The Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WI) works with focal points and local partners in three conflict-affected provinces – North Kivu, South Kivu and Province Orientale.
WI and our partners have conducted documentation programme on conflict-related sexual and gender-based crimes (SGBCs) in eastern DRC since 2006. In the last 2.5 years alone, partners have documented close to 1,000 incidents of rape, sexual slavery and other forms of sexual violence as well as torture and mutilation. Increasingly this documentation data is utilized by partners in advocacy with local judicial actors and political decision-makers, as well as to support victims/survivors to access medical and other support services and assist individual survivors to access justice through domestic courts, primarily the mobile military courts in North Kivu. In each of these cases, perpetrators have been convicted of the SGBV charges.
This documentation material is also utilized in our ongoing advocacy with the ICC and other international actors. Our historic documentation material from 2006-2007 has contributed to the ICC’s work most recently in the case against Bosco Ntaganda.
Over the coming years we will continue our work at the ICC level as well as significantly increase our work domestically with conflict-related SGBCs victims/survivors. We will focus on: access to medical and psychosocial services and referrals to and livelihood programmes; strategically focus our SGBC documentation programme; continue our advocacy work for the domestic prosecution of conflict-related sexual violence in three provinces; and launch a new Strategic Accountability Project in South Kivu.