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States Should Use ICC System to Eliminate Grave Crimes against Women
an article by Press release from the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (abridged)

Prosecution of sexual and gender-based crimes must begin at national level, says civil society on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. States should take greater steps to eliminate violence against women and girls in conflict by joining the International Criminal Court (ICC) as well as prosecuting perpetrators of sexual and gender-based crimes at the national level, the Coalition for the ICC said today.

click on photo to enlarge

Marked around the world today, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women brings into sharp focus the work of the ICC to end impunity for sexual and gender- based crimes, as well as the urgent need to restore victims’ dignity and provide them with redress, empowering them to be key actors in peace-building efforts and assume societal leadership roles.

The Rome Statute’s provisions targeting sexual crimes represent a historic advance for international justice. It is one of the first international treaties to extensively address gender- based crimes as crimes against humanity, war crimes, and in some instances, genocide.

Specifically, it recognizes rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced sterilizations, gender-based persecutions, trafficking of persons particularly women and children, and sexual violence as among the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole.

The Coalition has called on states at this week’s annual meeting of ICC members, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), to stay focused on improving the delivery of meaningful justice to the most vulnerable victims of grave crimes through the ICC and Rome Statute system. The Assembly held a dedicated debate on victims for the first time last Friday, where governments, civil society, the Trust Fund for Victims (TVF) and other stakeholders reaffirmed the importance of the victims’ in the Rome Statute system. Women and girls are particularly affected by conflict- related crimes. Read the recommendations of the Coalition’s Gender Justice team to ASP 12.

By ratifying the Rome Statute – the Court’s founding treaty – and implementing its landmark gender provisions domestically, states can ensure greater protection of women’s rights and justice for grave gender-based crimes are guaranteed at both national and international levels.

In June this year, the Coalition welcomed the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2106, adopted unanimously following an open debate on sexual violence in conflict, which recognizes the centrality of ending impunity for the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict and encourages states to strengthen accountability efforts.

Another notable initiative aimed at towards eliminating violence against women is the United Kingdom’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative which aims to strengthen international efforts to respond to sexual violence in conflict, and has been instrumental in bringing the issue to the attention of the international community. The UK has also spearheaded an important initiative to help standardize the documentation of sexual and gender-based violence . . .

[Note: Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.]


Question(s) related to this article:

Protecting women and girls against violence, Is progress being made?

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Latest reader comment:

The 47 CPNN articles devoted to this theme suggest that indeed progress is being made.

This report was posted on November 26, 2013.