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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.

Agreement to Evacuate Four Syrian Towns May Constitute War Crimes (March 29, 2017)

Physicians for Human Rights says Syrian government forcing civilians to choose: surrender or starve

Turkey Again Postpones Trial of Human Rights Defender (March 21, 2017)

PHR says arbitrary case against Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı must be dropped.

Human Rights Leader and Physician Dr. Homer Venters Joins PHR (March 20, 2017)

Dr. Homer Venters, an international leader in promoting health and human dignity, has joined Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) as the organization’s director of programs and a member of PHR’s executive management team. Charged with overseeing PHR’s research, investigations, and training work, Dr. Venters arrives at PHR with decades of experience as a physician, epidemiologist, and human rights activist.

PHR to Receive University of Connecticut’s Dodd Prize in Human Rights (February 2, 2017)

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), which has worked to prevent atrocities and document war crimes around the globe for over 30 years, will be awarded the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut’s Thomas J. Dodd Research Center on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017.

More -General News »

Surrendering the Health Care High Ground (March 22, 2017)

For more than thirty years, we at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) have maintained that the ability to obtain essential curative and preventive medical care is indeed a human right protected by international humanitarian law.

Justice Denied for Turkey’s Doctors (March 22, 2017)

On March 13, I traveled to Şirnak as part of a delegation of doctors, lawyers, and supporters from Turkey and around the world to witness the trial of Dr. Serdar Küni. A well-known doctor from the region, Dr. Küni is on trial for treating patients during the unrest last year in his hometown of Cizre.

Syria's Slow-Motion Slaughter (March 14, 2017)

Last month, the only dialysis center in Douma – a besieged town east of the Syrian capital, Damascus – ran out of supplies and was forced to close. Within two weeks, two of its 30 patients had died of kidney failure. They succumbed to a chronic illness, but the Syrian government contributed to their deaths. Last year, the Syrian government repeatedly withheld humanitarian aid from Douma, whose nearly 150,000 residents have been under siege by Syrian government forces since 2013.

Leadership and the American President (January 17, 2017)

This week’s inauguration naturally prompts conversations about the centrality of presidential leadership and power. What kind of powers will the president-elect have, and how will he use them?

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Access Denied: UN Aid Deliveries to Syria’s Besieged and Hard-to-Reach Areas (March 2017)

As the conflict in Syria enters its seventh grueling year, Physicians for Human Rights calls attention to the Syrian government’s continued practice of deliberately and illegally manipulating UN humanitarian access to millions of people trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas of the country.

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.

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Featured Campaign

Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones

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 »

Featured Expert

Karen Naimer

Karen Naimer, JD, LLM, MA

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 »