Monitoring and Training
During 2004 and 2005 we monitored the continuing conflict and the ICC investigations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
In January 2005, the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice conducted a Gender Training Seminar for the ICC Investigation Team for the DRC on the investigation of gender based crimes, effective interviewing of victims/witnesses of sexualized violence, psycho-social issues for survivors of sexual violence, and political and historical aspects of the conflict in eastern Congo.
During 2005 we produced outreach resources in French – Rights and the Rome Statute – on the rights of victims and witnesses under the Rome Statute for distribution in the DRC particularly the eastern regions where the ICC is focusing its investigations. Information Card Series: Rights and the Rome Statute
We raised awareness of the issues for child soldiers, particularly girl soldiers in the conflict in the Congo. In March 2005 we collaborated at a forum to highlight gender issues for children in conflict situations especially girl soldiers.
In December 2005 the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice along with the Faith and Ethics Caucus of the CICC and AJEDI-KA/Project Enfants Soldats (DRC) hosted the launch of a documentary on justice for child soldiers in the DRC which includes interviews with girl soldiers. The documentary Duty to Protectwas produced by AJEDI-KA/Project Enfants Sol
Other Activities in the DRC in 2006-2008
- Translation of Rights and the Rome Statute Information-Card series into Swahili.
- Continue to liaise with local and international NGOs on the conflict and continue to monitor the ICC’s investigations.
- Advocate for inclusion of gender based crimes in the ICC indictments.
- Training for women’s groups in the DRC on the Rome Statute; the rights of victims and witnesses; domestic implementation of the international gender standards established by the Rome Statute; supporting the capacity of women’s groups working with victims/survivors of gender based crimes, and sustaining themselves and their communities during conflict.
- Development of a communication strategy for informing and consulting women in the DRC on developments at the Court at the time of indictments, issuing of arrest warrants, the pre-trial stage and the initiation and progress of trials.
- Co-organise with local women’s NGOs, a Community Forum for women to assess the outcomes for justice provided by the ICC; to assess the impact of the Court on the situation in the DRC; assess the effectiveness of the Court as an institution providing accountability for perpetrators of egregious crimes specifically gender based crimes; assess what has been gained for the women in the DRC through the work of the ICC; and identify the most pressing issues for women in terms of justice, rehabilitation and re-settlement, education and promoting women’s human and legal rights.