Clinic News

Clinic’s Work Supports UN’s New Approach to Sexual Violence (7/25/13)

Professor Laurel E. Fletcher, director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic, participated in and presented at a workshop on Sexual Violence against Men and Boys organized by the United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict which took place on July 25-26 in New York.

Reports from Libya and Syria indicate high levels of sexualized torture of men imprisoned in the course of the conflict. There is also increasing evidence that the gap between prevalence rates against women and against men in key conflict settings such as the DRC and Liberia is much smaller than generally thought. Our own screening of male and female clients coming to RLP, which is being conducted in collaboration with Johns Hopkins, suggests that levels of sexual violence against male refugees are even higher than expected.

As such, this first UN workshop on this topic to be organized since the establishment of the SRSG's Office in 2010 represents an important step and historic towards improved humanitarian response, as well as more inclusive approaches to sexual and gender-based violence in conflict settings.

Professor Laurel Fletcher from University of California Berkeley, presented on the legal frameworks available to male survivors, based upon the report of a joint project between the International Human Rights Clinic and Refugee Law Project (RLP) which was completed at the end of June.

RLP's Director, Dr Chris Dolan, gave a presentation on the 'Scope and Challenges' of the issue, together with Alastair Hilton of First Step Cambodia.

Dr David Ndawula, to whom RLP refers its own clients, presented on the 'Consequences of Sexual Violence against Men and Boys'.

Read the Press Release from the SRSG’s office here.