Enhancing a Regional Response to Crimes of Sexual Violence

Regional Roundtable Discussion Summary

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The Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) convened a three-day regional roundtable discussion between February 25 and 27, 2015 at the Lukenya Getaway in Athi River, Kenya. This report provides a summary of the discussions that took place during the roundtable (without attribution to specific participants) in order to capitalize on the ideas and lessons learned from stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Kenya who are so actively engaged with efforts to end impunity for sexual violence in their respective communities, as well as with PHR’s training and advocacy program.

The purpose of the gathering was to bring together colleagues from the medical, law enforcement, and legal communities in the DRC and Kenya who partner with our program. This was the first such regional gathering to take place in East Africa to bring together these professionals, including doctors, nurses, police officers, lawyers, magistrates, judges, government officials, civil society activists, journalists, academics, and sexual violence survivors.

During the roundtable, participants exchanged ideas in a series of interactive plenary sessions and smaller working groups to share, brainstorm on, and problem-solve the challenges of supporting survivors of sexual violence, and to plan for a regional response to improve ways to prosecute and hold accountable those who commit these crimes.

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