Press Releases

President Obama Urged to End U.S. Violation of the Rights of Rape Survivors in Armed Conflict

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—August 25, 2011

To coincide with the anniversary of the U.S. signing the Geneva Conventions, the Global Justice Center launched the global “August 12th”campaign to urge President Obama to immediately lift the “no abortion” restriction attached to all U.S. humanitarian aid for medical care given to girls and women raped and impregnated in armed conflict.

[NEW YORK, NY] – Thousands of girls and women raped and impregnated in armed conflict face additional suffering by being routinely denied abortions in humanitarian medical settings. The Geneva Conventions mandate “comprehensive” and “non-discriminatory” medical care to the wounded and sick during armed conflict and United Nations treaty bodies and courts characterize deliberate denial of abortion to impregnated rape victims as cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Yet, the United States (the “U.S.”) attaches a “no abortion” prohibition to all U.S. humanitarian aid, including for war rape victims whose rights are guaranteed under the laws of war. Therefore, the Global Justice Center (the “GJC”) coordinated a consortium of over 3,000 leading legal, human rights, public health and humanitarian organizations and experts from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, and Latin & South America to urge President Obama to immediately lift the “no abortion” restriction attached to all U.S. humanitarian aid. Click here to view the GJC’s letter to the President.

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The August 12th Campaign: Urge President Obama to Rescind the Abortion Restrictions Placed on All Us Humanitarian Aid for Girls and Women Raped in Armed Conflict

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July, 2011

GJC President Janet Benshoof: “The “no abortion” policy, attached to all US humanitarian aid for victims of rape in armed conflicts, is both deadly and illegal. Now is the time to pressure President Obama to bring the U.S. in compliance with the Geneva Conventions by lifting this ban which he has authority to do with an executive order.”

[NEW YORK, NY] - August 12, 2011 will mark the 62nd anniversary of the adoption of the Geneva Convention of 1949. This cornerstone of International Humanitarian Law (“IHL”) extends to “wounded and sick” civilians the right to comprehensive and non-discriminatory medical care during armed conflict. Yet today one group of civilian victims – namely girls and women impregnated through rape during armed conflict – is routinely denied complete medical care in international humanitarian settings. Specifically, these victims are denied the option of abortion in violation of their rights under the Geneva Conventions and IHL.

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