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Executive Director Alexa Koenig and Sexual Violence Program Director Kim Thuy Seelinger receive the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions awarded to the Human Rights Center and eight other extraordinary organizations in Chicago this July. 

News and Events

New study on sexual violence released at Missing Peace in Uganda this week

MP Kim talkingThe Human Rights Center’s Sexual Violence Program launches its four-year study on sexual violence in conflict at the Missing Peace Practitioners’ Workshop  in Kampala this week. More than 100 participants at #MissingPeaceKampala are discussing the findings and other key issues in efforts to end sexual violence during and after war and conflicts.
Download the studyThe Long Road

MP Workshop Logo 2015 SMALL
MP 2015 group shotKampala, Uganda—As part of a global  movement to end wartime sexual violence, more than 70 legal, health, and law enforcement leaders from six African countries are meeting in Kampala, Uganda, August 26–28, for the Missing Peace Practitioners’ Workshop.
The workshop provides a rare opportunity for frontline responders—from Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan—to discuss their work on the ground and to trade the tools and techniques they use to document and prosecute sexual violence and support survivors. 
Workshop participants will also discuss new findings from a groundbreaking, four-country study on conflict-related sexual violence to be launched at the workshop by the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley School of Law. The study, in part, highlights barriers to investigating and prosecuting sexual violence and recommends better training and more funding for those on the front lines.

Workshop participants will brainstorm the role of these day-to-day responders in the reporting, investigation, and prosecution of sexual violence that occurs during periods of armed conflict and other emergencies.

(photo caption: a group shot of the Missing Peace Practitioners’ Workshop in Kampala.)

Related links: 


missing peace 2013 iconjpegVideo about the
Missing Peace Symposium 2013

MP Kampala press release 

The Long Road Accountability Study Executive Summary

Missing Peace Practitioners’ Workshop: Participants only


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Reiter and Koenig break ground with Extreme Punishment—a new book on prisons 

Extreme Punishment (Reiter and Koenig, 2015)

Extreme Punishment—a new book from Palgrave edited by HRC Executive Director Alexa Koenig and UC Irvine Professor Keramet Reiter— investigates the physical architecture, legal administration, and the lived experience of 21st-century prisoners, including the mentally ill, non-citizen immigrants, and enemy combatants in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. Contributors address the question: How do punishers exert power, and how do the punished experience that power?

“Groundbreaking in its research and documentation, this bracing collection forces us to think again–and in unexpected ways– about how law abets and sustains a global network of military, immigration, and penal polices, unprecedented in their severity and reach,” says  says Vanderbilt University Professor Colin Dayan about Extreme Punishment.

More about Extreme Punishment. 

Justine photo May 2014Meet our fourteen Human Rights Fellows for 2015 

From mitigating election violence in Côte d’Ivoire to investigating the criminalization of homeless people in San Francisco to supporting unaccompanied refugee children in Honduras, our 2015 Human Rights Fellows will contribute their expertise and energy to human rights organizations in nine countries. The center has now supported 275 Human Rights Fellows and counting! Read about our 2015 fellows.

Human Rights Center wins MacArthur award

Clyde Snow and Judge.x rayThe Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley School of Law is one of nine nonprofit organizations around the world to receive the 2015 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced today.

Known for its “genius awards” to individuals, the MacArthur Foundation also honors extraordinary organizations—in this case, recognizing the Human Rights Center’s investigations and research on war crimes and human rights abuses in more than a dozen countries and spotlighting the Center’s recent work on wartime sexual violence. MacArthur will award the Center $1 million to establish an endowment and expand its Sexual Violence Program.

“The Human Rights Center combines rigorous, leading-edge scientific research with on-the-ground work, yielding valuable contributions to our understanding of rights’ violations and our collective commitment to hold perpetrators accountable,” said MacArthur Vice President Elspeth Revere, who leads the awards program. “MacArthur applauds the Human Rights Center’s creativity and effectiveness, and we hope this recognition and investment will help sustain its work and expand its impact.”

Watch a video about the Human Rights Center
Read a press release about the award