Womens Justice Center

News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias


In some Arab countries women still have to ask permission from a male relative to get a passport, marry or leave the country. Although the practice of "male guardianship" is not always enshrined in law, it persists in everyday life within many families. 

As part of the 100 Women season, the BBC asked three female cartoonists from North Africa to take up their pens and illustrate how the custom continues to affect women's lives in their countries.


[printable page]

Johnna Artis, 20, first apprentice and Maria Fraguas Jover, 24, rehearsal director at the Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory pictured at the United Nations. Credit: IPS UN Bureau / IPS.

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 23 2016 (IPS) - Young women are beginning to find their voices around issues such as sexism and violence, including through hip-hop, an art-form which has a long tradition of fighting oppression.

Johnna Artis, 20, a first apprentice of H+ the Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory told IPS about how she has learnt to express herself and gained confidence through dance:

“Hip-hop has allowed me to realise that I can speak, and that my voice can be heard, and if my voice can’t be heard, my movements can be heard, so I have multiple ways to talk to people,” said Artis.

Growing up Artis says she felt that she often silenced her own voice, but she has become more confident to speak out, particularly she says, since she has learned that sharing her own experiences can help others.

“I’m talking more and I’m interacting more, so it’s a process, but I’m getting out of the silence,” she said.

Artis, originally from Brooklyn, New York, is one of 25 hip-hop dancers at the conservatory, who rehearse for four to six hours, six days a week.

“(Hip-hop) has been a voice for the oppressed always,” -- Maria Fraguas Jover

Artis’ teacher Maria Fraguas Jover, 24, Rehearsal Director at the Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory told IPS that while female dancers like Artis are learning to express themselves through hip-hop this is not how it has always been.

“Hip-hop was created by men, dominated by men, just the way the world has been. It’s a patriarchal society, so really hip-hop is just a microcosm of that.”


[printable page]

This Symposium was held 

12 November 2016, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Simcoe Hall, Room 1033
Lakehead University Orillia
500 University Avenue, Orillia, Ontario, Canada L3V 0B9

The objectives of the symposium were: (1) to disseminate the latest research on sex trafficking of Aboriginal women and girls in Canada; (2) to offer the physical and intellectual space for critical analysis and contextualization of the problem; (3) to provide an overview of what is being done to address the problem; (4) to facilitate face-to-face networking and interdisciplinary, multi-sectoral knowledge exchange among the delegates, particularly students, faculty, and service providers; (5) to promote collaboration between academics and practitioners for the purposes of continual strengthening of the knowledge base and evidence-based practice with trafficked persons.

Publications & Resources Resulting from Research Projects Presented at the Symposium

Bourgeois, R. (2015). Colonial exploitation: The Canadian State and the trafficking of Indigenous women and girls in Canada. UCLA Law Review62, 1426-1463.

Canadian Women's Foundation (CWF). (2014). "No more": Ending sex-trafficking in Canada: Report of the National Task Force on Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls in Canada. [Ottawa:] CWF.

Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC). (2010) Sisters in spirit: 2010 research findings. What their stories tell us. [Ottawa:] NWAC.

Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC). (2014). Boyfriend or not: Sexual exploitation and trafficking of Aboriginal women and girls in Canada: Report to the Embassy of the United States. [Ottawa:] NWAC.

Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC). (2014). Sexual exploitation and trafficking of Aboriginal women and girls: Literature review and key informant interviews. [Ottawa]: NWAC.

Roos, H. (2013). Phase I: Service and capacity review for victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking in Nunavut: Report.[Gatineau, QC:] Roos-Remillard Consulting Services.

Tracia’s Trust: Manitoba's Sexual Exploitation Strategy

B.C.'s Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons (OCTIP). (2013). BC's Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, 2013-2016.Vancouver, BC: Ministry of Justice.

B.C.'s Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons (OCTIP). (2014). One-year status report: March 2013 to April 2014. Vancouver, BC: Ministry of Justice.

B.C.'s Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons (OCTIP). (2015). Second year status report: April 2014 to April 2015. Vancouver, BC: Ministry of Justice.

