Workshop on Gender Justice and Complementarity

In Uncategorized by Robin

On 20 and 21 May 2014, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of International Law, Human Rights and Treaty Law, with support from the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, held a workshop in Stockholm entitled “Combating Impunity for Sexual and Gender-based Crimes at the National Level”.  The workshop brought together approximately 30 policy-makers, criminal justice experts from international and domestic jurisdictions, and civil-society representatives, including women’s rights organisations, to exchange experiences and lessons learned regarding strategic approaches to combating impunity for sexual and gender-based crimes and to define common opportunities and challenges.

The event was opened by Sweden’s State Secretary to the Minister for International Development and Cooperation, Tanja Rasmusson, who emphasized the importance of partnerships between key stakeholders in combating impunity for sexual and gender-based crimes and congratulated the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, on the completion of the ‘cutting edge sexual and gender-based crimes policy’ produced by the Office of the Prosecutor.  In her Key Note Address, Prosecutor Bensouda underscored the commitment of her Office to ensuring accountability for such crimes, stressed the necessity of applying a gender analysis to the evidence and the crimes, and stated that this issue had been elevated to one of the key priorities in the new strategic plan as demonstrated by the new Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender Based Crimes. Prosecutor Bensouda encouraged states to strengthen their efforts towards ending impunity for these crimes and to play their part towards a comprehensive system of accountability.

Panelists at the event included:  the Honorable Wivine Mumba Matipa, Minister of Justice and Human Rights of the Democratic Republic of Congo; Brigid Inder, Executive Director of the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice; Joan Kagezi, the Prosecutor of the War Crimes Unit of Uganda’s High Court; experts from the ICC, ICTY and ICTR Prosecutors’ Offices; and local gender justice advocates from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, Sudan, and Uganda.

The Chair’s Conclusions from the workshop included recommendations to ICC States Parties to: welcome the ICC Prosecutor’s Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender Based Crimes at the Assembly of States Parties in December 2014; and to further promote the principle of complementarity by strengthening domestic plans and prosecutions to address sexual and gender-based violence more strategically. The Conclusions will also be shared at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict to be held 10-13 June 2014, organised by the UK Government.

See the programme here.

See the photograph of workshop participants here.

Read the opening speech of State Secretary, Tanja Rasmusson, here.

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