s Forum will amplify the message, content and outputs of Stand Speak Rise Up! through its platform. By leveraging its extensive connections with the private sector and global policymakers, the Women’s Forum can create greater awareness of, and dialogue about, ending sexual violence in fragile environments.


How can I attend?

The conference is open to everyone. It is free of charge, but space is limited. Places will be awarded on merit, to ensure a diversity of perspectives and to support collective solutions. Our attendees:

  • Are committed to fighting sexual violence in fragile environments
  • Are interested in the issue of sexual violence and want to understand its mechanisms
  • Exercise leadership in this area at all levels, from international organisations to community groups
  • Bring a unique perspective through their experience and work in this area.

Where does the conference take place?

The conference on 26-27 March 2019 will took place at the European Convention Centre Luxembourg (ECCL), 4 Place de l'Europe, 1499 Luxembourg.

The gala event on the evening of 26 March took place at the Philharmonie Luxembourg, 1 Place de l'Europe, 1499 Luxembourg.

Where to stay?

The hotels closest to the ECCL are the Novotel Luxembourg Kirchberg, Sofitel Luxembourg Europe and Melia.

How do I get there?

To assist you in your choice of travel by air, rail or road we suggest you consult the Luxembourg city tourist office here. If arriving by car, the nearest car park can be found at Place de l’Europe (access on Bld J.F. Kennedy), Parking Trois Glands. Municipal buses 1, 13 and 16 and the tram also stop directly at the European Convention Center Luxembourg. You can find bus routes and timetables here.

Are there any accessibility constraints at the venue?

The ECCL is wheelchair accessible. Please write to us at if you have any other specific requirements.

How do I get involved if I can’t attend?

The event will be livestreamed on multiple social media platforms, and our goal is to have a lively and highly interactive conversation on social media. Even if you are not in the conference centre, we encourage you to get involved by joining this ongoing conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube channels.

What happens if I can no longer attend?

We understand that sometimes plans and availability change. If you find that you can no longer attend, please let us know so that we can reallocate your place by emailing us at