Recommended Online Training & Other Resources

MCIS Language Services: Free Online Training Initiative to Address Human Trafficking

  1. Full version (for service providers)
  2. Short, specialized modules for legal professionals, law enforcement officers, healthcare workers, and professionals working with children http://www.helpingtraffickedpersons.org/

B.C. Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons (OCTIP): Free online training “Human Trafficking: Canada is not Immune” http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/octiptraining/index.html

Fraser Health Authority: Free online training “Help Don’t Hinder” (how to identify and respond to potential victims of human trafficking who present in a hospital Emergency Department)

The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR): National Human Trafficking Assessment Tool to help guide first-contact service providers across Canada in identifying and responding to situations of human trafficking

Canadian Council for Refugees: Starter Toolkit for Awareness-Raising on Trafficking in Persons

A Handbook for Helping Sexually Exploited Aboriginal Women and Girls (by the Native Women’s Association of Canada) http://www.nwac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Our-Spirits-are-NOT-for-sale-English-web-version.pdf

SEE ALSO: Native Women's Association of Canada

[printable page]

“Hoy, el cuerpo de las mujeres es sustituto del salario y el empleo que han perdido. Hay hombres que venden a su pareja para el trabajo sexual”

El análisis feminista de la etapa de la transición del feudalismo al capitalismo y del trabajo reproductivo no asalariado como sostén del sistema capitalista han convertido a Silvia Federici, escritora, activista y profesora de la Universidad de Hofstra de Nueva York, en un referente para comprender la interconexión entre la crisis sistémica del capital y el incremento de las diferentes formas de violencias hacia las mujeres.


Su paso por Ecuador para participar en diferentes encuentros con la academia y movimientos feministas, permitió una conversación en la que de manera crítica analiza la actualización directa e indirecta de la caza de brujas y las consecuencias de las políticas extractivistas sobre las vidas y los cuerpos de las mujeres en América Latina.

La crisis del sistema ha tenido un grave impacto para las mujeres en diversos aspectos, pero también de manera diferenciada según territorios. ¿Cuáles son las consecuencias que se pueden identificar a nivel global tanto en el ámbito del trabajo como en el reproductivo?


[printable page]

Sexual exploitation that the UN says amounts to slavery is forcing girls and their families from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to seek refuge in Mexico

Sara Rincón was walking home from college in the capital of El Salvador when she was confronted by three heavily tattooed gang members who had been harassing her for weeks.

The group’s leader – a man in his 30s, with the figure 18 etched on to his shaven head – threw her against a wall, and with his hands around her neck gave her one last warning.

“He said no woman had ever turned him down, and if I refused to be his girlfriend, he would kill me and my family. I didn’t want to leave home but after that we couldn’t stay; we left for Mexico in the middle of the night,” said Rincón, forcing a smile through her tears.

Increasing numbers of women and girls are fleeing El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras amid mounting evidence that criminal gangs are systematically targeting adolescent girls as sexual slaves. 


Of the 32,142 female migrants detained by Mexican immigration agents in the first nine months of this year, almost one in three were under 18. Almost 15,000 12- to 17-year-old girls from Central America’s northern triangle – Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras – have been apprehended here since 2014.

......Forcing women and girls into sexual activities with gang members is prima facie evidence of modern slavery, according to Urmila Bhoola, the UN’s special rapporteur for contemporary slavery.

“The forced recruitment of girls and young women into gang-related activities, and especially being forced into prostitution through providing ‘conjugal visits’ to gang members in prison, are extreme forms of sexual exploitation and human degradation that involve exercising powers akin to the right of ownership over these individuals,” Bhoola said.

“Gangs reflect the deeply patriarchal power structures that prevail in this region,” she said. “It’s a problem affecting millions of women and girls.”



[printable page]


“Hello. I just found out that I am four weeks pregnant.

“I cannot carry on with this pregnancy for numerous reasons and I want to have an abortion. Though it is an option for me in the United States, in reality, it is not really an option because the $600-$700 to have it done is simply out of the question.

“I’m hoping you can advise me and are able to help. I am absolutely desperate.”

Martina read through her email once again and hovered her finger over the send button. The message was addressed half a world away to Women on Web, a Dutch not-for-profit group that mails abortion drugs to pregnant women who live in countries where abortion is outlawed.en you’re offline. Click here

Martina lives in Texas, where abortion is restricted but legal – making it one of the places where Women on Web refuses to mail the drugs. Still, Martina thought she would try her luck. She had lost her job to downsizing, and in its place she had found only part-time work. Her rent had gone up. Lately, she was borrowing money for gas.

There was no question that she couldn’t afford to have a child. The question was whether she could even afford an abortion.



