The Long Road, cover page

Accountability for
Sexual Violence in Conflict

In August 2015, at the Speke Resort Munyoyo in Kampala, Uganda, the Human Rights Center's Sexual Violence program co-hosted the "Missing Peace Practitioners’ Workshop on Accountability for Sexual Violence" with the Uganda Fund, United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Peace Research Institute (PRIO), and Women in International Security (WIIS). The conference brought together more than practitioners in law, law enforcement, and health (from six African countries, the U.S., and Europe) "to exchange knowledge, tools and techniques in reporting, investigating, and prosecuting sexual violence, and supporting survivors" as local actors.

At the conference, the Human Rights Center launched a four-year, multi-country study of domestic-level accountability efforts for sexual violence accountability in Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. It aimed to "identify key barriers and strategies for reporting, investigating, and prosecuting cases of sexual violence" and was based on "279 semi-structured interviews with representatives of governments, UN agencies, and civil society organizations" (p. 1).

The Long Road covers the study's aims and methods, an introduction to specific legal definitions and frameworks, individual country contexts of conflict and political violence, comparative findings, considerations for domestic capacity to address international crimes of sexual violence, and the recommendations to a large range of stakeholders. Its source material apart from the interviews includes interdisciplinary scholarship on sexual violence in wartime, relevant international documents, and local laws.

The report was authored by Kim Thuy Seelinger and Julie Freccero.

Humanity United, Open Society Foundations, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supported the study with grants.

Assessing Study Impact via Citation-Monitoring

David Wells, "Sexual Violence Interventions: Considerations for Humanitarian Settings," Forensic Science International, vol. 276 (July 2017): 1–4.

Lars Waldorf, "Institutional Gardening in Unsettled Times: Transitional Justice and Institutional Contexts," in Justice Mosaics: How Context Shapes Transitional Justice in Fractured Societies, edited by Roger Duthie and Paul Seils, 40–83 (International Center for Transitional Justice [ICTJ], 2017).

Kim Thuy Seelinger and Julie Freccero, "Building the Base: Local Accountability for Conflict-Period Sexual Violence," in The International Criminal Court and Africa: One Decade On, edited by Evelyn A. Ankumah, 625–47 (Intersentia, 2016).

Anne Woodworth and Bhavani Fonseka, "Accountability and Reparations for Victims of Conflict Related Sexual Violence in Sri Lanka" (discussion paper, Centre for Policy Alternatives [CPA], Sri Lanka, July 2016).

Ketty Anyeko, Kim Thuy Seelinger, Julie Freccero, "Improving Accountability for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Africa" (peace brief, United States Institute of Peace [USIP], Washington, DC, June 14, 2016).

Emilie Hunter, "Using 'Managerial Compliance' to Strengthen the International Criminal Court Cooperation Regime," in Cooperation and the International Criminal Court: Perspectives from Theory and Practice, edited by Olympia Bekou and Daley J. Birkett, 366–95 (Brill Nijhoff, 2016).

Kim Thuy Seelinger, "How Can the ICC OTP Secure Better Cooperation from First Responders and Those Working on the Ground with Victims and Survivors to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes?" in "The Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Question," ICC Forum (blog), April–November 2016.

Coalition on Violence against Women (COVAW), FIDA Uganda, Independent Medico-Legal Unit, International Refugee Rights Initative, Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists, Kituo Cha Sheria, Physicians for Human Rights, REDRESS, and TRIAL (Track Impunity Always), "Submission to the Secretariat of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) on the Implementation of the Kampala Declaration in Member States," shadow report, November 25, 2015.

Kim Thuy Seelinger, "Domestic Accountability for Sexual Violence: The Potential for Specialized Units in Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Uganda," International Review of the Red Cross, vol. 96, no. 894 (June 2014): 539–64.

Highlights in other material:

In "Resource Database" of Conflict Dynamic International's Children in Armed Conflict (CAC) Accountability Initiative.

Listed as part of "Useful Materials" for book launch* and conference on "Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict," Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Graduate Law Centre, October 7–8, 2016. 

*Book launch for Prosecuting Conflict-Related Sexual Violence at the ICTY, edited by Serge Brammertz and Michelle Jarvis (Oxford University Press, 2016).

"Gender, Peace and Security Update, no. 3," Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), 2015.

M. J. Friedrich, "Accountability for Sexual Violence," Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), vol. 314, no. 15 (October 20, 2015): 1553.

"Newsletter: September 2015," Forum for International Criminal Justice (FICJ), The Hague, September 2015.

Liz Ford and Amaka Opara, "Local Support Key to Achieving Justice in Sexual Violence Cases, Claim Researchers," The Guardian, August 26, 2015.

Andrew Ssenyonga, "Police to Institute Sexual Violence Unit," New Vision (Uganda), August 26, 2015.


Last update: June 12, 2017