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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 Role of First Responders in Attaining Justice (September 4, 2014)

In the first half of 2014, nearly 3,000 people have fallen victim to sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the medical group Heal Africa, which treats survivors of sexual violence in the eastern part of the country.

New Evidence Emerges of Mass Rape During Post-election Violence in Kenya (August 29, 2014)

PHR study finds that pattern of sexual assault perpetrated during post-election violence in Kenya is consistent with patterns of mass rape documented in conflict settings elsewhere.

How to seize the huge opportunity created by the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict (June 20, 2014)

“What a fabulous suit. She was perfect, perfect,” said a French woman standing behind me on the escalator. We had just emerged from two hours in a giant auditorium on the outskirts of London where we heard politicians, UN officials, and Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee speaking at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Still I Rise (June 13, 2014)

When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry took the stage to give the keynote speech at the closing plenary of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, I expected words that would strike all the correct notes.

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Physicians for Human Rights to Host Panels & Film Screening at Global Summit on Sexual Violence (June 4, 2014)

Experts from the medical, law enforcement, and justice fields from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, the United States, and other countries will discuss how these sectors can work together to help collect, document, and preserve forensic evidence of sexual violence and prosecute these cases at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London.

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 http://thndr.it/TGOAeN.”

Foreign Secretary, William Hague announces new UK funds to help survivors of rape during a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (gov.uk, 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.

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Summary of Roundtable Discussion (June 2014)

PHR convened a Roundtable on Reparations for Survivors of Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Washington, D.C. at Georgetown University on February 24, 2014. This report summarizes major points of discussion from this workshop.

A Call to Action for States (June 2014)

The Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones at Physicians for Human Rights urges all states to take important steps to ensure justice and accountability for crimes of sexual violence.

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.

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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 »