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.
PHR Comments on Landmine Treaty Announcement (June 27, 2014)
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), which shared the Nobel Peace Prize as a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, said today that the United States has made progress by committing not to produce additional anti-personnel mines, but criticized the government for falling short of signing the Mine Ban Treaty.
PHR Welcomes Tomasz Malinowski’s Confirmation as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (April 2, 2014)
PHR today welcomed the Senate confirmation of Tomasz Malinowski as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, the government’s highest position solely dedicated to human rights.
PHR Mourns the Death of Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj (December 19, 2013)
PHR mourns the loss of Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj, Palestinian human rights defender and respected psychiatrist, who died Wednesday at the age of 70.
On Human Rights Day, PHR Highlights Priorities for the Administration (December 10, 2013)
On Human Rights Day, PHR highlighted the need for the U.S. government to address several pressing issues in order to protect fundamental freedoms and promote the United States’ position as a beacon for human rights.
How Leahy Vetting Could Help #BringBackOurGirls (June 16, 2014)
The #BringBackOurGirls social media campaign, which is pressing for the rescue of over 200 Nigerian girls kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram, brought unprecedented attention to impoverished northern Nigeria.
Remembering Clyde Snow (May 20, 2014)
Clyde Collins Snow, a pioneering forensic scientist who developed the field of investigation of individual and mass graves to gather evidence of human rights violations, died on May 16, 2014 at the age of 86. He mentored dozens of forensic scientists and consulted with Physicians for Human Rights on critical projects including exhumation of graves in Iraqi Kurdistan and in the former Yugoslavia.
Honor Berkin: Stop the Use of Tear Gas in Turkey (March 11, 2014)
The first person we met with upon arriving in Istanbul last June was the father of Berkin Elvan – a 14-year-old boy who left his home to buy bread during the Gezi Park protests and was hit in the head by a tear gas canister fired by police.
Donor countries, including the United States, have supported organizations that provide essential humanitarian services to people along Burma’s borders. Border areas have long been neglected by medical and development programs run by the Burmese government, and this international assistance has helped countless people access medical care and food. Some political reforms have increased opportunities for international donors to directly fund civil society groups within Burma.
Annual Report 2013 (June 2014)
Physicians for Human Rights' 2013 Annual Report provides a comprehensive overview of our work between July 2012 and June 2013 (PHR’s fiscal year).
PHR Recognizes World Refugee Day (June 2012)
On World Refugee Day, PHR affirms its dedication to ending human rights violations and protecting the rights of refugees and displaced people. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that 800,000 people were forced to flee across borders last year, adding to a population of 15.2 million refugees worldwide.
Reassessing Solitary Confinement: The Human Rights, Fiscal, and Public Safety Consequences (June 2012)
Physicians for Human Rights urges members of Congress to work towards ending the use of solitary confinement in all facilities under federal jurisdiction, including federal prisons, immigration detention facilities, and national security detention facilities, in all but the most extreme cases.
Obama's Decision to Suspend Deportations of DREAM-eligible Youth is a Step in the Right Direction (June 2012)
PHR applauds President Obama's decision to suspend deportations of DREAM-eligible youth and allow them to apply for work authorization. Although this policy change is far from the full path to citizenship they deserve, it is definitely a step in the right direction.
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 is responsible for spearheading PHR's Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, a forensic training and advocacy initiative that helps to forge networks of collaboration among medical, legal, and law enforcement personnel to support prosecutions and accountability for sexual violence in East and Central Africa. Read More »