Bolstering redress for child sexual abuse by peacekeepers
We provided REDRESS and Child Rights International Network (CRIN) with research to inform a comprehensive report on enhancing redress and accountability for child sexual abuse by peacekeepers. London partner Jill Concannon and Washington, DC associate Drew Mann led a team of 14 lawyers and legal staff from five offices on the project. The 80-page report is the first to map and assess egregious cases around the world. We also engaged with 66 practitioners and experts who identified lessons learned, interviewed 26 litigation experts, drafted several case studies for the report and hosted a roundtable and workshop on behalf of REDRESS and CRIN.
Although child abuse in missions around the world is well documented, attempts to achieve redress and accountability are often thwarted by the home state of the peacekeepers and the responsible peacekeeping organization. The report includes practical suggestions to improve the chance of justice for victims and to achieve structural reform through strategic litigation. It also outlines the benefits of taking a human rights-based approach. The findings of the report are being used to inform advocacy at the national and UN levels, and set out a roadmap for potential future strategic litigation.
Reforming statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse in Latin America
We undertook a legal mapping of the statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse in nine Latin American countries. A team of 18 lawyers and legal staff from eight offices helped CRIN drive legal reform to support child sexual abuse survivors in the region. These countries are beginning to recognize the scale of sexual abuse in religious institutions in particular, creating pressure for law reform to prevent abuse and ensure children can access justice.
Restrictive limitation periods are common and are currently blocking prosecution and compensation. In collaboration with survivor groups, CRIN has used our research to produce a report on the reforms needed and that are underway to target countries for law reform.
Protecting minors from early and forced marriage in DRC
Our lawyers researched the laws relevant to protecting minors from early and forced marriage (EFM) for the nonprofit Street Child in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A team of four lawyers from three offices supervised by Frankfurt partner Ingrid Wijnmalen reviewed local laws and international and regional treaties ratified by the DRC that have bearing on EFM, and highlighted areas for advocacy and legal education to improve the protection of children’s rights.
The research will feed into Street Child’s “Safer Schools” project in South Kivu, an eastern province of DRC. Here, in collaboration with local partners, its advocacy and dialogue program engages community, religious and traditional leaders, teachers, parents and young people on how to address socially sensitive issues through dialogue and change in their behavior. It may also escalate the program to local, provincial and national authorities.
Image: // Omo Valley, Ethiopia, 2012
© Steve McCurry / Magnum Photos
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