May News Update: This Mother's Day, Stand With Women and Girls

This Mother’s Day it is important to remember that when women have a say in governance, the world becomes a better place. This is why GJC works to empower women and ensure their equal rights around the world.

A recent example of this is our work on gender and genocide. I just wrote a blog post on how crimes against women are often overlooked and go unpunished. GJC is demanding accountability and action in face of these crimes.

Thank you,

Akila Radhakrishnan

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April News Update: The Clock is Ticking: No Justice for Girls Abducted by Boko Haram

 

It has been two years since Boko Haram abducted nearly 300 Chibok Christian schoolgirls. The global rallying cry to “Bring Back Our Girls” has not stopped Boko Haram from targeting women and girls with heinous crimes including kidnappings, rapes, forced pregnancies, forced conversion, and murder by forced suicide.

While the Chibok girls remain in captivity, Boko Haram continues to act with total impunity abducting an estimates 2,000 more women and girls.

The fundamental ideologies of groups like Boko Haram and ISIS rely on women being chattels, inferior, and disposable. The global call to “Bring Back Our Girls” must go beyond rescue and include a demand for global justice for all women and girls suffering under extremists.

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Thank You for Making 2015 an Incredibly Successful Year at the Global Justice Center

We are so honored to strive for justice and equality with friends and partners like you. Best wishes to you and your loved ones for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2016!

With Gratitude, 

Janet, Phyu Phyu, Akila, Stephanie O, Stephanie J, Michelle, Grant, Zoe, Kay, Anji, Pinky & Magda

November News Update: #ArrestKoKo

The Burmese (Myanmar) election is front page news across the globe, and the results are demonstrating many victories for Burma’s National League for Democracy (NLD). This election shows how urgently the people of Burma want change. However, the bleak stuctural barriers to democracy, especially the Constitution that guarantees 25% of the parliamentary seats and blanket immunity to the military are even more apparent.

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October News Update: Almost Nothing Has Changed

How have the lives of women and girls surviving conflict situations improved in the last 15 years? As Women’s Rights Leader Julienne Lusenge of the DRC reflected on the international community’s response, “almost  nothing has changed.”

Last week, we also released our comprehensive report, produced in collaboration with the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice. The report documents gross inaction to fulfill Burma’s international obligations to ensure gender equality. Women will never enjoy equal rights in Burma without dismantling structural barriers to gender equality. Read “Promises Not Progress: Burma’s National Plan for Women Falls Short of Gender Equality and CEDAW

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August News Update: August 12th Anniversary

When will the US uphold the principles of the Geneva Conventions for women raped in war?

Today marks the 66th anniversary of the United States signing the Geneva Conventions. Yet, due to US policy, women and girls raped in war are still denied their right under international law to all necessary medical care, including access to safe abortions. This includes the women and girls brutally raped and forcibly impregnated by Boko Haram in Nigeria.

This summer, lawyers from the Global Justice Center traveled to Nigeria in support of our new Gender, Genocide and the Responsibility to Rescue project. We learned that many are concerned about the immediate needs of victims of violence—food,  shelter, and medical care—this includes access to abortion services.

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July News Update: Coalition Calls on Obama to Lift Abortion Ban

Today, the Global Justice Center and over 55 human rights, medical, and legal organizations throughout the world, including in conflict countries, sent a letter to President Obama urging him to lift the abortion restrictions on US foreign aid. The abortion ban for women and girls raped in armed conflict violates their rights as guaranteed by the Geneva Conventions and has dangerous, even fatal, consequences.

The clock is ticking. President Obama has less than two months left to respond to the UPR recommendations. The Global Justice Center urges the President to overturn the ban so that U.S. aid will serve its purpose, lives will be saved, and suffering will be alleviated.

Read the joint letter to President Obama here.  

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March News Update: This International Women's Day, Stand Up for Women and Girls

Today is International Women’s Day, and around the world thousands of women and girls are being used as a weapon of war in places like Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria and Iraq.

GJC is committed to holding groups and states that use rape as a weapon of war accountable. We advocate at the United Nations and governmental levels to ensure the international community fulfills its obligation to find war criminals and bring them to justice. Watch my keynote address at New York University School of Law’s Third Annual Law Women Summit this last month to learn more.

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February News Update: Making Strides in Burma

In collaboration with Fordham Law School’s Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, GJC developed trainings and materials to empower activists in Burma to harness and use international law to achieve gender equality and to enforce human rights.

In January, a team of lawyers from GJC and the Leitner Center traveled to Burma with suitcases filled with resource books, workbooks, fact sheets, and USB drives loaded with original training material. Our training focused on how activists, including long-term GJC partner the Women’s League of Burma which represents 13 ethnic women’s groups, can use international law to challenge violations of human rights in weapon of war by the military and illegal land confiscations by the military. Participants attended from all over the country, including from the areas where the conflict still rages.

Burma is just the beginning. In the future, this model toolkit can be deployed in other conflict or post-conflict countries such as Iraq or Sudan.

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December News Update: 41 Years Later, Helms Still Hurts Women Abroad

Forty-one years ago today, in response to the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that upheld women’s right to choose, Congress enacted the Helms amendment in an effort to restrict US foreign aid from being used to provide safe abortion services. Shamefully, for over four decades, the Helms amendement has resulted in the denial of lifesaving abortions to women and girls brutally raped and forcibly impregnated in war.  

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December News Update: Why Burma Shouldn't Be Anyone's "Destination of the Year"

 

When Travel + Leisure magazine this month declared Burma its “Destination of the Year,” the Global Justice Center spoke with journalist Lauren Wolfe to lift the veil on human rights abuses that continue to be perpetrated with impunity in a country deemed to be “on the cusp of great change.”

In Ms. Wolfe’s article published in Foreign Policy, “Come for the Golden Pagodas and Stay for the War Crimes,” GJC Senior Burma Researcher Phyu Phyu Sann spoke about the current environment inside Burma, particularly how the military continues to commit crimes of sexual violence without any fear of prosecution or accountability.

The Global Justice Center is fighting the true democratic reform in Burma. This starts by getting the international community to address Burma’s constitution as a violation of international law and a roadblock to justice for the Burmese people.

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July News Update: International Day of Peace & What it Means for Burma

On July 17th the world celebrated International Justice Day, the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the International Criminal Court.

In honor of this important landmark, the Global Justice Center reaffirms its commitment to enforcing these international human rights laws to create a more just world. In this GJCnews, we share how we are working to use the law to end the impunity of the military in Burma and ensure that the men, women, and children in Burma finally realize justice and peace.

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