Dear Prosecutor Bensouda,
The Global Justice Center writes to congratulate the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) on the decision to open a preliminary examination into the deportation of the Rohingya from Myanmar to Bangladesh. Since impunity has long been the rule and not the exception in Myanmar, this examination offers a glimmer of hope that those who have long been oppressed by Myanmar’s military will see some measure of justice. We write to the OTP today with respect to three key issues related to this preliminary examination: (1) to emphasize the need to place the gendered experiences of these crimes at the center of the examination; (2) to urge the OTP to take a broad view to the crimes over which the International Criminal Court (ICC) has jurisdiction; and (3) to provide information with respect to any analysis of positive complementarity.
On the first point, we were pleased to attend a recent event with you at the UNGA in New York “Prosecuting Sexual and Gender-based Crimes at the International Criminal Court.” We applaud the OTP’s commitment to applying a gender analysis in all areas of its work, which has been reinforced by its strong policy on sexual and gender-based crimes. We agree that consideration of the complete nature of the crimes is necessary in order to ensure effective investigations and prosecutions. We urge that this be made a priority in the preliminary examination at hand.
By Hannah Sarokin and Brandon Golfman
The 90s were a time of multiculturalism, grunge music, Friends, and the world-wide web. It was also a decade marked by devastating humanitarian crises, including widespread sexual and gender-based violence. From Rwanda to the Balkans, mass conflict and genocide rattled global security and peace processes and shed light on the resounding failure of the international community to act. The principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) was born from such atrocity.
First addressed by the UN during the World Summit in 2005, R2P is the collective recognition that protecting vulnerable civilians from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity is both a domestic and international obligation. The three pillars of R2P oblige states to protect their populations from such atrocities, require the international community to assist in that protection, and if a state has failed, other states must take appropriate actions to intervene. Despite a unanimous commitment to R2P at the World Summit, there remains a severe gap in domestic implementation, especially in regards to gender.
Grant Shubin, a Staff Attorney at GJC, and Pari Ibrahim, the Founder and Executive Director of the Free Yazidi Foundation published an op-ed in Newsweek about the state of Yazidi women on the second anniversary of the Sinjar Massacre.
Click here to read the full article.
Read Global Justice Center Legal Director Akila Radhakrishnan’s explanation of the gender components of genocide in the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect Blog.
“It’s not enough to just recognize that acts such as sexual violence, abductions, enslavement, forced abortion, and forced impregnation—acts which are disproportionately committed against women—of protected groups can constitute genocide. Rather, the commission of such acts needs to impel action for states and international actors to fulfill their obligations to prevent, suppress and punish genocide. "
Letter to The Honourable Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor, "Re: The Imperative to Prosecute the Abduction of the Schoolgirls in Nigeria as Genocide"
On April 14th, 2015, a year after the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls, the Global Justice Center (GJC) is urging the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, to investigate whether Boko Haram, who recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), is perpetrating genocide against the Christian community in Nigeria. The abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls, among others, in Nigeria is exactly the act of genocide, as defined in the Genocide Convention, called the “forcible transfer of children.” The essence of genocide is not mass killing but the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. Removing children from a group destroys its future, and has been a tool of genocide for as long as the legal concept has existed.
If Prosecutor Bensouda examines Boko Haram’s gender-based abductions as genocide it would put all countries unequivocally on notice that genocide is occurring in Nigeria, propelling them to action. All states and the international community have the duty to prevent and halt genocide. It would also send a powerful message to other perpetrators, including terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria who are increasingly using the kidnapping of young girls and women as a tool in their campaign of terror, that genocide will not be tolerated.
The GJC issued an open letter to the President of the United Nations Security Council today that calls for action on the abduction of schoolgirls in Nigeria by Boko Haram militants in Nigeria.
Global Justice Center calls on International Criminal Court to Investigate Genocide of Chibok Schoolgirls
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 14, 2014
[NEW YORK, NY] – On the night of April 14th, 2014, 276 Nigerian schoolgirls were abducted from their boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria by the terrorist group Boko Haram. The abduction ignited worldwide outrage, sparked a vigorous social media campaign to #BringBackOurGirls, and drew condemnation from political leaders around the world.
GJC President, Janet Benshoof's PowerPoint for Training Women Lawyers in Burma, "Enforcing International Law for Radical Change."
Letter from the Global Justice Center to Norway's Foreign Minister Eide asking for Support for a General Assembly Request to the International Court of Justice for an Advisory Opinion on Burma's Constitution.
Letter from the Global Justice Center to Secretary Hillary Clinton, asking for Support for a General Assembly Request to the International Court of Justice for an Advisory Opinion on Burma's Constitution.