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Global Justice Center Marks Sixth Anniversary of Rohingya Genocide

Sexual Violence
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.”
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Global Justice Center Marks the First Anniversary of US Supreme Court Ruling Repealing Constitutional Right to Abortion

Reproductive Rights
United States
US Abortion Laws
NEW YORK — On Saturday, the Global Justice will join abortion rights advocates in the United States and around the world in recognizing the first anniversary of the US Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Dobbs ruling ended nearly five decades of constitutional protections for abortion care in the United States. The recent briefing paper “Human Rights Crisis: Abortion in the United States After Dobbs” offers the first investigation into widespread violations of human rights occurring as a consequence of the ruling. The paper was published by the Global Justice Center, Human Rights Watch, Pregnancy Justice, National Birth Equity Collaborative, Physicians for Human Rights, and Foley Hoag. Elena Sarver, Senior Legal Adviser at the Global Justice Center, issued the following statement: “The last year has been nothing less than a ceaseless catastrophe for pregnant people in the United States. Tens of millions live in states where abortion is either heavily restricted or completely unavailable. Patients with dangerous or nonviable pregnancies are being turned away from hospitals and forced to endure cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. And doctors are caught in the middle of it all, forced to choose between their patient’s health and their own livelihoods. “This is a full-blown human rights crisis, and it’s time we treated it that way. Abortion bans violate our rights to health, life, privacy, to be free from torture, and more. Yet for too long, despite efforts to promote human rights abroad, US policymakers have denied these human rights protections to their own people. The experience of countries like Ireland, Peru, and Colombia shows us that human rights can be harnessed to achieve historic advances for abortion rights. “Yet despite the pain we’re seeing around the country, abortion rights advocates are successfully fighting back in many states. It’s critical that we support these efforts and feed them into the international movement to expand abortion access. By this time next year, let’s make abortion accessible and regulated solely as medical care in the United States.”
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190+ Organizations Urge UN Special Rapporteurs to Act on Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court Decision

Human Rights Treaties
Reproductive Rights
United Nations
United States
US Abortion Laws
More than 190 organizations and individuals, including health practitioners and human rights experts, today sent a letter to United Nations experts in response to the United States Supreme Court decision that repealed the constitutional right to abortion. The letter documents how abortion restrictions imposed in the wake of the court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization have deprived women, girls, and persons capable of pregnancy of their human rights to life, health, privacy, liberty, freedom from torture, and more. It goes on to argue that the Dobbs ruling puts the United States in breach of obligations under several legally-binding international treaties it has ratified, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the Convention against Torture. In addition to its call to action, the letter includes original research as well as testimony from physicians around the country. The full letter and list of signatories is here. Dr. Christine Ryan, Legal Director at the Global Justice Center, issued the following statement: “The protections of Roe had long eroded before the court’s ruling, but Dobbs put to rest any doubt of the United States’ failure to meet its human rights obligations. Decades of binding treaties have firmly established abortion as a human right. Now that the violation of this right is clear to all, the international community has a responsibility to act to hold the U.S. accountable.” Christina Hioureas, Partner at Foley Hoag and Chair of the firm’s United Nations Practice Group, the law firm acting for the coalition, issued the following statement: “Dobbs is the nail in the coffin on reproductive freedom in the United States. The consequences of Dobbs is that women, girls and persons capable of pregnancy across the United States are being deprived of critical access to health care and autonomy over their bodies and their lives. Simply put, women and girls will die as a result of this decision. The criminalization of access to reproductive health implicates the United States’ obligations under international law and is, thus, a matter of grave concern for the international community as a whole.” Payal Shah, Director of the Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones at Physicians for Human Rights, issued the following statement: “The Dobbs decision has placed a target on the backs of pregnant patients and health care providers. The criminalization of abortion in many U.S. states has resulted in health care workers being mandated to act in complicity with violations of their patients’ rights, or to face imprisonment, professional sanction, fines, or harassment. As clinicians in this letter and around the country have shared, laws criminalizing abortion care will increase health disparities and impact the provision of health care across many specializations, from emergency medical care to family medicine to oncology and rheumatology. These harms will be most profoundly felt by Black, Indigenous, and low-income women. The international community, including UN Special Rapporteurs, must condemn this egregious rollback of human rights and affirm the U.S.’ obligation to ensure abortion rights.” Lauren Wranosky, Research and Program Associate at Pregnancy Justice, issued the following statement: “The Dobbs decision abandoned the constitutional right to abortion, violated U.S. legal obligations under treaties such as ICCPR, and exposed the fact that Roe was never enough. Many will continue to be jailed, convicted, and sentenced to prison for having abortions, experiencing pregnancy losses, or giving birth to healthy babies. This destroys families, inflicts trauma, and targets the most vulnerable by replacing healthcare with criminalization. We know this humanitarian crisis will only get worse, and we demand that the U.S. government join international peers as a leader in securing reproductive justice for all.” Annerieke Smaak Daniel, Women’s Rights Researcher at Human Rights Watch, issued the following statement: “Abortion is a form of health care needed more frequently by women of color, especially Black women, than white women in the US. Abortion restrictions compound economic, social, and geographic barriers to health care, including contraception, disproportionately impacting Black women’s ability to access the care we need. The US federal government is not meeting its human rights obligation to ensure access to abortion and to address and eliminate structural racism and discrimination in the US, and the impact on the health and rights of Black women is clear.”
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graphic promoting event,

