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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US Abortion Restrictions of Foreign Aid Perpetuate Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 21, 2014 

[NEW YORK, NY & GENEVA] - Today marks the 20th anniversary of U.S. ratification of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). Yet to this day, the U.S. repeatedly fails to meet its commitments under the treaty with its abortion restrictions on foreign assistance to girls and women raped in armed conflict.

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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May News Update: On the Helms Amendment and More

In March we were busy running back and forth to the UN for the 54th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). In this issue of GJCNews, we want to share with you our staff's stories from those amazing two weeks and introduce you to some of the incredible women leaders we look forward to collaborating with as we continue to use the law to enforce the rights of women around the world.

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July News Update: Human Rights in Iran

 "Human rights is universal - it equally applies to all human beings and it is the collective wisdom of all faiths, religions and peoples." -Shirin Ebadi, San Francisco Jewish Communtiy Center, May 18, 2009

When Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi spoke these words "in conversation" with GJC President Janet Benshoof on May 18th, the packed auditorium at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco broke into applause. It was a historic and profound evening, as these two legal pioneers explored topics ranging from how Iranian feminists in the lead-up to the elections forced candidates to talk about human rights and equality and the important role international law has and must play in enforcing equality and universal human rights.

Much has happened in Iran since this remarkable evening, but the principles that were discussed remain unchanged. The day before the elections in Iran, Dr. Ebadi wrote in a Washington Post editorial that "the true mark of success in Iran will be an election that follows due process...a healthy, functioning and fair legal system is the people's long-term guarantee for greater human rights." As we now know, the Iranian election and the government's response in the following days and weeks regrettably did not follow this ideal.

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The Global Justice Center Announces the Establishment of the Michael Sandler Fund for Global Justice, in honor of Founding Board Chair Michael Sandler

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  - May 8,  2009

[NEW YORK, NY] - The Global Justice Center proudly announces the establishment of the Michael Sandler Fund for Global Justice.  Michael Sandler was the Founding Board Chair of the Global Justice Center and gave $650,000 to support pre-founding pilot projects and the initial start up funding to the Center. In just three years, his investment promoted gender justice and the highest global legal standards for equality.  The fund seeks to honor his lifetime commitment to social justice issues by matching the $650,000 that he gave to the Global Justice Center in the last years of his life.

International Human Rights Group Lambastes New Burma Constitution for Giving Junta officers Amnesty for Rape and other Crimes and Disenfranchising Women from Forever Holding Top Government Offices; Urges the United Nations to Reject Junta’s CEDAW Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -October 24, 2008

[NEW YORK, NY] – On Monday October 27, 2008, the 42nd session of the CEDAW Committee (the enforcement body for the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women) will meet in Geneva to question representatives from Myanmar/Burma on the junta’s compliance with CEDAW, which they ratified July 22, 1997.

July News Update: GJC Updates

In less than three years, the Global Justice Center has dramatically expanded the scope and influence of its programs. This summer we've been on the move and taking our work to a whole new level! We just relocated to a new office that will provide work and research space for our growing staff and allow us to host interns, colleagues and researchers from around the world.

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EU RESOLUTION URGES UK TO USE PRESIDENCY OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL TO REFER BURMA TO THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -May 27, 2008

[NEW YORK, NY] – The United Kingdom should follow the recommendation of the Parliament of the European Union and use thepresidency of the UN Security Council to press for justice and accountability for the people of Burma by referring Senior General Than Shwe and his military regime to the International Criminal Court. The denial of humanitarian aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis should serve as a wake-up call to the international community to the brutality and indifference of a military regime that for four decades has systematically used torture, gang rape of ethnic women, slavery, murder, mass imprisonment, and child soldiers to consolidate its power.

Catastrophe in Burma a Wake Up Call to the International Community: Time to End Impunity for Heinous Crimes by the Military Regime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -May 22, 2008

[NEW YORK, NY] – Senior General Than Shwe’s denial of international humanitarian aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis should come as no surprise to the international community. This negligence and refusal of access is part and parcel of the criminal nature of the regime and reflects their fear that the entire world will see first hand the results of decades of systematic human rights violations, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Today, the Parliament of the European Union made an important statement in the Joint Motion for Resolution on the tragic situation in Burma and recognized that those responsible for the crimes committed in Burma should be brought before the International Criminal Court. We applaud this step forward, however, any referral to the International Criminal Court must include the on-going use of torture, gang rape of ethnic women, forced labour, murder, mass imprisonment, and abduction of children to fill military quotas.

April News Update: Criminal Accountability in Burma

As we were finishing this month's e-news on criminal accountability in Burma, we were saddened and shocked to hear of the catastrophic cyclone that hit the country this past weekend. The Global Justice Center first wants to extend our deepest sympathy to the people of Burma who have been impacted by the cyclone.

This devastating event has increased immeasurably the suffering of people who were already in dire circumstances and now must struggle to find clean water, food and rebuild their homes and lives. Although information is still coming out, estimates are now reaching 100,000 dead and over a million homeless, making this natural disaster second only to the 2004 tsunami that devastated the region. There are now concerns that the military regime is not permitting international aid agencies full access inside Burma to deliver aid and help the cyclone victims.

Photo: Paul Arps / CC BY 2.0

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