Clinic News

New Report Lays Groundwork for Accountability for Sexual Violence Against Men in Armed Conflict (7/15/13)


BERKELEY, CA - July 15, 2013 - The International Human Rights Law Clinic (IHRLC) collaborated with the Uganda-based Refugee Law Project (RLP) to address an issue of growing concern to gender activists, human rights and humanitarian actors, as well as governments, namely: what legal remedies are available to male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence? Are such remedies to be found within the domestic or the international sphere? Are they best addressed as human rights violations? Through war crimes tribunals? Or through a combination of transitional justice measures? Are the same remedies available to all victims, or are refugees treated differently from IDPs or citizens?

To engage these questions in a sustained manner, IHRLC and RLP released a new report, “Promoting Accountability for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Against Men: A Comparative Legal Analysis of International and Domestic Laws Relating to IDP and Refugee Men in Uganda” as the latest in the RLP Working Paper series.

The paper demonstrates that while international criminal justice has begun to define sexual violence in a gender-inclusive manner, this legal potential has been seriously underutilized in nearly all cases to date. The paper thus serves as a wake-up call to those concerned with justice for survivors of sexual violence, and, using Uganda as a case study, lays the groundwork upon which to generate a legal reform agenda internationally.

IHRLC students presented an earlier draft of the paper at a legal roundtable in Kampala in April 2013, as part of the South-South Institute on Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys in Conflict and Displacement sponsored by RLP.