11 September 2019 18:30 - 20:00

Justice denied? Access to justice for victims of sexual violence

Sexual violence is recognised as an international war crime, but few survivors ever see their attackers brought to justice. Experts in this panel will share the challenges and solutions to supporting access to justice for victims.

About the event

Sexual violence is recognised as a war crime in international law, but in reality few survivors ever see their attackers brought to justice. Weak rule of law, lack of legal recognition of the crime in many countries, lack of forensic evidence, lack of police response, and the risk of retaliation or stigma for survivors, all work together to prevent many from seeing the end of the long and winding road through the courts.

In winning the Nobel Prize with Daniel Mukwege, survivor Nadia Murad said, "The only prize in the world that can restore our dignity is justice and the prosecution of criminals". But for the millions of survivors living in displacement, justice may be even more remote.

Sexual violence is highly prevalent in conflicts and disasters, including violence by intimate partners and by armed combatants. Men, boys and former child soldiers are also at risk. Accountability for this crime is key to ending the climate of impunity. While humanitarian organisations have emphasised providing medical and mental health care to survivors, supporting access to justice in humanitarian settings has been more challenging.

During the event, panelists will share their insights into their personal experiences with supporting survivors to bring cases to court, sharing both challenges and lessons learned.

The event is co-organised by CERAH's Steering Committee on Sexual Violence in Conflicts & Emergencies: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Médecins sans frontières (MSF), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and the Refugee Law Project.

Speaker and panelist

Opening remarks – Helen Durham, Director of Law and Policy, ICRC

Cecile Aptel, Director, Policy, Strategy & Knowledge Department, IFRC
Christine Alai, Independent human rights lawyer
Claude Maon, Legal Manager, MSF
Moderator - Meg Davis, Coordinator of courses on sexual violence in conflicts and emergencies, CERAH

Closing remarks - Joanina Karugaba, Senior advisor on SGBV, UNHCR


Date & Time

11 September 2019 18:30 - 20:00

Hosted by

Venue address

17 avenue de la paix, 1202 Geneva