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.
A Congolese Hero is Welcomed Home (January 15, 2013)
In October, 2012, Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and renowned gynecological surgeon who has treated thousands of victims of sexual assault and brutal rape, was the target of an assassination attempt in his home in Bukavu. His family was terrorized, and his trusted aide and guard, Joseph Bizimana, was murdered while defending Dr. Mukwege. After the attack, the Mukwege family left the DRC and took refuge in Belgium, and then in the US for several weeks. His absence from Panzi was keenly felt, and his return the cause of much joy. PHR’s DRC Coordinator, Caroline Dauber, describes his homecoming.
Standing With Our Courageous and Visionary Colleagues in the DRC (October 26, 2012)
It has been less than two weeks since our return from Bukavu, DRC, and now Dr. Denis Mukwege and his family have been the targets of armed violence while defending the rights of victims of sexual violence in the region.
Between Indignation, Hope, and Resolution (June 5, 2012)
I entered the Congo for the first time via the border that separates it from Burundi. We had taken a paved road to the border crossing in Burundi. The asphalt turned to dust, and then we were on the Congo side.
Finally… Kenya’s Sex Offenders Register Launched (May 10, 2012)
What would you do if your child was kidnapped, held in a secret location, and defiled? For one father, it led him to give up everything he has spent his life working for, including his job, in the pursuit of justice for his daughter.What would you do if your child was kidnapped, held in a secret location, and defiled? For one father, it led him to give up everything he has spent his life working for, including his job, in the pursuit of justice for his daughter.
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.
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.
Post-election rape survivors sue Kenyan government (IRIN, February 21, 2013)
Eight survivors of sexual violence committed in the wake of Kenya’s December 2007 general elections have taken the government to court over its alleged failure to protect them or investigate the crimes committed against them. Those bringing the case to court include two male victims of sexual violence and six civil society organizations: COVAW, the Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU), the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya), and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR).
PHR Wins 2013 Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention with Mobile App (February 13, 2013)
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has received first prize for its mobile forensic application, MediCapt, in the 2013 USAID-Humanity United Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention competition.
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.
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.
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.
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 »