Seoul Peace Prize

Home > Seoul Peace Prize > Laureates of the Seoul Peace Prize > Laureate 2016

Dr. Denis Mukwege is a gynecological surgeon who is the founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He founded Panzi hospital in 1999 as a clinic for gynecological and obstetric care. Dr. Mukwege and his staff have helped to care for 48,482 survivors of sexual violence, counting up to 2015, victims to conflicts in DR Congo where mass rape was used as a weapon of war. He also contributed to the successful return of these victims to society as ordinary citizens capable of leading healthy lives.

Dr. Mukwege not only treats the physical wounds of rape victims, but also provides general rehabilitation programs to help them get back on their feet. 「Maison Dorcas」is an example of said programs. It doesn't just provide physical and psychological treatment, but also, educational, financial and legal services so that these patients may return to their local communities as healthy citizens. It contributes not just to the recovery of individual patients, but to the recovery of local communities and the restoration of peace in society.

Dr. Mukwege dedicates himself not just to medically treating sexual violence victims, but to preventing further victims by striking at the very heart of the problem. He condemns rape being used as a weapon of war, an inhumane strategy employed by armed forces in DR Congo to secure foothold and mineral resources. He spoke at the UN, advocating that those responsible for sexual violence be brought to justice, and asked the international community to help and actively intervene, raising awareness of these issues, through speeches and press interviews.

Dr. Mukwege has been fearless in his efforts to improve human rights and increase protection for women and children. He is praised as a defender of peace, as he continues to devote himself to ending these unjust wars and conflicts, despite threats on his life and his family.