Global Justice Center Blog

Protection of Civilians in Conflict Side Event - Gender and Genocide: Engendering analysis for better prevention, accountability, and protection

From May 22, 2019 1:00 until 2:00

At 10th Floor, Church Center of the United Nations, 777 United Nations Plaza

In December 2018, the international community marked the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. That same month, the Global Justice Center released its latest white paper, entitled Beyond Killing: Gender, Genocide, & Obligations Under International Law. It underscores how gender, and preconceived beliefs related to it, affect perpetrators’ planning and commission of coordinated acts of genocidal violence in order to maximize the destructive impact on vulnerable groups protected under international laws, such as the Genocide Convention.

Genocide and other atrocity crimes, by the perpetrators’ own design, affect women and men in distinct ways by reason of their gender. Women and girls are often directly targeted in non-killing acts of genocide and are disproportionately burdened by the economic and social consequences of genocidal violence, whilst men and boys are often targeted in mass killings in line with their perceived gender roles as leaders and fighters. However, there has been a continued failure by the international community to acknowledge such gender-specificity in legal frameworks for accountability for such crimes, undercutting our ability to mobilize the Genocide Convention’s legal obligations to prevent and punish genocide.

More than 70 years on, genocide and other atrocities are still committed in many parts of the world and much remains to be done to better prevent these crimes and to strengthen accountability frameworks to get justice for victims. This May, the Global Justice Center (GJC) and the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP) would like to invite you to join us for a panel event on the sidelines of the upcoming UN Security Council debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict to raise awareness around the need for the inclusion of a gendered analysis to illuminate the multi-dimensional nature of genocide and other atrocity-related crimes to better prevent their occurrence.

Speakers:

  • Ms. Razia Sultana, Founder and Chairperson of Rohingya Women Welfare Society
  • Mr. Grant Shubin, Deputy Legal Director at the Global Justice Center  
  • Prof. Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum, Director of the Benjamin Ferencz Human Rights and Atrocity Prevention Clinic and the Faculty Director of the Cardozo Law Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights
  • Ms. Juliette Lehner, Associate Political Affairs Officer, UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect
  • Moderator: Dr. Abigail Ruane, Director of the PeaceWomen Programme of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

As space will be limited, please register using this form or email Ms. Liz Olson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5:00pm on Friday, May 17, 2019. A light lunch will be served.

Download event information

Breaking Decades of Silence: Sexual Violence During the Khmer Rouge


By: Maryna Tkachenko

April 17, 2019 marked the 44th anniversary since the Communist Party of Kampuchea (the Khmer Rouge) took over Cambodia. While in power, the party sought to create a Cambodian “master race,” resulting in years of repression, forced labor, torture, and massacres. While the recent trials at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) convicted two Khmer Rouge leaders of genocide, the issue of sexual and gender-based violence perpetrated by the regime was not at the center of discussions.

After decades of silence, survivors of sexual violence are speaking out about their experiences. Working toward justice, accountability, and peace building becomes a challenge when survivors are at risk of being blamed and discriminated against. Hence, in an effort to eradicate the stigma and facilitate transitional justice processes, women in Cambodia are demonstrating the ways in which Cambodian society is impacted years after the Khmer Rouge regime ended.

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The Global Justice Center Mourns Lenora Lapidus

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 6, 2019

[NEW YORK, NY] – The Global Justice Center mourns the passing of Lenora Lapidus, Director of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project and member of the Global Justice Center’s Board of Directors. She passed away at home on May 5, 2019, after a long battle with cancer.

Lenora was a visionary lawyer and pillar in the struggle for women’s rights. She led the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project since 2001, focusing on eliminating gender-based violence and defending the rights of marginalized women. In 2008, she litigated Jessica Gonzales v. United States of America in front of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a landmark case declaring the freedom from domestic violence as a human right.

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What Does a Gender Perspective Bring to Crimes Against Humanity Genocide, and War Crimes?

From May 02, 2019 6:00 pm until 8:30 pm 

At LSE Center for Women, Peace and Security, Wolfson Lecture Theatre

Overview:

The event marks the public launch of the Gendered Peace project which is funded by the European Research Council. In 2014 the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) launched its Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes to strengthen “expertise and commitment to the prosecution of sexual and gender-based crimes”.  Notwithstanding this ambition, five years on, the Court’s track record remains disappointing and it would appear that much more work must be done.  

This event is designed to open up a discussion on the multi-dimensional nature of the core categories of international offences through a gender perspective to evaluate progress, identify setbacks and explore future options.  What does a gender analysis add to our understanding of these offences?  How can international criminal law better deliver on gender justice?

Speakers:

  • Patricia Viseur Sellers, International Criminal Lawyer 
  • Akila Radhakrishnan, President of the Global Justice Center
  • Christine Chinkin,  Professional Research Fellow 

 

Much More Than Language: How the US Denied Survivors of Rape in Conflict Lifesaving Care

Excerpt of Women Under Siege op-ed by GJC Deputy Legal Director Grant Shubin.  

On Wednesday, April 23, 2019, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2467 during the Council’s annual Open Debate on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence. .

After months of German-led negotiations, passage of the Resolution ultimately came down to sexual and reproductive health (SRH)—specifically, whether the U.S. would veto its inclusion in the final text.

The U.S. justified its position by claiming that SRH is a euphemism for abortion services. Not only is this not true—SRH includes, among other things, contraception, safe abortion services, HIV prevention, and prenatal healthcare—but even if it were, abortion services for survivors of sexual violence save lives.

Unsafe abortion causes the deaths of 47,000 people each year and leaves another 5 million with some form of permanent or temporary disability. They may suffer complications, including hemorrhage, infection, perforation of the uterus, and damage to the genital tract or internal organs. In fact, the consequences of denying abortion services have been found to be so severe that it can amount to torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment.

The international community cannot become accustomed or complacent to the Trump administration’s use of domestic politics to hold international rights hostage. Because it is more than just words that are given up last minute on the floor of the Security Council—it’s women’s lives.

Read the Full Op-Ed