[printable page]

The landmark judgment in the Prosecutor v. Bemba casebefore the International Criminal Court marks the first jurisprudence from the Court in a prosecution dedicated to redressing sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) (see our coverage here and here).  The Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health Lab (“Lab”) at Stanford University submitted an experts’ brief in the sentencing phase of the case.  (Bemba was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment). My colleague Dr. Daryn Reicherterof the Stanford University Medical School Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences testified in the case.

redacted version of the brief is now available here.

Article Continues Here

[printable page]

Sometimes I think I have never seen anything as strong as Hillary Clinton. That doesn’t mean that I like and admire everything about her. I’m not here to argue about who she is, just to note what she did. I watched her plow through opposition and attacks the like of which no other candidate has ever faced and still win the popular vote. To defeat her it took an unholy cabal far beyond what Barack Obama faced when he was the campaign of change, swimming with the tide of disgust about the Bush administration. As the New York Times reported, “By the time all the ballots are counted, she seems likely to be ahead by more than 2m votes and more than 1.5 percentage points. She will have won by a wider percentage margin than not only Al Gore in 2000 but also Richard Nixon in 1968 and John F Kennedy in 1960.”


[printable page]

La trata de personas en México es un fenómeno que se mantiene prácticamente invisible, al menos para las autoridades, pero no para periodistas como Lydia Cacho, quien ha sido una voz constante y crítica sobre este problema, lo que la llevó a enfrentar la fuerza que tienen los políticos en nuestro país y a constatar la impunidad. 

Platicamos con la periodista, escritora y activista Lydia Cacho.

Contenido creado por BItv Aguascalientes. 

[printable page]


The UN Feminist Network (UNFN) is a group of feminists working in the UN representing more than 20 agencies, departments, funds and programmes, and civil society partners working with the UN. The UNFN is conceived as an informal space for networking and learning to advance the goals of gender equality in the UN system. The UNFN met on 1 September 2016 to define a Feminist Agenda for the new Secretary-General. Other agendas have been developed by feminist civil society groups: ours complements those, and comes directly from feminists working with and for the UN.

First, we ask Antonio Guterres to make advancing gender equality and women’s rights a publicly stated priority for his tenure. In addition, the following set of clear, actionable priorities will substantiate this commitment and ensure the UN fulfills its commitments to gender equality and women’s rights: 


[printable page]

Joint Jurisdiction Courts: A Manual for Developing Tribal, Local, State & Federal Justice Collaborations
  NCJ Number:  250081
  Author:  Jennifer A. Fahey ; Korey Wahwassuck ; Allison Leof ; John P. Smith
  Publication Date:  05/2016
  Abstract   PDF 
Durable Collaborations: The National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention
  NCJ Number:  249995
  Author:  Kathleen Tomberg ; Jeffrey Butts
  Publication Date:  06/2016
  Abstract   Agency Summary   PDF 
Transgender Sexual Violence Survivors: A Self Help Guide to Healing and Understanding
  NCJ Number:  249882
  Publication Date:  09/2015
  Abstract   PDF   Find in a Library
15.  Victim's Guide to the Criminal Justice System
  NCJ Number:  249883
  Publication Date:  2015
  Abstract   PDF   Find in a Library
16.  Victim's Guide to Restitution
  NCJ Number:  249884
  Publication Date:  2015
  Abstract   PDF   Find in a Library
17.  OVC Publishing Guidelines, Fourth Edition
  NCJ Number:  249930
  Publication Date:  07/2015
  Abstract   HTML   Find in a Library
18.  Vision 21 Accomplishments
  NCJ Number:  249938
  Publication Date:  07/2016
  Abstract   PDF   Find in a Library
19.  Achieving Excellence: Model Standards for Serving Victims and Survivors of Crime
  NCJ Number:  250080
  Publication Date:  2016
  Abstract   HTML   Find in a Library
20.  Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program Development and Operation Guide
  NCJ Number:  250082
  Publication Date:  08/2016
  Abstract   HTML   Find in a Library

[printable page]

Annotation:  This report presents the proceedings of a March 2016 meeting of practitioners and researchers in the fields of criminal justice and victim services held to discuss the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ’s) development of a research agenda that will focus on the criminal justice system’s response to victims of intimate partner violence.
Abstract:  In opening remarks, the NIJ Director of the Office of Research and Evaluation advises that NIJ has had domestic violence as an area of study for about 40 years; however, NIJ now needs to assess and plan short-term and long-term priorities and update the research agenda. It is expected that this meeting will add to the body of knowledge on intimate partner violence (IPV) that NIJ has spearheaded. The presentations and discussions at the meeting are intended to focus on relevant research and practice issues that will generate research priorities related to law enforcement, prosecution, and criminal court responses to IPV victims. The meeting’s format consists of a mini-presentation in each of these three areas, followed by a practitioner’s commentary, followed by six questions that solicit participants’ views on gaps in the empirical literature on responses to victims of IPV; the re-victimization of IPV victims; whether there are specific populations, circumstances, or subtopics that need further research; the identification of subject areas that may intersect with IPV, such as race and ethnicity, co-occurring victimization, immigration, and socioeconomic status; promising and ill-advised research methods; and any additional issues that should be noted. Participants’ responses to these posed questions under each topic are reported. The major topics indicated by participants to need research are listed. 6 tables


