University of California (Berkeley), Human Rights Center

The Human Rights Center promotes human rights and international justice worldwide and trains the next generation of human rights researchers and advocates.We are an independent research and training center that applies innovative technologies and scientific methods to investigate war crimes and other serious violations of human rights. Based on our findings, we recommend specific policy measures to protect vulnerable populations and hold perpetrators accountable.

Telephone: 510-642-0965
Fax: 510-643-3830
Email: hrc@berkeley.edu
460 Stephens Hall, #2300
CA 94720-2300 Berkeley
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Policy and Research Papers

Building Peace-Seeking Justice. A Population-based survey on attitudes about accountability and social reconstruction in the CAR - Human Rights Cen...

Decades of political instability, state fragility, mismanagement, and a series of armed conflicts have led the Central African Republic (CAR) to a state of widespread violence and poverty. This study provides a better understanding of the scope and magnitude of violence in CAR and its consequences, as well as a snapshot of what the citizens of CAR believe is the best way to restore peace. It also examines the issue of justice and accountability for the serious crimes that were committed.

This report provides the findings from a survey of 1,879 adults, residents of CAR, randomly selected in the capital city of Bangui, and the prefectures of Lobaye, Ombella M’Poko, Ouham, and Ouham Pende. These prefectures encompass a large geographic area representing 52 percent of the total population of CAR and have experienced varying levels of exposure to the conflicts. Locally trained teams conducted the interviews between November and December 2009.

This report provides a detailed analysis of results on a wide range of topics related to the population’s priorities and needs, exposure to violence, security, community cohesion and engagement, access to information, conflict resolution, reintegration of former combatants, transitional justice, and reparations for victims. Interviewers used an open-ended format and respondents could provide more than one answer to most questions.

Paper

Domestic Accountability for Sexual Violence: The Potential of Specialized Units in Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Uganda

From 2011 to 2014, the Human Rights Center at the UC Berkeley School of Law conducted qualitative research in Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Uganda to identify accountability mechanisms and challenges related to sexual violence committed during periods of conflict or political unrest. This article shares two aspects of that research: first, it presents key challenges related to the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of sexual violence committed during and after the periods of recent conflict. Second, it flags the emergence of specialized units tasked with investigating and prosecuting either sexual and gender-based violence or international crimes, noting the operational gap between these institutions. It notes that if not bridged, this gap may impede responses for the intersecting issue of sexual violence committed as an international crime. The article closes with recommendations for a more coordinated response and more accountability at the domestic level.

For full access to the paper, Domestic Accountability for Sexual Violence: The Potential of Specialized Units in Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Uganda, please kindly follow the link. 

Paper