September News Update: Justice for Genocide of the Rohingya

The United Nations couldn’t be any clearer: a genocide has occurred in Burma against the Rohingya and the international community must take action. To remind the world of its responsibility to act in the face of genocide, the Global Justice Center will be engaging the UN General Assembly and other forums to urge world leaders to act to ensure justice and accountability.

Along with our partners at the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, GJC will join the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh and the Minister of Justice of Gambia for a UN General Assembly side-event on solutions to the Rohingya crisis. GJC President Akila Radhakrishnan will about GJC’s work to ensure justice for sexual and gender-based violence against the Rohingya. 

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August News Update: Ready to be Heard on the World Stage

The United Nations, the US Congress, and the European Union are all on summer recess. For the Global Justice Center, however, the struggle for human rights never rests. 

We are busy preparing for a number of high-profile events and forums on the international stage, including an upcoming UN Security Council Arria meeting on accountability in Burma — an issue GJC has worked on for over a decade. We are also gearing up for the UN General Assembly beginning September 17.

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July News Update: Akila's First Year as President

Looking back on my first year as President of the Global Justice Center, I am so proud of all that we have accomplished. We were on the floor of the UN Security Council fighting to preserve gains on reproductive rights in the face of a hostile U.S. administration. Expert UN bodies, including the Fact-Finding Mission for Myanmar and the International Criminal Court, considered our legal analysis of gender-based crimes committed against the Rohingya in their work.

We are more motivated than ever to leverage our expertise into action to break down centuries of patriarchal oppression and inequality. With the steadfast support of our allies behind us and justice on our side, I firmly believe that we can make this vision a reality.

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June News Update: We Won't Go Back

The Trump administration’s new strategy on Women, Peace, and Security is one more glaring example of their dangerous, regressive, and illegal approach to women’s health and rights. The United States is eroding women’s equality at home and abroad by exporting censorship, enacting restrictive abortion policies, and undermining protections for survivors of sexual violence in conflict.

We will not let the Trump administration turn back the clock. Women and girls deserve to live with dignity, in full control of their bodies, and with equal protection under the law.

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May News Update: The Time Is Urgent, And You Must Take It

This May was a whirlwind of events for the Global Justice Center. 

We hosted the inaugural Global Justice Awards, and were honored to see so many friends and allies show their support for our mission. We were inspired by Patricia Sellers' powerful acceptance speech: "to all the young feminist lawyers: go to the places where they say you have no business. The time is urgent, and you must take it."

Taking those words to heart, we advocated for gender justice at events around the world—from the launch of the Gendered Peace project at the London School of Economics to the Gender and Genocide panel on the sidelines of the UN Security Council debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict.

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April News Update: Reproductive Rights at the Security Council

Last week, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2467 on Women, Peace and Security. As a last minute compromise, language on sexual and reproductive heath was removed, undermining the resolution's goal to address the needs of victims of sexual violence in conflict.

Reproductive health care—including access to abortion services—is a critical component of necessary and comprehensive medical care for survivors of sexual violence in conflict. 

We will not allow these priorities to be played against one another. Sexual and reproductive rights must not be sacrificed in order to gain other protections.

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March News Update: No Rollbacks on Gender Justice

The sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is coming to an end, and we have been busy over the last two weeks bringing our legal analysis to the conversations about equality and empowerment. 

While this year's CSW has provided a platform for many crucial and progressive discussions, we are troubled by reports that the United States is working to remove the term "gender" from CSW's outcome document. If realized, this would represent a major step backwards for gender justice.

We cannot accept rollbacks on gender equality. The international community must stand together and fight to uphold the rights of women, girls, and members of the LGBTQ community.

 

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Why I Support the Global Justice Center

Happy International Women’s Day!

My name is Jelena Pia, and I am thrilled to serve as a new board member for the Global Justice Center, an organization that embodies my feminist principles and passion for gender justice.

Every day, but especially today, I am grateful to be a part of the GJC family.As a diplomat and activist, I have seen firsthand how GJC has fundamentally shifted the global conversation on issues relating to justice and accountability for sexual and gender-based violence in conflict.

As a representative of a small country, Andorra, at the United Nations, I was at the forefront of negotiations of international norms and treaties that set new standards for gender justice. The experience taught me the power of access and the injustice that comes with not allowing those who most need it to have a voice.

Joining GJC's board member allows me to continue my journey and stay true to my values. Throughout my career, I made sure to always remember what it means to be a woman from a small country. I know that strengthening women’s leadership and supporting the work of activists is critical to the women, peace and security agenda.

February News Update: Demanding Justice at the UN Security Council

Earlier this month, GJC President Akila Radhakrishnan briefed the United Nations Security Council on accountability for conflict-related sexual violence.

As Akila emphasized to Council members, "When states and the United Nations fail to act, it sends a dangerous message that genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity can be committed with impunity."

We know that, at its core, sexual violence in conflict is an expression of patriarchy and inequality. From Burma to Iraq, the Global Justice Center is fighting to make sure perpetrators of sexual violence are not shielded from justice by antiquated and discriminatory domestic laws.

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January News Update: Trump's Illegal Global Gag

On his first full day in office, the same day as the groundbreaking Women’s March, President Trump reinstated and expanded the devastating Global Gag Rule.

