Press release

Queen’s Birthday Honours recognise those fighting to end use of rape as a war weapon

The Diplomatic Service and Overseas Birthday 2014 Honours list has been published today announcing 100 awards in recognition of exceptional service to Britain overseas.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The list recognises outstanding people for achievements in a range of fields and includes 6 honours for contributions to the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI). Angelina Jolie receives an honorary Damehood for her campaigning work in this field and there are OBEs for Brigid Inder, Executive Director, Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, Madeleine Rees, Secretary General, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Robert Williams, Chief Executive, War Child and Emma Hopkins, Head of PSVI at the Foreign Office. There is also an MBE for Dr Ingrid Elliott, International Criminal Lawyer.

Awards also go to Professor Tejinder Virdee, Professor of Physics, Imperial College, London, for services to science, and Brendan Gormley, previously Chief Executive, Disasters Emergency Committee, for the UK emergency humanitarian response to disaster-affected people overseas. They both receive Knighthoods. BBC Chief International Correspondent, Lyse Doucet, receives an OBE for services to British broadcast journalism. And June and Brian Cox are awarded British Empire Medals for charitable work for children and families in The Gambia.

The Foreign Secretary, William Hague MP said:

These honours recognise people carrying out extraordinary work overseas. I am particularly delighted by the awards conferred upon those working with us to eradicate rape and sexual violence in conflict, through the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative.

Each individual on this list has made a real difference and achieved lasting results for our country; whether it is fostering peace and stabilisation in war-torn countries, delivering vital humanitarian assistance to disaster-affected people, striving to tackle major humanitarian issues, or winning business for Britain. I am extremely grateful to them all and congratulate them on their awards.

Angelina JOLIE (Honorary) DCMG

Co-Founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie receives an honorary Damehood (DCMG) for services to UK foreign policy and the campaign to end war zone sexual violence.

Since co-founding the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative with William Hague, Foreign Secretary, in May 2012, Angelina Jolie has made an exceptional contribution to the development, promotion and impact of this major UK objective. Building on her long-term humanitarian work for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) she has been at the forefront of the initiative to highlight and seek justice for the plight of some of the most vulnerable people on the planet, the victims of sexual violence in conflict.

On learning of her award Angelina Jolie said:

To receive an honour related to foreign policy means a great deal to me, as it is what I wish to dedicate my working life to.

Working on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and with survivors of rape is an honour in itself. I know that succeeding in our goals will take a lifetime, and I am dedicated to it for all of mine.


Executive Director, Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice. For services to women’s rights and international justice

Based in The Hague, Brigid Inder has dedicated more than 25 years to working in the international justice, women’s rights and health fields. As a campaigner and champion of PSVI, she has worked tirelessly, both directly with victims to document accounts of sexual violence and with the International Criminal Court and conflict-affected countries to increase accountability for the crimes of rape and sexual violence.

On learning of her award Brigid Inder said:

It is humbling to receive this honour. It highlights the need for prevention and greater accountability for gender-based crimes, both in armed conflict situations and everyday life. I pay tribute to all those who advocate for gender justice, especially victims and survivors to whom justice most belongs.

Madeleine REES OBE

Secretary General, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. For services to human rights, particularly women’s rights and international peace and security

Based in Geneva, Madeleine Rees has devoted almost 25 years to combating discrimination and promoting human rights. She has been instrumental in bringing individual countries and the UN system together to place women’s rights at the centre of their work by making sure the victims’ concerns are heard at the heart of the international arena. As a supporter of PSVI she has made a significant contribution to the development of the International Protocol for the investigation and documentation of sexual violence in conflict, as well as promoting the role of women in preventing conflict and the equal and full participation of women in all efforts to create and maintain peace and security.

On learning of her award Madeleine Rees said:

This is a complete surprise! I am honoured. It is recognition that all of us who work on human rights and combating discrimination are making a contribution, not just to peace but to real security. I see it as an endorsement and encouragement to never give up!


Chief Executive, War Child. For services to protecting and improving the lives of children including those affected by conflict overseas

For over 20 years Rob Williams has been committed to improving the lives of children both in the UK and overseas. Under his guidance, War Child has become an agency capable of supporting the most vulnerable children in some of the worst conflict disasters as well as campaigning to improve the lives of many more children around the world. Since the launch of PSVI, Rob has provided key support to address the specific needs of children who are a majority of victims of sexual violence in conflict as well as raising the profile of the issue internationally.

On receiving news of his award Rob Williams said:

It is fantastic to have such recognition of the work that War Child does to keep children safe even in the middle of conflict. I see this as a major tribute to the staff, volunteers, artists, supporters and donors who have built an organisation we can be proud of”.


International Criminal Lawyer. For services to international justice

With 15 years of experience in investigation, trial and advocacy, Dr Elliott has worked relentlessly towards improving the international legal framework to tackle impunity for international crimes including sexual violence in conflict, contributing towards the delivery of justice for survivors. She was involved in the investigations in Bosnia into mass atrocities, and more recently has been supporting work with Syrian refugees. She has also been responsible for best practice guidelines in this field and capacity building to improve documentation and application of international criminal law.

On hearing news of her award, Dr Elliott said:

I am humbled to receive this honour which recognises the work of many dedicated souls who champion the fight against impunity for international crimes and sexual violence. This award also acknowledges the importance of the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative, to which I am honoured to contribute.

Further information

Birthday Honours lists 2014

Honorary British Awards to Foreign Nationals - 2014

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Published 13 June 2014