Challenging and Preventing Hidden War Crimes

The 19 minute film documentary "Hidden War Crimes" puts human faces to the importance of stopping impunity for sexual and gender based violence. Stopping impunity is paramount to ensure crimes are not repeated and deter potential perpetrators. Tackling violence against women and girls requires a holistic methodology. ACORD works on facilitating the emergence of a culture of zero tolerance towards sexual violence; developing capacities of institutions for law and protection; and changing attitudes in society as a whole. The film is nominated for best documentary in Kenya's Kalasha awards 2012.

The main topic for the upcoming 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57) is: Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls. As an NGO with special accreditation with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN-ECOSOC), ACORD will be organising several parallel events relevant for this topic. Amongst these are the screening of the Hidden War Crimes documentary followed by a panel discussion.

CSW57 parallel event: "Hidden war crimes". Film screening and panel discussion

When: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 10:30 AM
2ND Floor Church Center for the UN, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017
Download report with photos from the event

Panelists and topics

  Irma van Dueren, Head Gender Division, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Soliciting political will and donors' commitment
Ngone Diop, Chief Gender and Women in Development, African Centre for Gender and Social Development

Influencing pro-women policy and gender budgeting
Salina Sanou, Head of Policy and Advocacy, ACORD

Addressing root causes of SGBV in a bid to address prevention and elimination

Violence against women and girls is an endemic and grave problem. It affects about 7 in every 10 women at one point in their lives, yet it is neither inevitable nor intractable. Numerous efforts have been put in place, but much more needs to be done and intensified to change harmful norms and practices, strengthen laws and policies, provide services and access to justice for survivors of violence and help survivors to rebuild their lives. Tackling violence against women and girls requires a holistic methodology encompassing awareness creation, soliciting political will, changing laws, arresting perpetrators, to healing and the economic empowerment of survivors.

The film draws on the implementation of a programme implemented by ACORD in the Great Lakes Region in the period 2009-2011, entitled: "Hidden War Crimes: Challenging the impunity on sexual and gender based violence in countries of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region". Funded by the Dutch Government's MDG3 Fund, work was implemented in DRC, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, and included:

  • Cultural change and practices on impunity for sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) through working closely with traditional, community and religious institutions.
  • Strengthening institutions and mechanisms of justice, upholding the rule of law and punishment of perpetrators.
  • Engaging regional institutions e.g. the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR); Law and protection agencies - sensitizing and collaborating with the police, army and judiciary.
  • Advocating and lobbying for reparations for survivors of conflict and post conflict.
  • Conducting national judicial audits of legal frameworks relating to SGBV;
  • Conducting national studies and regional synthesis on available mechanisms of reparations for SGBV survivors;
  • Developing national (and a regional synthesis) SGBV Indexes

Highlighting the numerous negative consequences of SGBV spanning from psychological, emotional, physical, among others, the documentary tackles comprehensive strategies and mechanisms to address the needs of SGBV survivors through: restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, and satisfaction & guarantee of non-repetition. Non-repetition can only be secured if all stakeholders put in place effective prevention strategies that include actions focusing particularly on: transforming socio-cultural norms, empowering women and girls; designing effective services and facilities; rebuilding family and community structures; working with constitutional and customary legal systems to ensure that their practices conform to international human rights standards; monitoring and documenting incidents of sexual gender-based violence; and bringing perpetrators of violence to justice.

ACORD is presenting a total of 5 events during the CSW57th. Get list of events with time and location here.

  • gender
  • human rights
  • reparations
  • violence against women
  • women
  • CSW team

    Meet the ACORD delegation attending the CSW57 in New York:

      Aminata Ndiaye Gender Thematic Manager

    Salina Sanou   Head of Policy and Advocacy
      Ousainou Ngum Executive Director
      Ellen Bajenja Health Thematic Manager
      Louis Tshiyombo Gender Expert, DRC
      Dennis Nduhura Uganda Country Director
      Clementine Ndade Responsible for Gender, Chad

    Hidden War Crimes

    Challenging the Impunity towards sexual violence, and crimes committed during times of conflict in countries of the Great Lakes Region and finding justice, healing and restitution for the survivors. Watch video