The SSI Conference

November 5-10th 2017

About the 2017 SSI Conference

The third conference of the South-South Institute (SSI 2017) will continue to address ‘the long shadow’, and build bridges by exploring our understanding of how past events have shaped contemporary discourse and social policy.

SSI 2017 will advance the conversation about the impact of colonialisation on sexual violence and exploitation and encourage alliances between nations, communities and marginalized groups. The conference will be facilitated by a strong emphasis on promoting indigenous wisdom, healing and solutions throughout the week of events.


The key conference themes will be:

  • Building bridges’ by bringing everyone together locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Changing the language, changing the discourse – and embracing diversity to be inclusive of all victim survivors.
  • Developing capacity, knowledge and skills – bringing together leading International experts including survivors and researchers, individuals and agencies.

Conference Venue
ARA Institute of Canterbury
Madras Street
Christchurch 8011

Project Overview

The South-South Institute (SSI) was conceived in response to the invisibility of sexual violence against males in conflict, post-conflict and peacetime settings. SSI is concerned with promoting the ideas, abilities and organisational capacities of survivors. People, whose histories, cultures and experiences while important and unique, are not always taken into consideration in the humanitarian and international development fields.

The South-South Institute was originally a joint initiative of the Refugee Law Project (Uganda) in partnership with First Step (Cambodia), Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust (MSSAT Aotearoa, New Zealand), Men of Hope (Uganda), Men of Peace (Uganda), and with legal input from International Human Rights Law Clinic, University of California (USA).

SSI is also creating partnerships and alliances with a number of other organisations and groups. These include New Zealand based Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), Ministry of Social Development, Ngai Tahu, TPK (Te Puna Kokiri), Te Putahitanga, Te Puna Oranga, TOAH-NNEST (Te Ohaakii A Hine – National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together). As well as Terre des Hommes’ (Netherlands), an international NGO working across Asia and East Africa to address the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. 

In most conflict, post-conflict and post-colonial contexts, there is as yet no visible ‘movement’ of male or female survivors and this invisibility and lack of voice is a key concern of the South-South Institute. For this third Institute, MSSAT Aotearoa will work with existing and new partners to ensure that individuals and groups affected by sexual abuse are able to participate throughout and contribute to its overall success.


This Institute will provide an opportunity to reflect, consolidate, strategies, publicise and advocate on:

  • The practical questions of medical and psychosocial work with survivors.
  • The legal, political and sociological parameters of working on sexual violence and exploitation against men and boys both across organisation and within communities.
  • The legacies of colonialisation and institutionalization and successes and failures to date in addressing these.   


Expected outputs and impacts

  • Greater awareness of the need for inclusion of men and boys in SGBV (sexual and gender based violence).
  • Changing the language we use in order to enable fully inclusive response, prevention and mitigation measures.
  • Sharing of best practice and the latest research.
  • Development of a training curriculum, resources and tools for working with male survivors.
  • Legal advocacy.
  • Building bridges – long term partnerships and networks.
  • Diversity mainstreaming.

What will the delegates learn?

  • Needs assessment, learning and training for service-provider staff.
  • Awareness-raising for legal, social work, social science, psychology and medical students and practitioners.
  • Conference style sharing of knowledge and best practice for researchers, students and practitioners.
  • Opportunities to influence policy makers, government representatives, international and local NGOs, donors, practitioners.
  • An occasion for celebration (for all).

Expected Longer Term Impacts

  • Increased awareness and understanding of sexual violence against men and boys in conflict, post- conflict and peacetime settings regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • Increased awareness and understanding of the intersection between various forms of neglect, abuse, sexual violence and sexual exploitation of boys and men.
  • Development of strategies relating to:
    • Short and long term impacts.
    • The needs of survivors, service providers and other stakeholders in relation to:
      • prevention & protection
      • support
      • advocacy & education
      • research within this field
  • Opportunities for grassroots organisations, victims, survivors and their supporters to have a voice and influence policy and service provision.
  • Sustainable regional, national and international networks- breaking isolation, leading to cooperation, collaboration and positive change.
  • Support mechanisms (e.g. mentoring schemes) for service providers and survivors in developing countries affected by sexual violence in conflict and post- conflict settings.
  • Growth of knowledge, access to training, resources and support made available to service providers.
  • Development and dissemination of research focusing on this issue within and across participant’s settings (e.g. prevention, support, resilience, transitional justice and legal initiatives).
  • To develop and encourage the growth of knowledge and skills to promote sustainable initiatives related to protection and prevention of sexual violence and exploitation in conflict, post- conflict and post- colonial settings.
  • To grow services for survivors based on research evidence, ‘best practice’ and meaningful involvement of victims and survivors.
  • To enable survivors of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and violence to access appropriate and sensitive services that can be developed specifically for them within their own settings.

Sponsors and Partners

ACC Partnership

Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) are the principle sponsor of SSI.

ACC’s Integrated Service for Sensitive Claims (ISSC) contract provides therapy to clients that have experienced sexual violence. ACC offer fully funded counselling support and immediate support and treatment for people who have experienced sexual violence. This includes support for family and whānau.

It doesn’t matter if it happened recently or a long time ago, there’s support available when people are ready.

Ministry of Social Development

MSD have supported MSSAT Aotearoa through contracts and development funding and are a co-sponsor of this conference.

The SSI Conference

November 5-10th 2017