Protest with victims of the Chadian former dictator former dictator Hissène Habré

On International Women’s Day, REDRESS Calls for Reparations for Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Chad 

On this International Women’s Day, a great number of survivors of sexual violence, including many women and girls, are still being denied justice. Access to justice for survivors of sexual violence in conflict (CRSV) is particularly difficult: CRSV is stigmatising for survivors, their families and communitiesoften happens on a very large scale or as a weapon of war and often reflects the patriarchal structures of society, justice, power and the rule of law. 

In 2017, former Chadian President Hissène Habré was convicted on appeal, amongst others, of widespread sexual violence as a crime against humanityperpetrated during his 8-year rule. Victims were awarded millions in reparation. This constitutes a victory for survivors. 

Yet, a second battle has begun, as survivors are yet to receive reparation. Earlier this year, REDRESS, ATPDH and other organisations called upon the African Union to speed up the process of putting in place a Trust Fund for the survivors of Habré’s crimesincluding the women who broke the silence by speaking up at his trial about the sexual violence they endured 

Despite the progress this judgement representsChad remains one of the many countries in which survivors of sexual violence face a myriad of obstacles when searching for justice, including the taboo and stigma surrounding the issue. Reparations, comprising compensation, restitution, satisfaction, rehabilitation and guarantees of non-repetition are essential to redress the trauma and harm caused to survivors of sexual violence, many of them women, and to allow them to reintegrate into society.  

On this International Women’s Day, REDRESS calls on the government of Chad and the African Union to ensure that survivors of CRSV receive reparations without further delay, including measures to ensure the prevention of this type of violence in the future.  

For more information, please contact: 

Ms. Eva Sanchis (English, Spanish), Head of Communications: +44 (0)20 7793 1777; or [email protected].