Activists behind an app designed to assist doctors document evidence of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo aim to go beyond obtaining justice for rape victims and collect data which could help secure prosecutions for war crimes.
Developed by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), MediCapt allows clinicians to record medical examination results digitally and photograph victims’ injuries, store them online and send them directly to law enforcement officials and lawyers.
In a vast nation plagued by militant violence and poor roads that restrict access to remote areas, PHR hopes the mobile app will lead to more convictions for sexual violence and help Congo to shake off its tag as “rape capital of the world.”
By recording data about both victims and assailants, the app – which is currently in field testing – could also be used to detect mass violence and crimes against humanity and provide evidence for war crimes investigators, according to PHR.
“It has the power to be used as an early warning system or rapid response tool, as the data could show patterns of abuses and violence,” said Karen Naimer, director of the U.S.-based PHR’s program on sexual violence in conflict zones.
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