October 31st marked the seventh anniversary of the unanimous passage of Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325 on women, peace and security. SCR 1325 mandates the inclusion of women in all aspects of decision making in conflict prevention, resolution and reconstruction as well as protection of women in situations of conflict and ending impunity for those crimes. Despite some progress, seven years after its implementation much more is needed to ensure that the requirements set forth in SCR 1325 are fully achieved. The GJC continues to push for greater recognition of SCR 1325 as legally binding and thus a means for enforcement of women’s right to participate in all decision making processes as well as to redress and assure accountability for crimes perpetrated against them.
September has obviously been a time of great turmoil, as we dealt with the slow leaks of news, the horrific pictures of atrocity and the deafening silence of the military crackdown in Burma. GJC has the fortune of having a Burmese woman working in our office and during the first few days of the crisis, she was able to speak to some people on the phone in Burma and she read all the Burmese blogs. As the junta cut off cell phones and internet access, her ability to get information from inside Burma was severely, and then totally, curtailed.
Due to our recent trip to Thailand, where GJC staff met with the Burma Lawyer's Council, we are in a position to offer an informed opinion on aspects of this recent crisis. On September 29th, GJC and the BLC issued a joint press release calling for criminal accountability for members of the SPDC cabal. Following the issuance of the press release, on September 28th, GJC president Janet Benshoof was invited to speak on BBC "News 24" during their 8pm program. Additionally, The Nation, South East Asia's English language 'paper of record' printed our press release in full.
As many of you may have noticed, Burma has made its way to the international news media as a result of ongoing protests inside the country over the past few weeks. These protests, many of which have been initiated by the 1988 Generation Student Group, have resulted in arrests by the military regime for allegedly undermining the stability and security of the country. The recent protests are the most significant since the 1988 uprising and the military regime continues to respond with brutality and a complete disregard for human life, as it has done for the past 20 years. The Global Justice Center is pleased with the news coverage about these protests and other attention recently focused on Burma, and we are working to take this opportunity to also raise awareness about the ongoing heinous crimes committed by the criminal regime.
The Burmese junta is the longest running military dictatorship in the world. For the first time since the Rwandan genocide in 1994, the International Red Cross departed from its customary neutrality and released a report detailing the gross level of abuse in Burma and the impossibility of working with the regime. As the 2008 Olympics approaches, many have called on China to withdraw its investments from Sudan. As a result of this joint effort, China responded by sending a diplomatic envoy to Sudan leading to Al-Bashirs agreement to allow U.N. Peacekeeping forces to enter Darfur. Similarly, at the beginning of August, a group of U.S. Representatives introduced House Resolution 610 calling for the United States to take immediate steps to boycott the Beijing Olympic games "unless the Chinese regime stops engaging in serious human rights abuses against its citizens and stops supporting serious human rights abuses by the Governments of Sudan, Burma, and North Korea against their citizens." The current efforts by the global community strongly indicate that it is time that we demand accountability for the crimes committed by the military regime in Burma.
Photo: Robert Coles / CC BY 2.0
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -October 17, 2096
[NEW YORK, NY] – Janet Benshoof, Director and Founder of New York-based NGO Global Justice Center, presented the keynote address at the Women’s Bar Association (WBA) Gala on October 17, 2006. Approximately 1000 members of the legal community attended the event held at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston.
Women are lobbying the Iraqi tribunal--the court trying the war crimes of Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime--to prosecute crimes against women. Iraqi women involved in the effort are concealing their identities out of fear of retribution.
(WOMENSENEWS)--A prominent women's group in Iraq, along with advocates of international law in the United States, are beginning to demand justice for thousands of Iraqi women who suffered under the regime of Saddam Hussein.