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Coalition for the International Criminal Court: Global Coalition Says National Implementation of Rome Statute Critical to Ending Impunity for Violence against Women

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2008
1:13 PM

CONTACT: Coalition for the International Criminal Court
In New York: Sasha Tenenbaum, Tel.: +6464658524, tenenbaum@iccnow.org
In The Hague: Oriane Maillet, Tel.: +1131703111082, maillet@iccnow.org
In Buenos Aires: Mariana Rodriguez-Pareja, Tel.: + (54911) 5474 66 69, rodriguez@iccnow.org

 
International Women’s Day
Global Coalition Says National Implementation of Rome Statute Critical to Ending Impunity for Violence against Women
 

NEW YORK - March 6 - In honor of International Women’s Day, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), a global network of more than 2,500 organizations in 150 countries advocating for a fair, effective and independent International Criminal Court (ICC), today reiterated a call for governments to ensure justice for women at the national and international levels. The full implementation of the Rome Statute into national laws is an important step toward making certain the landmark standards and protections for women set out in the Rome Statute are enforced for women and girls everywhere. Countries that have ratified the Rome Statute, or are in the process of ratifying, are strongly encouraged to bring their national laws in line with the standards enshrined in the Rome Statute, both in terms of criminalizing the serious crimes contained in the Statute and by assuring that laws make full cooperation with the Court possible.

“In this tenth anniversary year of the Rome Statute, full implementation of the Statute’s robust protections for women is paramount,” said Tanya Karanasios, Program Director of the CICC. “International Women’s Day marks an important opportunity for us to assess how far governments have come in fulfilling the promise of the Rome Statute’s gender provisions and how far they have to go.”

Since the inception of the ICC, NGOs have monitored the Court’s implementation of its gender mandate, in particular regarding the investigation of gender-based crimes and crimes against women. The assessment so far has been mixed. While some arrest warrants have been met with criticism for lack of focus on gender based crimes, last year, the ICC Prosecutor announced that his investigation in the Central African Republic will focus on gender-based crimes. According to the Prosecutor, in this situation, the incidence of rape and other forms of sexual violence far outweighed the number of deaths.

“International Women’s Day brings into sharper focus the urgency of the Court’s work to end impunity for crimes against women,” said CICC Convenor William Pace. “But it also serves as a reminder that we need to push State Parties to the Rome Statute to continually move forward with effective and comprehensive implementation so that protections for women’s rights are guaranteed at both the international and national level.”

Sexual crimes in the Rome Statute represent a historic advance for international justice: the Statute is one of the first international treaties to extensively address gender-based crimes as crimes against humanity, war crimes, and in some cases, genocide. Specifically, the Statute 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.

COMMENTS AND BACKGROUND:

For more information on gender and the ICC and a complete list of some of the International Women's Day activities organized by our members, please visit the Coalition's gender webpage at www.iccnow.org/?mod=gender

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