Director, Sexual Violence Program
KIM THUY SEELINGER is the Director of the Sexual Violence Program at the Human Rights Center. She oversees the center’s research, teaching, and writing on sexual violence during armed conflict and forced migration. Her current work focuses on accountability for wartime sexual violence, protection in humanitarian settings, and the prosecution of international crimes in national courts. She has conducted fieldwork in Haiti, Vietnam, Thailand, Kenya, Liberia, Uganda, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Turkey, and Greece. She also teaches Refugee Law and regular research workshops on sexual violence and armed conflict.
Seelinger provides technical support to judges, prosecutors, and victims’ counsel, and investigators in international criminal law trials, most recently in the case against Hissène Habré, the former president of Chad, and that of Thomas Kwoyelo in Uganda. At the policy level, Seelinger serves on the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ inaugural Advisory Group on Gender, Forced Displacement, and Protection. She was also an expert commentator on the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict, and was a member of the expert group on international guidelines on the documentation of sexual violence against men and boys.
In addition to numerous HRC reports, Seelinger’s writing has appeared in the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, California Law Review (Online), Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, International Review of the Red Cross, Africa Legal Aid Quarterly, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Huffington Post, and Foreign Affairs. She co-authored a chapter with Julie Freccero in the book The International Criminal Court and Africa: One decade on (2016).
Seelinger has received numerous awards including the Kathi Pugh Award for Exceptional Mentorship of Berkeley Law Student-Initiated Legal Services Projects (2015), a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency (2016), the“Global Citizen” award from the UN Association of the East Bay (2016) and the “Human Rights and Leadership” award from the International Action Network for Gender Equity and Law (2017).
Before coming to HRC, Seelinger was a staff attorney at the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at UC Hastings College of the Law, where she co-taught the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic and represented asylum seekers fleeing gender-based violence. Prior to that, she was a Yale-China Association clinical legal education fellow at Yunnan University, China, and a staff attorney and Kirkland and Ellis Public Interest Fellow at the Lutheran Family and Community Services in New York City. Seelinger graduated from New York University School of Law.