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.
Zika Virus Highlights Limitations to Reproductive Health Policies in Affected Countries (February 1, 2016)
PHR said that an urgent response to the Zika virus outbreak must include a coordinated global effort based on public health and human rights principles and that warning against pregnancy is a clearly insufficient approach to mitigating the effects of the virus.
PHR announced the appointment of Kathleen M. Foley, MD, to its board of directors. Dr. Foley is an attending neurologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where she has worked for more than four decades.
Soros and Mukwege Honored for Human Rights Work (April 29, 2015)
The philanthropist and financier George Soros and Dr. Denis Mukwege, a champion in the fight against rape as a weapon of war, were honored Tuesday evening for their contributions to the global struggle for human rights at a gala dinner hosted by PHR.
Soros and Mukwege to Be Honored for Human Rights Work (April 14, 2015)
The philanthropist and financier George Soros and Dr. Denis Mukwege, a champion in the fight against rape as a weapon of war, will be honored by PHR for their contributions to the global struggle for human rights. The awards will be presented at a gala dinner in New York City on April 28, 2015.
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.
Women as Leaders in the Fight against Sexual Violence (October 30, 2014)
Friday marks 14 years since the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1325, also known as the first resolution on Women, Peace, and Security.
Priority Actions in the Zika Virus Response (February 2016)
In this paper, PHR lays out what an appropriate response to the spread of the Zika virus must include in order to be compliant with human rights obligations.
The attacks of the last few days in Beirut and Paris that have killed and injured hundreds of people, and the earlier shooting down of a Russian passenger airplane leaving Egypt, were depraved acts of inhumanity Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) said today.
Hossam Bahgat Released (November 2015)
PHR welcomes the release of journalist Hossam Bahgat, and called on Egyptian authorities to release other civilians unlawfully detained for exercising their rights.
Global Civil Society Leaders to Obama: Take the Lead at UN General Assembly to Tackle Root Causes of Syria Crisis (September 2015)
Thirty-three international humanitarian aid and advocacy organizations have written to President Obama, urging him to lead the international community to address both immediate symptoms of the crisis as well as the root causes of the Syria conflict.
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 »