Global Justice Center Blog

Report to Human Rights Committee on US Abortion Bans as Violations of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Since the United States (US) was last reviewed by the Human Rights Committee (HRC) nearly a decade ago in 2014, there have been significant developments in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for women, girls, and people who can become pregnant living in the US, including the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision in June 2022. This decision overturned the constitutional right to abortion in the US after 50 years of precedent following the US Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973.

Human rights experts warned before the Dobbs decision that overturning Roe would violate the rights of women, girls, and all people who can become pregnant in the US, as well as healthcare providers’ rights. Following the decision, the experts noted that whereas the restrictive new legal environment would not reduce the need for abortions, it would be guaranteed to increase the number of women and girls seeking clandestine and unsafe abortions, particularly for people of color and those living in poverty, and would fuel abortion stigma, leading to abuse of people in need of post-abortion care.

They added:

The decision to continue a pregnancy or terminate it must fundamentally and primarily be a woman’s decision as it will shape her whole future personal life and family life. The right of a woman to make autonomous decisions about her own body and reproductive functions is at the very core of her fundamental right to equality, non-discrimination, health, and privacy.

As our submission details below, the restrictive environment around abortion in the US now also violates the rights to life and to be free of torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment (CIDT), as well as rights to free expression and movement, as guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

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Rohingya Genocide Commemoration: A time for reflection, inclusivity, and solidarity


For the Rohingya Genocide Commemoration, USCB, BROUK, GJC, and UUSC will bring together a panel on the eve of the Rohingya Genocide. This event will not only remember those that were lost during the 2017 genocide, but also the people of Burma still suffering under the Burmese junta today. Our panel will also discuss the policies and provisions that are currently in place, but have yet to be implemented/utilized. They will also outline the steps the international community, including the U.S. administration, must follow moving forward and share updates from the ICJ and Argentinian cases. This is a time of solidarity to unite and support each other and move towards an inclusive democratic Burma.

Global Justice Center Marks Sixth Anniversary of Rohingya Genocide

NEW YORK — The Global Justice today joins its Rohingya partners as well as human rights activists around the world in commemorating the sixth anniversary of the Rohingya genocide.

Akila Radhakrishnan, president of the Global Justice Center, issued the following statement:

“The sobering reality on today’s anniversary is that the Rohingya are in a condition no less dire than the one they fled six years ago. Nearly a million are barely surviving in refugee camps with no ability to safely return home. A similar number remain in Myanmar, enduring massive rights restrictions and insecurity under the same authority responsible for their genocide.

“This is an accelerating human rights catastrophe, and the international community must reckon with its responsibility for it. Impunity is the foundation upon which genocidal military leaders staged their coup in 2021, and it continues to serve as fuel for its brutal campaigns of persecution. Through its failure to take meaningful action, bodies like the UN Security Council have condoned and sustained this impunity.

“Our international institutions helped to foment this crisis — they can help end it too. Existing sanctions and international court cases are critical steps, but it’s nowhere near enough. The world must listen to Rohingya, who have been clear about what they need from the beginning: accountability for perpetrators, an end to discriminatory policies against them and a pathway to a  safe, dignified return to Myanmar. They deserve no less.”

Advancing Gender Justice in the Draft International Crimes Against Humanity Treaty

A New International Treaty on Crimes Against Humanity

A new treaty on crimes against humanity (CAH) is being considered at the United Nations (UN). The proposed treaty has significant potential to advance justice for gender-based crimes. But in order to achieve a strong gender-just and survivor-centered treaty, diverse civil society organizations around the world must engage in the treaty development process. 

While genocide and war crimes are codified in standalone conventions, there is no analogous individual international treaty that codifies and establishes duties on states to prevent and punish crimes against humanity. To address this gap, the UN’s International Law Commission (ILC) prepared the Draft Articles on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Humanity, which provide a starting point for the discussion and negotiation of a new international treaty on crimes against humanity.

Where is the Treaty Now?

The draft treaty is currently being considered by the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) Sixth Committee, its legal committee. In April 2023, states convened a week-long special resumed session of the Sixth Committee dedicated solely to exchanging views on the substance of the draft treaty. A second, similar Sixth Committee session to discuss the draft treaty will take place in April 2024, and states will make a formal decision on next steps in October 2024.

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