Sorcha joined the TJI as a PhD research fellow in 2004. She hold a degree in Legal Science and Philosophy from NUI Galway, where she wrote a dissertation on the sentencing of sexual offences in Ireland, and a Masters in Human Rights from Queens University Belfast, where her research focused on the commercial exploitation of Children. She is currently in the second year of her PhD, which expands on her earlier interest in children’s rights and sexual violence by extening into the field of international law and the specific context of armed conflict. The thesis, entitled "Innocence Lost - The effectiveness of international law in the protection of children from sexual violence during armed conflict”, will critique existing humanitarian and human rights provisions for failing to provide adequate protection to children. The case studies of Sierra Leone and Bosnia will be used to illustrate how child sexual violence can manifest during armed conflict, and the various responses to such abuses post conflict. In particular the thesis will focus on the mechanisms of accountability used in each of the case studies and the role of children within them. The aim of the research is to contribute to the dearth of socio-legal child specific information on the impact of conflict on children, child as victims of sexual violence and access to justice for child victims post conflict.
Title of Project: Effectiveness of international law in the protection of children from sexual violence during armed conflict.