International Law Weekend 2023: Crimes Against Humanity, New Offenses, New Frontiers?

This panel will explore recent developments in justice and accountability for crimes against humanity as well as the ongoing efforts to establish a new treaty on crimes against humanity. Recent demands from civil society seek interpretation and possibly amendment of the Rome Statute and other international criminal law texts to fully encompass crimes involving sexual, gender-based, and reproductive violence, the crime of slavery and the slave trade, and crimes against the environment. This suggests that the legal codification of crimes against humanity in the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court may not yet cover the full range of atrocities and victimization experienced by civilian populations in today’s world. Bringing together civil society as well as those engaged in legal codification efforts is critical to address gaps in justice, peace, and equality. The panel will be conducted in an interactive roundtable format.


Leila Nadya Sadat, James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law, Washington University School of Law; Director, Crimes Against Humanity Initiative; Chair, ABILA Board of Directors


Pablo Arrocha Olabuenaga, Legal and Sanctions Coordinator, Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations Matthew Gillett, Associate Professor, University of Essex; Vice-Chair, United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Akila Radhakrishnan, President, Global Justice Center Hugo Relva, Legal Adviser, Amnesty International Patricia Viseur Sellers, Special Advisor for Slavery Crimes to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court; Visiting Fellow, Kellogg College, University of Oxford Anna Pála Sverrisdottir, Legal Adviser of Iceland to the United Nations
Global Justice Center president Akila Radhakrishnan poses for photo with actress Mariska Hargitay

2023 Women’s Media Awards

The 2023 Women’s Media Award Honorees are:

Mariska Hargitay, Emmy-winning actor, director, producer, activist, Founder & President of the Joyful Heart Foundation, will be honored with the WMC Sisterhood is Powerful Award. Fredricka Whitfield, CNN News anchor, will be honored with the WMC Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award. Karen Lincoln Michel, President of ICT, formerly Indian Country Today, and President and CEO of IndiJ Public Media, will be honored with the WMC Carol Jenkins Award. Emily Ladau, Disability Rights Activist, author of Demystifying Disability, will be honored with the WMC Progressive Women’s Voices IMPACT Award. Koritha Mitchell, award-winning author, cultural critic, literary historian, professor of English, will be honored with the WMC Progressive Women’s Voices IMPACT Award. Akila Radhakrishnan, President of the Global Justice Center, will be honored with the Progressive Women’s Voices IMPACT Award.
panelists speak at event,

Centering Threats Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Mass Atrocity Prevention

This event, held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s High-Level Week, provides an opportunity to discuss the imperative to integrate sexual orientation & gender identity (SOGI) perspectives through a fully gendered approach into mass atrocity prevention, and consider the challenges and opportunities to doing so. The panel will build on the Security Council’s Arria formula meeting in March 2023 which focused on the Security Council’s role in integrating LGBTQI+ rights and perspectives into their efforts in maintaining international peace and security, by exploring the role of the full UN system in SOGI-inclusive atrocity prevention. The event will also be informed by the Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity’s report on LGBTQI+ rights in the context of conflict, post-conflict, and peacebuilding.

Speakers The Rt. Hon. Lord Herbert of South Downs, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on LGBT+ Rights, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Victor Madrigal-Borloz, UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Zohra Mousavi, Special Project Coordinator (Afghanistan Program), ILGA-Asia Kate Ferguson, Co-Executive Director, Protection Approaches Neela Ghoshal Senior Director of Law, Policy, & Research, Outright International Elizabeth Taylor Jay, Vice Minister of Multilateral Affairs, Colombia Jessica Stern, United States Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Akila Radhakrishnan (moderator), Global Justice Center

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