Kenya experienced widespread sexual violence during the post-election period in 2007-2008, leading Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) to launch the Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, a multi-year training and advocacy initiative, in 2011. This program aims to forge coalitions among medical, law enforcement, and legal experts to help respond to survivors of sexual violence.
In February 2013, PHR co-filed a petition with eight survivors of sexual violence and four Kenyan civil society organizations. This constitutional challenge against the government of Kenya argues that the state must implement measures to protect civilians from widespread sexual violence and to provide survivors with adequate access to justice. Though a slow judicial process is anticipated, the case has already begun to garner the attention of national and international news outlets.
In June 2014, PHR brought a delegation of 28 people to the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London, including five delegates from the legal, judicial, medical, and police sectors in Kenya.
Watch this video, debuted at the summit, to learn more about PHR’s work in Kenya.
Turkish Authorities Release Human Rights Defender from Prison (June 30, 2016)
Physicians for Human Rights welcomed the release from prison today of Şebnem Korur Fincancı, president of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, and Erol Önderoğlu of Reporters Without Borders.
Turkish security personnel blocked a PHR research team from accessing the town of Cizre in Turkey’s restive southeast earlier this month. That comes despite statements from Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs that international organizations “can easily visit” the country’s southeast, where PHR was investigating allegations of human rights violations.
PHR Welcomes Agreement to Supply Aid to Besieged Syrian Cities, Urges Vigilance to Enforce Pact (May 18, 2016)
PHR today cautiously welcomed an international agreement to facilitate aid deliveries in Syria’s besieged cities and towns, including a provision that if Syria’s government does not permit immediate access by June 1, the UN may begin airdropping supplies.
Syrian Doctors and Two Philanthropists to be Honored for Their Work (March 31, 2016)
Physicians for Human Rights will honor two Syrian doctors as well as the founders of the Asfari Foundation at its second annual gala next month. The awards will be presented at a gala dinner on April 18 at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.
A Global Trump Effect (November 18, 2016)
Many of the people I know, myself included, didn’t believe Donald Trump could win the presidency. While we don’t yet know the impact President-elect Trump will have on human rights around the world, there is reason for all of us who care about human rights and freedoms to be concerned.
The Flint Disaster: Why Doesn’t Black Health Matter? (February 3, 2016)
The lead-poisoning disaster in Flint, Michigan is more than a shocking public health failure. It is an assault on human rights – a recognition that has been largely absent from most discussions of how and why this could have happened in the advanced industrial democracy of the United States.
Glass Half Full in Myanmar (November 13, 2015)
The NLD victory and the fact that the military has not intervened is surely a positive sign in Myanmar, but in a lot of ways the hardest work remains to be done.
Déjà Vu: The UN Security Council’s Inaction on Yemen (August 31, 2015)
When I visited Yemen last year, the situation was grim. The government was dealing with fuel shortages and protests against the lifting of subsidies. But, there was still hope.
Letter to Indian Minister of Home Affairs (September 2016)
PHR sent a letter to the Indian Minister of Home Affairs, Shri Rajnath Singh, regarding recommendations issued by an Expert Committee on the use of force by police and security forces against protesters in Jammu and Kashmir.
Annual Report 2015 (June 2016)
The Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) 2015 Annual Report provides a comprehensive overview of our work between July 2014 and June 2015 (PHR's fiscal year).
Syria Cessation of Hostilities Fails on Aid Delivery (March 2016)
Despite a cessation of hostilities agreement that has temporarily reduced violence in Syria, Physicians for Human Rights finds in this issue brief that life-saving humanitarian aid is still not reaching hundreds of thousands of besieged Syrians.
Lethal in Disguise (March 2016)
“Non-lethal” weapons, used throughout the world for crowd control, can cause serious injury, disability, and even death. This report examines the use, misuse, and detrimental health effects of these weapons.
As efforts to support legal redress for survivors of mass rape intensify in Central and East Africa, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is working to improve the abilities of the health and legal communities to build prosecutions of sexual violence crimes, in collaboration with a number of local partners in the region. Read More »
Karen Naimer directs PHR's Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, a training and advocacy initiative that bolsters the ability of doctors, nurses, police officers, lawyers, and judges to support survivors of sexual violence and to collect, document, and preserve forensic evidence related to these crimes. The program cultivates networks of collaboration among medical, legal, and law enforcement personnel to strengthen prosecutions of and accountability for sexual violence in East and Central Africa and elsewhere. Read More »