15/10/2018 – Protection International welcomes the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Yazidi activist Nadia Murad and Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege for their fight against sexual violence in armed conflicts and congratulates them on this recognition. In addition, as Dr. Denis Mukwege has long been one of its partners, Protection International addressed him a personal letter.
Protection International thanks him for his great contribution to women’s rights and peacebuilding, which is a source of hope and inspiration for many in the Democratic Republic of Congo and abroad.
Protection International applauds the fact that the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize recognizes the suffering of women victims of sexual violence as much as the work of two people who are “sentinels of human rights protection”, as Dr. Denis Mukwege said at Protection International’s 2017 roundtable in Brussels.
Read the open letter Protection International addressed to Dr. Denis Mukwege here.
“When defending the rights of others, one must still be capable of protecting his or herself. This is what we do with Protection International.”
Dr. Denis Mukwege.
In the last 20 years, due to the violence of armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the work of Denis Mukwege has evolved from a doctor to a human rights defender.
Since 2010, Protection International has been working side by side with Dr. Mukwege and Panzi Foundation, which supports the homonymous hospital founded by Mukwege in 1999 as a response to the devastating war in his country.
Protection International has provided support to Panzi Foundation and hospital’ staff by:
- facilitating technical assistance for their security management, their protection and their capacity building;
- training all Panzi Foundation project managers, including those working in remote areas on how to communicate with local population and react to threats;
- training each hospital head of service to conduct risk analysis; and
- creating a platform to unite HRDs and strengthen their work.
The announcement of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on October 5th 2018 has been received with great enthusiasm all over the world and particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as this is the first time that the Nobel Prize has been awarded to a Congolese:
“I am very glad to see the efforts of Dr. Mukwege to end sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am very proud that the Nobel Prize has been for the first time attributed to a Congolese, and to a partner of Protection International.”
“The Nobel Peace Prize will have a positive impact on the security of Dr. Mukwege, who has been victim of several assaults. Since the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Mukwege has not changed his daily routine. He kept on receiving patients, organizing meeting with his staff… He remains himself, a gynecologist and an active and humble human rights defender.”
Balzac Buzera, Protection International’s programme manager based at the Panzi Foundation in Bukavu, South Kivu, RDC.
Watch the video on Dr. Denis Mukwege sitting down with Protection International and explaining how through his work, he evolved from a doctor to a human rights defender – and the security risks that came along with this transformation (French with English subtitles).