Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones | Networks and Partnerships

The success of PHR’s work lies in the extraordinary cross-sectoral networks we build among doctors, nurses, police officers, forensic analysts, lawyers, and judges. By working together, these professionals are helping to bring rape cases to trail and advancing the cause of justice for survivors of sexual violence.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), PHR’s close partnership with Dr. Denis Mukwege and his staff at Panzi Hospital in Bukavu has been instrumental in the fight to end impunity for sexual violence. In the landmark 2017 Kavumu child rape case, PHR experts working alongside Panzi clinicians collected forensic medical evidence from more than 40 young girls who were raped during a three-year reign of terror in the South Kivu town – evidence that contributed to a ground-breaking verdict that found the perpetrators guilty of crimes against humanity and sent them to prison for life.

In Kenya, our powerful network of medical, forensic, police, legal, and judicial professionals from around the country is contributing evidence that is helping to win justice for survivors of sexual violence. And in Iraq, our trainings on evidence documentation are creating networks for the very first time among medical professionals involved in the prosecution of international crimes, including sexual violence.

We also act as a convener, bringing together professionals from disparate sectors and countries to exchange ideas and share challenges and lessons learned.

Here are some of the human rights defenders we are proud to call our partners.

 Denis Mukwege, MD

Denis Mukwege, MD, co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, is a world-renowned gynecological surgeon and the founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, DRC, which has cared for more than 30,000 survivors of sexual violence. PHR has worked closely with Dr. Mukwege for more than a decade, and has partnered with his staff at Panzi Hospital since 2011. PHR honored Dr. Mukwege at our gala in New York in April 2015.

Read more about PHR’s partnership with Dr. Denis Mukwege and Panzi Hospital.

Colonel David Bodeli Dombi

Colonel David Bodeli Dombi is head of the South Kivu Child Protection and Sexual Violence Unit of the Congolese National Police. He has been a courageous and outspoken advocate for survivors of sexual violence, dedicated to ensuring that they are treated with dignity and respect in the justice process. Colonel Bodeli partners closely with PHR to promote collaboration among the clinicians, police officers, lawyers, judges, and military justice officials working to end sexual violence.

Nagham Nawzat Hasan, MD

Nagham Nawzat Hasan, MD is a Yazidi activist and medical doctor in Dohuk, Kurdistan Region of Iraq who has focused her career on promoting gender equality, combating sexual and gender-based violence, and caring for survivors. After ISIS overran Yazidi villages in the Sinjar area in 2014, Dr. Hasan devoted her life to helping survivors freed from ISIS captivity and sexual slavery and speaking out on their behalf. She works with PHR to improve Iraq’s capacity to investigate and document international crimes, including sexual violence. PHR honored Dr. Hasan at our annual gala in 2018.

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