Global Justice Center Blog
Advancing the Legal Enforcement of SCR 1325: Structural and Political Obstacles Imposed by the United Nations
The passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (SCR 1325) in 2000 was a legal milestone for women’s rights to equality and non-discrimination. For the first time the UN Security Council not only recognized the gender-biased impact of internal or country conflict, it also mandated that the UN itself and all member states erect and monitor enforceable protections from such gender-based violence. However, there is still an urgent need to address:
- The lack of any systematic progress towards parity for women as decision-makers in UN sponsored and other peace negotiations;
- The failure to recognize SCR 1325 as a binding international law, particularly, as applicable to transitional justice processes;
- The total exclusion of women stakeholders from such pariah states as Burma who are forced to operate only in exile and because of their difficult legal status are prevented from travel and access to critical INGO and UN networking;
- The discrimination against women survivors/victims of conflict from certain countries like Iraq where the politicized nature of the conflict has led to such actions as the de facto UN “blacklisting”, stopping any UN support to the war crimes tribunal or to women victims of gender crimes under the Saddam regime;
- The absence of any penalties or sanctions for repeated violations of SCR 1325 or country funding conditions based on compliance in country action plans.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) defines discrimination against women and requires states not only to prohibit discrimination but also to take affirmative steps in order to achieve gender equality. The Convention is legally binding upon States that have ratified the Convention and any laws in violation of CEDAW must be struck down.
CEDAW has been used to support affirmative action policies and programs as well as to strike down laws that are in violation of the Convention. These cases carry significant import: the application of CEDAW in domestic courts gives CEDAW legitimacy globally and reinforces the principal that domestic courts are bound by international treaties such as CEDAW.
Criminal Accountability for Heinous Crimes in Burma: A Joint Project of the Global Justice Center and the Burma’s Lawyer’s Council
The Global Justice Center and the Burma Lawyers' Council publish, in a joint project, this fact sheet on criminal accountability for heinous crimes in Burma.
This fact sheet gives information on the project on criminal accountability, and states that the Security Council should end the impunity accorded the Burmese military junta for crimes perpetrated against the people of Burma, as well as establish an Independent Commission of Inquiry. The fact sheet also explains the Security Council's Obligation to Act under Chapter VII.
The Women’s Alliance for a Democratic Iraq (WAFDI) and the Global Justice Center (GJC) jointly organized a three-day conference on women’s rights and international law November 13th – 15th at the Dead Sea, Jordan. Attendees included twenty members of the Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT) and representatives from the President’s ofﬁce, the Prime Minister’s ofﬁce, the Parliament, the Ministry of Human Rights as well as prominent members of civil society. The conference addressed a crucial subject for women in Iraq: sexual violence, as a war crime, a crime against humanity and an instrument of genocide, and its drastic impact on the victims. This issue was addressed in the context of international law and its role in the IHT, with an eye towards having the IHT address these crimes in its upcoming indictments and judgments.