Accountability for Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings

Kim Thuy Seelinger on challenges to accountability for sexual violence

The Human Rights Center has conducted a first-ever multi-country study of legal accountability sexual violence in countries marked by recent armed conflict and/or political violence. The Long Road: Accountability for Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings(PDF file)(link is external) identifies key challenges and promising strategies for improving accountability in Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Uganda was launched in August 2015.

A separate report focused on eastern Democratic Republic of Congo will be released in early 2016. 

We examined:

  1. Reporting of sexual violence and access to police and healthcare facilities during peace time as well as during conflict periods;
  2. Investigation of sexual violence including police capacity, documentation and evidence collection by healthcare workers, and the quality of coordination between sectors; and
  3. Prosecution of sexual violence cases including judicial and prosecutorial competence, the quality of evidence, and the availability of victim support / witness protection measures.
Kim Thuy Seelinger writes about strengthening accountability in  “Domestic accountability for sexual violence: The potential of specialized units in Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Uganda”(link is external) for the International Review of the Red Cross (September 2015) and “Uganda’s Case of Thomas Kwoyelo: Customary International Law on Trial”(PDF file)(link is external) in California Law Review (April 2017)

Our research on accountability for conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence is made possible by the generosity of the International Women’s Program of the Open Society Foundation(link is external)Humanity United(link is external), and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation(link is external).