[printable page]

La profesora María Eugenia Burgos, una de las seis directoras al frente del Observatorio de Violencia contra las Mujeres de Salta, se refirió a las distintas problemáticas que terminan sosteniendo o agudizando la falta de acceso a la Justicia y la continuidad de prácticas patriarcales en todos los estamentos del Estado. En este sentido, y en el marco del posgrado de Políticas Públicas: Herramientas y Recursos para el Abordaje de Violencia Contra las Mujeres a cargo de la esp. Liliana Louys, que iniciará el 14 de Octubre, Burgos adelantó parcialmente algunas de las conclusiones que el 25 de noviembre, fecha en que el Observatorio cumplirá su primer año de funcionamiento formal darán a conocer a través de un informe anual. Sobre esto, la docente subrayó: “Hay una dificultad enorme en que las oficinas específicas que están dispuestas para recepcionar las denuncias de las mujeres efectivicen esos derechos”, señalando que una de las líneas de investigación en las que se avanzó fue el trabajo de campo desarrollado durante algunos meses en Tartagal respecto a la trayectoria que sigue una mujer cuando denuncia violencia de género”.

[printable page]

Annotation:  This compendium of research on children exposed to violence (CEV) includes only studies funded from 2010 through 2015 that focused on children exposed to violence, broadly defined to include harassment by peers (bullying), domestic violence, child maltreatment, and violence in a child’s community.

The compendium includes studies funded under the U.S. Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and studies funded in other portfolios. The abstracts presented for each study listed were provided by the grantee in the research proposal.

Four studies listed pertain to poly-victimization. Internet-based harassment is the focus of two studies, and school violence is addressed in 24 studies. Bullying was examined in 8 studies. Ten studies considered the long-term outcome of CEV, and 8 studies pertained to forensic research linked to CEV cases. Nine studies pertain to the experience of exposure to violence in the lives of youth involved in the juvenile justice system and how the system responds to them.

Trafficking in minors is the subject of 5 studies, and teen dating violence is covered in 22 studies. Other research topics included in the compendium are cultural context (4 studies) and evaluations of demonstration projects (3 studies). In addition to an abstract of each study, each listing contains the grant number, grantee name, amount of the grant, and the status of the grant.


[printable page]

Neoliberalismo sexual: todo se puede comprar y vender, incluso el cuerpo

Si el Estado normaliza la “prostitución” como un “trabajo” significaría derribar los límites que las feministas han construido para acceder al cuerpo de las mujeres, así lo afirmó la investigadora y profesora de la Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, en España, Ana de Miguel Álvarez.
Al impartir la conferencia sobre “Neoliberalismo sexual” en la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), la investigadora de Filosofía moral y Política, advirtió que reconocer la “prostitución” como “trabajo sexual” sería una forma de difundir la idea de que las mujeres son cuerpos que están para el placer de los hombres que pueden pagar por ellos.
La autora del libro “Neoliberalismo sexual. El mito de la libre elección” expuso que la idea de legalizar y reconocer el “trabajo sexual” surge en el contexto del neoliberalismo, ideología que afirma que todo se puede comprar y vender, que el mercado no tiene por qué tener límites y que la única condición es el consentimiento de las personas libres e individuales.
Así –dijo la académica– uno de los argumentos de quienes están a favor de reconocer, normalizar y legalizar la oferta de “servicios sexuales” como un “empleo”, es que se trata de una actividad de libre consentimiento entre quien ofrece “el servicio” y quien paga por él; por eso, esta postura sostiene que quienes se oponen “son puritanos”, afirmó.



[printable page]

Claudia Mejía, the executive director of Sisma Mujer, a Colombian feminist organization. She helped incorporate gender elements into the country’s new peace agreement, which is now being renegotiated after a surprising “no” referendum vote.

