Global Justice Center Applauds Senate Committee Vote Against Global Gag Rule

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 8, 2017

[NEW YORK, NY] – On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee moved to reinstate funding for the United Nations Population Fund and overturn Trump’s reinstatement and expansion of the Global Gag Rule. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen from New Hampshire proposed an amendment to the 2018 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill that would overturn Trump’s expanded version of the Gag Rule, reinstate US contributions to UNFPA and limit the power of any future president to reinstate the Gag Rule. The amendment was approved with the votes of two female republicans, Senator Collins from Maine and Senator Murkowski from Alaska, but still needs to pass the full senate to become law.

GJC’s Statement on Iraq Requesting International Assistance in Bringing Daesh to Justice

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 16, 2017

[NEW YORK, NY] -  GJC welcomes Iraq’s letter to the UN requesting assistance in bringing Daesh to justice and thanks the United Kingdom for its efforts in negotiating a UN Security Council resolution. We reiterate our call that all investigations and prosecutions must ensure accountability for gender-based crimes, including those amounting to genocide, by all actors. We also express concern over reports of current Daesh prosecutions that focus solely on terrorism crimes, extrajudicial killings and torture of those thought to be Daesh-aligned and accordingly, call on the Iraqi Government to ensure due process in line with international human rights standards.

We also urge the Iraqi government to ensure that enabling legislation is adopted to incorporate genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity into domestic law in order to ensure that prosecutions reflect the full criminality of the acts in question. The global community must hold the perpetrators of these horrific crimes accountable for their actions, and ensure victims and survivors receive their entitled reparations, including redress and reparations for sexual and gender-based violence. Finally, we call on all parties in Iraq and the Global Coalition against Daesh to ensure respect for international humanitarian law (IHL), including by ensuring access to comprehensive medical and psychosocial care for victims, and to take concrete steps to rescue all remaining Yazidi women and children held captive by Daesh.

For more information contact:

Stephanie Olszewski (New York), Global Justice Center, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +1.212.725.6530 ext. 211
 

On the Third Anniversary of the Massacre at Sinjar, the Global Justice Center and Bar Human Rights Committee of England & Wales Call for Justice for the Yazidi Genocide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 3, 2017

[NEW YORK, NY] - Today is the third anniversary of the massacre at Mount Sinjar where ISIS fighters murdered thousands of Yazidi men and enslaved thousands of Yazidi women and girls. Despite the fact that the UN and the European Parliament have accepted that crimes committed against the Yazidis constitute genocide, there has not been a single prosecution of ISIS fighters for these crimes.

G20: Women’s rights are not a political bargaining tool

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 8, 2017

[NEW YORK, NY] - On the occasion of the G20 Summit on June 8 and 9th, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany, the Global Justice Center renews its calls to world leaders to uphold international law safeguarding the rights of women and girls.

June News Update: We're on the Air!

That’s Illegal! is the Global Justice Center's new podcast about the importance of international law, why we have it and why we should implement it. Each episode, GJC's legal experts and special guests discuss current events, break down the legality of what's happening and explore possible avenues for positive change.

In our latest episode we are joined by Sareta Ashraph, an international law barrister with expertise in humanitarian law and criminal law, to discuss the genocide ISIS is committing against the Yazidi. 

Listen to Our Podcast

"That's Illegal" Episode 4: Genocide and Justice

Listen to GJC staff and Sareta Ashraph, an internationally-recognized attorney and expert in the field, discuss the ongoing genocide committed by ISIS against the Yazidi in "Genocide and Justice," a two-part epsode of our "That's Illegal!" podcast.  Find us on iTunes and Soundcloud.

 

June News Update: No More Compromises

In May, the Trump administration announced an updated policy greatly expanding the Global Gag Rule. This will have a drastic effect on $8.8 billion in US health care aid. As a result, millions of women and girls around the world will lose access to contraception and maternal health care. Hundreds of clinics serving in-need populations around the world will be forced to close. Women will die.

For more, please read my recent Op-Ed piece published in Ms. Magazine, on how to fight this odious policy.

