To complement its work providing services to victims of sexual violence in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Physicians for Human Rrights (PHR) asked the Capstone team to evaluate an American Bar Association (ABA)-headed initiative that helps sexual violence survivors seek justice through their flagship program, Mobile Gender Courts. Mobile Courts (MCs) conduct military and civilian trials in some of the most remote areas of the DRC.
The team evaluated the reparations awarded by MCs and the extent to which they are being implemented. Specifically, the team examined the barriers to implementation of reparations awarded by these courts. Traveling to the city of Bukavu in the DRC, the team relied on field-based interviews with local stakeholders to determine whether the reparations awarded by the courts have been implemented. Overall, the team aimed to provide insight into whether victims feel that reparations have eased their suffering, and how MCs are helping fulfill the Congolese government's international obligation to victims of sexual violence.
The final report evaluates reparations awarded by courts in the DRC to survivors of sexual violence, and the extent to which these reparations are being implemented. First, the report introduces the mobile court system and other judicial institutions that address sexual violence, specifically in Eastern DRC. Second, the report examines barriers to the implementation of reparations awarded by these courts. Third, the report offers recommendations to the international community to help ensure the payment of reparations to victims in the DRC and strengthen their access to justice.
Physicians for Human Rights blog (http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/blog/barriers-to-justice-for-barriers-to-justice-for-survivors-of-sexual-violence-in-the-drc.html)
SIPA News (http://new.sipa.columbia.edu/news-center/article/capstone-13-reparations-for-victims-of-sexual-violence)