BOGOTÁ — By a thin margin, Colombian voters said no in early October to a peace agreement to end the decades-long war in the country between the guerillas, FARC-EP, and the government. The painstakingly written peace pact was developed with considerable contributions from women to embed commitments to gender rights in the country’s post-conflict setting. Now those gender elements, new rights won for women by women and the LGBTI community, could be weakened.

What happens next is a renegotiation of the agreement by the end of the year, those involved in the process say. The agreement failed because some churches and the political right in the country questioned, among many other aspects, what they label a “gender ideology” threaded throughout the agreement, which they contend will unravel the basic fabric of Colombia’s very conservative society.

To clarify what the groundbreaking peace agreement achieved and its current status, Claudia Mejía, 58, the executive director of Sisma Mujer (meaning, loosely, earthquake woman), a Colombian feminist organization, was interviewed in August and in October in Bogotá, the capital. Her organization has been a force behind the women’s movement in the country since 1998.

Mejía has a law degree, a postgraduate degree in human rights and women and a master’s degree in arts in peace studies and development. She is also a co-founder of the National Network of Women (Red Nacional de Mujeres), which has advanced initiatives in women’s rights.

More recently, as part of the peace talks that took place over the last four years in Havana, Cuba, Mejía was invited by the sub-commission on gender to the Summit on Women and Peace (Cumbre Nacional de Mujeres y Paz), as part of a gender experts group to recommend ways to incorporate gender and women’s rights in the peace agreement and the post-conflict milieu. The topic of sexual violence against women was one of the most difficult discussions, she said, for the two sides to broach.

In the interview, Mejía analyzes how a female and feminist perspective permeates the agreement and delves into why it was rejected and how the gender component can be saved. The conversation was done in Spanish and translated by Flisi and has been edited and condensed.


[printable page]

On this latest episode of What would a feminist do? we talk with Lorella Praeli, Hillary Clinton’s Latino outreach director and Miriam Yeung, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum about how immigrant women are treated.

The conversation explores the hazards of being undocumented and accessing safe reproductive care, the reality of domestic abuse and the danger of sexual assault. We delve into the myths surrounding immigration and identify racist rhetoric like “anchor babies” and how anti-migrant policy treats women’s bodies as a threat to the nation.

The conversation also touches on the history of using immigration policy to control women by stigmatizing their ability to create immigrant families. “The first ever immigration law every past ... was written to expressly prohibit Chinese women from coming to this country,” says Yeung. “And it did so by labeling them as immoral and by labeling them as prostitutes.”


[printable page]

Decision to make the DC superhero an honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women led to a petition and silent protest by employees

“This is the most fun the UN has had, I’m pretty sure right?” Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment said at a ceremony appointing Wonder Woman as the United Nations’ honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls. The ceremony was meant to honor the fight for gender equality and the 75th anniversary of the character.

Not all agreed with her sentiment, as UN staff members protested against the appointment both inside the event and in the lobby of the building.

It was announced that Wonder Woman would become an honorary ambassadorearlier this month, in support of the UN’s sustainable development goal number five – “to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. The sustainable development goals were adopted by the UN in 2015 and hope to fulfill their agenda by 2030.

The news was met with both praise and criticism, and a petition was created by “Concerned United Nations staff members” asking the UN secretary general to reconsider. It mentioned concerns over her “overtly sexualized image” that is not “culturally encompassing or sensitive”.

“The bottom line appears to be that the United Nations was unable to find a real-life woman that would be able to champion the rights of ALL women on the issue of gender equality and the fight for their empowerment. The United Nations has decided that Wonder Woman is the role model that women and girls all around the world should look up to,” the petition read. 

Decision to make the DC superhero an honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women led to a petition and silent protest by employees


[printable page]


All the following texts are available in full online and are free. Just follow the links for abstracts or full texts...


