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Stopping Mass Rape in East and Central Africa

PHR is focusing on five countries where mass crimes, including sexual violence, are also being pursued by the International Criminal Court: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and the Central African Republic. This project aims to improve the quality and quantity of medical evidence of sexual violence as an essential strategy to end impunity for individual and mass rape in these countries.

PHR is currently conducting two sexual violence forensic evidence test cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo over a four-month period this summer. During this time PHR forensic experts will demonstrate best practices in medical evidence documentation and prosecution to a select group of local doctors, nurses, social workers, lawyers, judges and police officers through on-site field training. PHR staff will follow these two cases from pre-trial health evaluation to post trial impact assessment. Lesson learned from this pilot program will be applied to our work in the other countries.

The Rwandan Genocide: An Indelible Stain (April 7, 2014)

PHR's director of international policy and partnerships/senior advisor, Susannah Sirkin, discusses the Rwandan genocide 20 years later, highlighting that "never again" has not been adhered to. Conflicts in Syria, Sudan, and the Central African Republic continue, and the world is incapable of an effective response.

Survivors of Sexual Violence in Kenya Break their Silence (March 20, 2014)

While the ICC’s case against President Kenyatta has received much attention, many Kenyans will be focusing on remarkable public interest litigation unfolding in their own High Court in Nairobi next week.

Regardless of Outcome, Katanga Verdict Will Be a Significant Step Forward (March 4, 2014)

The recognition of sexual violence as an international crime at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is a major step forward. The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga case is the first at the ICC to charge a defendant with crimes of sexual violence and represents a crucial milestone for the ICC and for victims of sexual violence.

Why You Should Join This International Campaign (October 25, 2013)

This month marks the anniversary of a terrible event: the October 2012 attempt on Dr. Denis Mukwege's life at his home in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

More East and Central Africa Posts »

ICC Finds Germain Katanga Guilty of War Crimes, but Acquits Him of Sexual Violence Charges (March 7, 2014)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) today found Germain Katanga of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) guilty of war crimes, but acquitted him of sexual offences in the first case that specifically involved these charges.

Thunderclap to End Sexual Violence in Conflict (Human Rights at FCO, September 24, 2013)

Join Human Rights at FCO in sharing this message together at the same time - automatically: “I am calling for all UN countries to sign up to end the use of #sexualviolence in #conflict. It's #TimeToAct”

Foreign Secretary, William Hague announces new UK funds to help survivors of rape during a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (, March 26, 2013)

Foreign Secretary, William Hague, today announced £205,288 ($312,110) in new UK funding to support the work of Physicians for Human Rights working out of the Panzi Hospital in eastern DRC, to help efforts to develop local and national capacity to document and collect evidence of sexual violence.

Congolese Warlord Must Now Face ICC Trial on War Crimes Charges (March 19, 2013)

PHR welcomes the news that notorious warlord Bosco Ntaganda has voluntarily entered US custody in Rwanda and agreed to face trial on war crime charges at the International Criminal Court.

More East and Central Africa News »

PHR Endorses Statement of International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict on the Attack Against Dr. Denis Mukwege (October 2012)

Physicians for Human Rights, a founding Advisory Committee member of the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict, strongly endorses the statement the Campaign released today following the violent attack last week on our esteemed colleague Dr. Denis Mukwege in Bukavu, DRC.

Rape as a Weapon of War: Accountability for Sexual Violence in Conflict (April 2008)

At the request of Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), PHR submitted a statement for the record as part of "Rape as a Weapon of War: Accountability for Sexual Violence in Conflict" hearing held on April 1st, 2008 by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Human Rights and the Law Subcommittee.

Investigations in Eastern Congo and Western Rwanda (June 1997)

Physicians for Human Rights released the following report on human rights violations in Eastern Congo and Western Rwanda on 16 June 1997 at a hearing sponsored by the House International Relations Committee.

More East and Central Africa Research »

Featured Expert

Susannah Sirkin

Susannah Sirkin, MEd

Susannah Sirkin oversees PHR’s international policy engagement including our work with the United Nations, domestic and international justice systems, and human rights coalitions. Sirkin is also responsible for managing and multiplying PHR’s strategic partnerships globally, expanding our volunteers from the medical and scientific community, and increasing our partnerships with NGOs, medical institutions, and other relationships that can enhance PHR’s effectiveness and grow the field of human rights activists. Read More »