For two years, we have seen the consequences of this destructive and illegal policy—two years of clinics closing, women dying, and doctors being illegally denied their protected right to free speech.

The Global Justice Center is on the frontlines fighting for the rights of women and their doctors to make treatment decisions without interference from the US government. Change is possible, and together we can make the world a safer place for women. 

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December News Update: The Failed Promise of "Never Again"

This December marks 70 years since the ratification of the Genocide Convention, an anniversary that reminds us of the failed promise of "Never Again." 

To mark this important milestone, GJC released a groundbreaking legal analysis of the gender-based crimes of genocide. The report outlines how the continued failure to acknowledge the role gender plays in genocidal violence has undercut the development of an effective legal framework to prevent and punish genocide. 

The international community must learn from the shortcomings of seven decades of genocide prosecutions and failed prevention efforts. With accountability proceedings on the horizon for the Yazidis and Rohingya, the gendered crimes of genocide must not be ignored.

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October News Update: Spotlight on Gender-based Violence

Earlier this month, our partners Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work to end sexual violence in conflict. Sexual and gender-based crimes are in the international spotlight, and GJC is working overtime to make sure that these crimes are investigated and punished.

We just sent ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda our analysis of the crimes committed against the Rohingya, along with a letter urging her to prioritize sexual and gender based violence in the Court's investigation.

Photo: Frank Schwichtenberg / Own Work / CC BY-SA 4.0


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September News Update: Gender and the Rohingya Genocide

Last week, we released the first comprehensive legal analysis of the gender-based crimes committed against Rohingya women and girls in Rakhine State. Days later, ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced the launch of a preliminary investigation into the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya into Bangladesh.

The UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly are both considering the establishment of a mechanism to collect and document evidence of crimes against the Rohingya. As the gears of justice begin to turn, we're working to ensure that a gendered analysis and a focus on justice for gender-based crimes are embedded in every conversation.

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August News Update: Working Towards "Never Again"

August marks the anniversaries of two recent genocides: the Rohingya in Burma and the Yazidi in Iraq. These atrocities highlight the often overlooked but increasingly unavoidable gendered crimes of genocide

Systematic sexual violence was integral to the campaigns that targeted the Rohingya and Yazidi communities for annihilation.  Unless these crimes are recognized and prosecuted as genocide, the international community will continue to miss the warning signs and fail to intervene before the next genocide takes place.

Photo: Anna Dubuis / DFID / CC BY 2.0

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July News Update: GJC Fights Back Against Illegal Gag Rule

Today, the Global Justice Center submitted a formal comment to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar detailing the ways in which proposed restrictions on Title X deny women their fundamental human rights.

The proposed restrictions on Title X, announced by the White House in May, threaten to cut off funding to any health care provider that refers, provides, or even mentions abortion, which will lead to dire consequences, primarily for low-income women. Doctors will be forced to withhold information from women, even when directly asked for it, and women will need to seek information about their medical options elsewhere.

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July News Update: Human Rights Under Threat

This week, President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh has ruled against the rights to birth control and abortion throughout his career. His nomination threatens the protections of Roe v. Wade and signals the growing disparity between the United States and international human rights norms.

With ten years of experience on the progressive interpretation of international law under our belts, we know how to use the power of the law to protect the rights of women and girls around the world.  

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June News Update: Akila Radhakrishnan Named President of the Global Justice Center

The Global Justice Center’s Board of Directors is thrilled to announce that Akila Radhakrishnan has been named the President of the Global Justice Center (GJC). Ms. Radhakrishnan has worked at the Global Justice Center since 2010, most recently serving as the organization’s Vice-President and Legal Director.

“We are delighted that Ms. Radhakrishnan has accepted this position,” says Tracy Higgins, Chair of GJC’s Board of Directors. “Ms. Radhakrishnan served as acting President during a difficult time of grieving and transition for the organization over the past six months. Her leadership during that time, together with her legal expertise and commitment to the organization made it abundantly clear that she is the best person to lead GJC into the future.”

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May News Update: Help Us Fight Trump's Domestic Gag Rule

This week, the White House announced new restrictions on Title X that threaten to cut off funding to any health care provider that refers, provides, or even mentions abortion, leading to dire consequences, primarily for low-income women.

This dangerous policy will deny women their fundamental rights under the US Constitution and international human rights law.

After years of experience fighting against US abortion restrictions on foreign aid, the Global Justice Center has the expertise necessary to counter this new Domestic Gag Rule.

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May News Update: President Trump Puts Women at Risk With U.S. Abortion Gag Rule

The Trump administration proposed a domestic “Gag Rule” last night, banning health centers that provide, refer, support, or assist women in accessing abortion services from receiving Title X funding. This dangerous policy will deny women their fundamental human rights.

Like the Global Gag Rule reinstated by President Trump in 2017, the Domestic Gag Rule will coerce doctors into staying silent about the option to terminate a pregnancy (except in extremely limited circumstances) under threat of losing their government funding. In effect, the Domestic Gag Rule will prevent doctors from providing complete and accurate medical guidance to women. Even if a patient asks directly where she can obtain an abortion, a Title X provider will not be able to provide her with direct information in order to allow her to access her constitutionally protected right.

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