National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction: A Report to Congress
  NCJ Number:  249863
  Publication Date:  04/2016
  Abstract   PDF   Find in a Library
Stabilizing Foreign-Born Adult Survivors of Human Trafficking in the U.S.
  NCJ Number:  250300
  Publication Date:  09/2016
  Abstract   HTML   Find in a Library
30.  Labor Trafficking in San Diego County: Looking for a Hidden Population
  NCJ Number:  250303
  Publication Date:  09/2016
  Abstract   HTML   Find in a Library
31.  Improving the Investigation and Prosecution of State and Local Human Trafficking Cases
  NCJ Number:  250304
  Publication Date:  09/2016
  Abstract   HTML   Find in a Library
32.  Initiatives to Reduce Demand for Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the U.S.
  NCJ Number:  250305
  Publication Date:  08/2016
  Abstract   HTML   Find in a Library
33.  How Does Labor Trafficking Occur in U.S. Communities and What Becomes of the Victims?
  NCJ Number:  250307
  Publication Date:  09/2016
  Abstract   HTML   Find in a Library
34.  Gangs and Sex Trafficking in San Diego
  NCJ Number:  250308
  Publication Date:  09/2016
  Abstract   HTML   Find in a Library
35.  Evaluating Services for Young Victims of Human Trafficking
  NCJ Number:  250309
  Publication Date:  09/2016
  Abstract   HTML   Find in a Library
36.  Estimating the Underground Commercial Sex Economy in the U.S.
  NCJ Number:  250310
  Publication Date:  08/2016
  Abstract   HTML   Find in a Library
37.  Screening Tool for Identifying Trafficking Victims
  NCJ Number:  250311
  Publication Date:  09/2016
  Abstract   HTML   Find in a Library

[printable page]


The Uncondemned,” a film about the first prosecution of rape as a war crime, saw its theatrical release over the week-end in New York City, where it will play through October 27, at the Sunshine Cinema, SoHo.  The film, which will play in some 30 major markets through the end of the year, opened to rave reviews in the New York Times,The Village Voice, and the New York Daily News. Michele Mitchell and Nick Louvel co-directed the film.


Witnesses JJ, NN, OO, and Godeliève Mukasarasi at the UN Special Screening on Wednesday

A feature-length documentary, “The Uncondemned” tells the story of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda’s (ICTR) prosecution of Mayor Jean-Paul Akayesu for crimes against humanity and acts of genocide, both including acts of sexual assault against residents of Taba commune, which he governed.  The film actually interweaves two stories.  One is that of the Taba rape survivors—until now known as JJ, NN, and OO—and the social worker and founder of SEVOTA, Godeliève Mukasarasi, who encouraged and empowered them to participate in the prosecution.  The other story is that of the team of young lawyers who worked on the case, including trial counsel Pierre-Richard Prosper (now with Akin Gump) and Sara Darehshori (now with Human Rights Watch, working on issues of sexual assault in the United States).  Also appearing in the film are Patricia Sellers, gender advisor to ICTR and ICTFY at the time the Akayesu case was investigated and tried, Rosette Muzigo-Morrison, a UN investigator from Uganda, and Binaifer Nowrojee, who from her position with Human Rights Watch in East Africa wroteShattered Lives, a report on Sexual Violence during the Rwandan genocide and campaigned for the prosecution of rape as a war crime.  My own work as gender consultant at ICTR—twenty years ago this fall—is also featured in the film.





[printable page]

 Nine out of 10 migrants seen by psychologists showed anxiety or depression symptoms caused by rape, assault or kidnapping, MSF survey finds

Central American migrants are suffering from record levels of mental health problems, amid a rise in violent attacks after a US-sponsored immigration crackdown forced them to use more perilous routes through Mexico.

Two-thirds of migrants interviewed at shelters across the country reported suffering at least one violent attack – such as assault, rape or kidnapping – during their journey, according to a survey conducted by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and shared exclusively with the Guardian.

MSF runs three clinics in Mexico, providing care to injured and traumatized migrants with a team of doctors, psychologists and social workers.

Nine out of 10 migrants seen by MSF psychologists this year showed symptoms of anxiety or depression caused by violence and threats suffered during the journey – a three-fold increase since 2014.

The increase in violence against Central American migrants in Mexico is largely down to the Southern Border Plan, an immigration clampdown launched in July 2014 after a surge of unaccompanied minors and families at the US border.

American aid supported the deployment of thousands of Mexican troops to patrol alongside immigration agents. Checkpoints were set up along established migrant routes, forcing people to take even greater risks on their journey north.

Instead of traveling through southern Mexico by catching a ride on top of a freight train known as “La Bestia”, most now journey by bus, on foot or by sea along isolated routes where armed bandits, kidnappers and human traffickers operate with almost total impunity.



Central America's rampant violence fuels an invisible refugee crisis


[printable page]

Oct. 19, 2016 - Ni Una Menos demonstrations spurred by rape and killing of 16-year-old Lucía Pérez as thousands of protesters call for action on crimes against women


Madrid, La Paz, Lima, Santiago, Ciudad de México y Buenos Aires: miles de mujeres salieron a las calles ayer para exigir justicia, seguridad y libertad.

[printable page]