Handbook for the Investigation, Prosecution, and Adjudication of SGBV Crimes in Uganda
After participating in our multi-country research on domestic accountability for conflict-related sexual violence (2011-2015), African colleagues from law enforcement, the military, and judiciaries asked us to help distill global guidance on investigating conflict-related sexual violence into practice tools they could use in their home jurisdictions.
So we are starting in Uganda. With Ugandan prosecutors, police, military, judges, and healthcare workers, we are developing a cross-sectoral handbook on SGBV investigation, prosecution, and victim support – including in cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity. We will create a resource that is easily adapted throughout the Great Lakes Region.
SGBV as an International Crime: A Consolidated Online Resource
To properly charge and adjudicate sexual and gender-based violence as a war crime or crime against humanity, it is crucial to know when different forms of SGBV emerged as violations of international criminal law. Currently, there is no resource that brings all SGBV-related jurisprudence from the international, hybrid, and national courts together in one place for easy reference. We are now building this essential tool with a team of world experts. It will be accessible to both international scholars and local practitioners working in internet-limited settings.
Trainings and Technical Assistance for National Actors
We are often invited to provide technical assistance to local investigators, prosecutors, and judges who are taking on cases involving sexual violence as war crimes or crimes against humanity—often for the first time in their national systems. Sometimes, we help prosecutors and judges properly charge or evaluate evidence of conflict-related sexual violence, as in the trial of Hissène Habré, the former president of Chad. With international experts, we drafted an amicus curiae brief to clarify ways in which evidence of sexual violence could be charged. In May 2016, Habré was convicted of crimes including rape and sexual slavery.
This study culminated in The Long Road: research on domestic accountability for sexual and gender-based crimes in conflict-affected settings (2011-2015). Read more about the study here.
As part of a global movement to end wartime sexual violence, more than 80 legal, health, and law enforcement leaders from six African countries met in Kampala, Uganda, in late August 2015 for the Missing Peace Practitioners’ Workshop.