Search IRRI:




Submission to the Secretariat of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) on the Implementation of the Kampala Declaration in Member States

(25 November 2015) This submission provides an overview of the progress made by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya and Uganda in implementing the ICGLR’s Protocol on the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual Violence against Women and Children (ICGLR Protocol on SV) and the Declaration of the Heads of States and Government of the Member States of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region at the Fourth Ordinary Summit and Special Session on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (Kampala Declaration).

It is submitted by the above-listed national and international non-governmental organisations (NGO) working on the issue of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) through the provision of victim support, advocacy for policy change, capacity building and strategic litigation.

Read the full report.

Renewing the Promise of the International Criminal Court: A Critical Review of the Court’s Role in Promoting Accountability in Africa

When the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC or “the Court”) was adopted in 1998, it was greeted with great fanfare by human rights activists around the world as an important milestone in the progress of the human rights movement. As the Court began to investigate its first cases in 2003-04, many civil society organisations (CSOs) in Africa moved eagerly to work with and support the Court, filled with energy, idealism and the belief that this institution had the power to profoundly change entrenched power dynamics and advance human rights on the African continent.

Surveying the situation now, this idealism had been largely replaced with frustration. In the courtroom, successful prosecutions had proven difficult to mount, and at the time the meeting was held, the case against Uhuru Kenyatta was, as a best case scenario, facing indefinite postponement.

Read the full report.

“Voluntary” departures from Israel leave asylum seekers without status and vulnerable

(08 September 2015) A new report launched today by the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) exposes how Israeli transfers of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers to Uganda and Rwanda leaves them without status and vulnerable to exploitation. “Our research shows that Israel is not only failing to respect its own obligations under international law, but is directly increasing the vulnerability of these asylum seekers and contributing to migration flows to other African countries and to the EU,” said IRRI’s Executive Director Andie Lambe.

The report, “I was left with nothing”: “Voluntary” departures of asylum seekers from Israel to Rwanda and Uganda, is based on interviews with over 20 Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers who were sent from Israel to Uganda and Rwanda between February 2014 and May 2015. Despite claims that the departures are voluntary, all of the interviewees stated that they had left as a result of their detention or the threat thereof, and because they felt that they would not be able to acquire a legal status that would allow them to lead a normal, stable life in Israel. They chose to leave not because they wanted to go to the third countries offered, but because they could not go home. In the words of one Eritrean asylum seeker: “They said: ‘you can either go to your country or to Rwanda.’ I said: ‘if I could go to my country, why would I even be in Israel to begin with?’

Read the full press release (English, Hebrew)
Read the full report.

Read the press coverage of the report:
- Lucy Hovil, “Israel: Refugees not Welcome,” 21 September 2015
- The Guardian article
- Radio France International Interview
- Al Jazeera article
- Al Jazeera TV report (not available in U.S.)

Joint NGO Letter Regarding UN Resolution on Human Rights Defenders

(24 November 2015) We write to you as a group of human rights defenders and civil society organizations located across the world working at national, regional and international levels. We write in regard to the draft resolution entitled ”Recognizing the role of human rights defenders and the need for their protection“ currently being advanced in the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee, and due to be adopted on Wednesday 25 November 2015.

We urge your government to support the abovementioned resolution and to reject amendments, tabled by the African Group, China and Iran, designed to weaken the text.

Read the full letter.