Director, Sexual Violence Program
KIM THUY SEELINGER is the Director of the Sexual Violence Program at the Human Rights Center at Berkeley School of Law. She oversees the center’s research, teaching, and writing on sexual violence during armed conflict and forced migration. She also teaches Refugee Law and serves as supervising attorney to Berkeley Law’s International Human Rights Workshop. Seelinger’s current work focuses on accountability for wartime sexual violence, protection in humanitarian settings, and the prosecution of international crimes in national courts. For this, she has conducted extensive field research throughout Africa, Central America, Southeast Asia, and Europe.
Seelinger also provides technical support to judges, prosecutors, victims’ counsel, and investigators in international criminal law trials. Most recently, her team successfully intervened 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’ 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 (2014, 2017) and trains francophone African magistrates for the Cassese Initiative and Asser Institute in the Hague.
In addition to numerous HRC reports, Seelinger’s writing has appeared in publications including the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, California Law Review (Online), Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, International Review of the Red Cross,The Washington Post, The Guardian, Huffington Post, and Foreign Affairs. She is currently co-editing a book on the Hissène Habré trial (forthcoming 2019, Oxford University Press).
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). Seelinger is also President of the Executive Committee of Civitas Maxima, a Swiss organization documenting war crimes and representing victims in trials around the world.
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.