Where: Human Rights Watch, 350 Empire State Building, 34th Floor, Conference Room
When: Tuesday, May 25, 2004, 7:00-8:30PM
The Democratic Republic of Congo is emerging from a period of disastrous war marked by violations of international human rights and humanitarian law on a colossal scale. All parties to the conflict have engaged in slaughtering civilians, raping women and girls and holding them for sexual and household service, recruiting child soldiers and using them in combat, and pillaging and destroying civilian property. According to one estimate, these wars have directly or indirectly cost more than three million civilian lives, making this the most deadly war for civilians since World War II.
Even months after the implementation of a political settlement and the installation of the transitional government, armed groups continue to prey upon civilians, particularly in Ituri and the Kivu provinces in eastern DRC. Some of these groups are said to be linked with Rwanda, Uganda, or with national political leaders who have agreed to the political settlement that supposedly ended the war.
Ms. Anneke Van Woudenberg, senior Human Rights Watch researcher for the DRC, will talk about the work HRW has done on north-eastern DRC which has been one of the most violent areas in Congo. This is also the region where the International Crinimal Court will start an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity later this summer.
Ms. Van Woudenberg joined Human Rights Watch in 2002 as the senior researcher on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Since 1999, Ms Van Woudenberg has focused on humanitarian and human rights issues in the DRC working as the Country Director for Oxfam GB during the height of the war. She has provided briefings on the situation in the DRC to the United Nations Security Council, the European Union Development Committee, and the British Parliament.
Previously, Ms Van Woudenberg worked for six years in the private sector for a large multinational bank and Andersen Consulting including assignments in South Africa and Russia. She has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics.
The briefing will be followed by a Question & Answer Session with the audience. Refreshments will be served.
We look forward to seeing you all there!