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Legal Advocacy on Behalf of Survivors of Military Sexual Assault

The clinic is representing twenty-seven former service members who were sexually assaulted while serving in the U.S. military in a petition before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The petitioners had faced retaliation from their chain of command for reporting the incidents, and none received sufficient access to judicial remedies. These cases are the first brought by survivors of sexual violence against the United States before an international human rights tribunal. The petitions are still pending, the first having recently moved into the admissibility stage.

The clinic’s advocacy has also included advocacy before the United Nations’ human rights bodies on the issue of military sexual assault. With its partners, the clinic submitted shadow reports to the U.N. Committee Against Torture, the U.N. Human Rights Committee, and the U.N. Human Rights Council, and clinic students participated in the U.N. bodies’ reviews of the United States in Geneva. The human rights bodies have subsequently highlighted military sexual violence in their concluding observations or reports and called upon the U.S. to take action to prevent such violence and afford redress to its victims.

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