Read the Full Newsletter

May News Update: We Are Ready. We Are Fighting Back

We saw this coming. In January when Trump first took office as an anti-choice president, he immediately re-instated the Global Gag Rule. We knew there was more to it and yesterday with his newest policy, “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance,” Trump confirmed that he has expanded these anti-abortion restrictions to impact $8.8 billion in global health assistance. This expansion is unprecedented.

We are ready. We are fighting back.

We are not in the same place we were when the Gag Rule was instated by Reagan or Bush. We will not let Trump take us backward. We can and do demand radical change against policies that are deadly to women and do no respect the lives of women.

Read the Full Newsletter

President Trump Expands Gag Rule to $8.8 Billion in Aid

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — May 15, 2017

[NEW YORK, NY] -  Today, Donald Trump is announcing a new policy entitled “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance." This policy will massively expand the Global Gag Rule by drastically increasing the amount of global health assistance funds and government programs that will be covered, affecting some $8.8 billion dollars. In the past the Global Gag Rule has been limited to overseas family planning assistance only. This new policy is said to cover a broad range of funds for global health, including maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, malaria and family planning.

Women and Girls Deserve Equal Protection for Medical Services Under IHL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — May 15, 2017

[NEW YORK, NY] -  Today, the UN Security Council holds its Open Debate on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence under Uruguay’s presidency. In the concept note, Uruguay reflected on the findings of the new UN Secretary-General’s report on how rape is used as a weapon of terrorism and genocide. They cited the example of the crimes Daesh is committing against ethnic minorities such as the Yazidi in North Iraq and Syria, including using rape as a non-killing crime of genocide. Yet, to date, no trial has been held to prosecute perpetrators of this ongoing genocide.

May News Update: Congress Voted Against Human Rights

In April, the United Nations contacted the Trump administration and warned them that repealing the Affordable care Act and leaving millions without health coverage would violate the US’s legal obligations under international human rights treaties.

Yesterday, the Trump administration and the US Congress ignored these warnings.

When governments fail to stand up for human rights it is up to the people and civil society to stand strong and speak up.   

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"That's Illegal" Episode 1: The Laws of War

Listen to GJC's legal experts explain the purpose of international laws of war and how they apply to the recent U.S. bombing and actions in Syria and Afghanistan. Find us on iTunes and Soundcloud.

April News Update: Holding War Criminals Accountable

In 1945, on the ninth day of testimony at the Nuremberg Trials, the prosecutors introduced a damning piece of evidence - a film that showed the gas chambers at Dachau. Nineteen Nazi war criminals were convicted, and the Nuremberg Trials helped establish an international system of criminal law that included the adoption of the Genocide Convention.

 The Genocide Convention has some of the strongest protections under the law for victims, but its effectiveness rests on states fulfilling their obligations to prevent, suppress and punish genocide.

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On Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide, GJC Calls on the International Community to Uphold the UN Genocide Convention

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — April 7, 2017

[NEW YORK, NY] - Today marks the 23rd Anniversary of the start of the Rwanda genocide when 80% of the Tutsi population in Rwanda was exterminated. Over the course of 100 days, up to a half million Tutsi women were raped, sexually mutilated or murdered. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda handed down the first conviction for the use of rape as an act of genocide.

Jordan Must Arrest Al-Bashir and End Impunity for Genocide and War Crimes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE— March 29, 2017

[NEW YORK, NY] - Yesterday, Jordan welcomed Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s President, for the Arab League’s annual summit. Bashir is attending despite two longstanding arrest warrants from the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his actions in Darfur, including rape, murder, torture and extermination. He has been charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity and has been a fugitive from the ICC since 2009.

March News Update: My Trip to Europe

I’m back very recently from meetings in Brussels and London and we are not alone! The growing resistance to Trump’s actions to undermine women, including by censoring abortion-related speech globally, is real and growing.

I am convinced that the Trump debacle has opened up unforeseen opportunities to make radical advances to improve the rule of law, including women’s rights.

I was invited to meet with the EU officials to discuss ways the EU could fight the US abortion restrictions. I presented at a parliamentary briefing and we equipped European policy makers with charts and memos on the likely impact of the restrictions on EU humanitarian aid.

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