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Joint Statement — 2023 Assembly of States Parties to the International Criminal Court

International Criminal Court
International Criminal Law
Joint Statement by Global Justice Center and Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice Your excellencies, dear colleagues, dear friends, Understanding gender justice in international criminal law is a fast and ever evolving field. It begins by seeing that gender justice has always been broader than accountability for sexual violence. We must be alert to the gendered impact of all Rome Statute crimes, strive for gender equality in peacetime as well as armed conflict, and listen closely to what justice means for women and other marginalised groups. Indeed, it must embrace a broader understanding that goes beyond the binary concepts that underpin our shared harmful traditions in ICL. A broader understanding of gender justice is becoming well anchored in the work of the policy, jurisprudential, and institutional developments at the ICC and in the Feminist Foreign Policy considerations that an increasing amount of you, states parties, are bringing to the ASP. These developments are particularly evidenced at this ASP session, where there is one or more gender justice side-events scheduled each day. Read full statement
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International Human Rights Committee Calls on United States to Protect Abortion Rights

Human Rights Treaties
Reproductive Rights
United States
US Abortion Laws
The Human Rights Committee today called on the United States to take all necessary measures — at the federal, state, and local levels — to “provide legal, effective, safe and confidential access to abortion” in line with its international human rights obligations. The committee further recommended the US harmonize its laws and policies with World Health Organization guidelines, which call for the full decriminalization of abortion and that it be made available on request, without grounds-based or gestational restrictions. The Committee is a body of independent experts that monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which the US ratified in 1992. All countries party to the ICCPR are periodically reviewed by the Committee; the US was last reviewed in 2014. Today’s recommendations on abortion rights came as part of the Committee’s “concluding observations” following its October 17-18 review of US compliance with ICCPR. The Committee also issued recommendations on other issues where the committee observed that the US is falling short of its treaty obligations, including on mass incarceration, indigenous rights, Guantanamo Bay, gun violence, LGBTQ rights, and more. Tess Graham, legal advisor with the Global Justice Center, issued the following statement: “The United States is in the midst of an urgent human rights crisis, and the Human Rights Committee is just the latest international institution to recognize it. Since the Dobbs ruling last year, human rights experts from across the international system have raised the alarm. Millions are living without access to abortion or maternity care, and conditions worsen by the day. “The ICCPR protects some of our most fundamental human rights — the right to life, to non-discrimination, and to freedom from torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. The abortion rights crisis imperils all of these rights. Numerous women have nearly died after being denied abortions in the last year; doctors fear prosecution for providing essential care. And fundamentally, millions of people have been robbed of their bodily autonomy by the tightening web of abortion restrictions. In short, the US is manifestly failing to uphold its obligations under the ICCPR. “Many of today’s recommendations concern a post-Dobbs United States. But US abortion policy has never met human rights standards. Around the world, countries are bolstering abortion access while the US stands nearly alone in its regression. If the US wishes to end its pariah state status and become the leader on human rights it so often claims to be, abortion must be seen for what is: a fundamental human right.”
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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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