Ottawa, Canada – June 15, 2012
The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict welcomes Fatou Bensouda as she today assumes the role of Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“I welcome my African sister Fatou as she embarks upon this important journey. Too often it is only men that sit within our courtrooms, with our voices and suffering silenced. I hope the world will take notice today, support Fatou and our efforts for international gender justice,” said Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, co-chair of the Campaign.
The ICC serves a critical role in ensuring comprehensive justice for survivors of conflict-related and politically motivated violence. Prosecuting the architects of violence is particularly vital for preventing future conflict, including ensuring justice for crimes of rape and gender violence. The reality of modern warfare—including in Burma, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Kenya—is that rape is used as a tactical weapon, often perpetrated with direct consent or ordered by military commanders, government officials, and even Presidents.
“The International Criminal Court is making significant strides towards gender justice. The international community must now provide the new Chief Prosecutor with the tools, mandate, and international cooperation to be effective in her role,” said Advisory Committee member Susannah Sirkin, Physicians for Human Rights.
Bensouda, a Gambian national, will be taking over the role of Chief Prosecutor at a pivotal time when rape and gender violence is on the agenda of the Court, with sexual violence appearing or being pursued as separate charges within current cases. The Campaign supports increasing visibility and the prosecution of sexual violence at the ICC.
All Campaign members are encouraged to write a letter to their Head of State asking their country to support the new Chief Prosecutor and gender justice by ratifying the Rome Statute or, contributing money to the United Nations Trust Fund for Victims.
For more information and to take action see: http://bit.ly/supportfatou
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The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict
613-569-8400 ext. 116
The International Campaign to Stop Rape in Conflict is led by the Nobel Peace Laureates of the Nobel Women’s Initiative and an Advisory Committee comprised of 25 organizations working at the international, regional and community levels to stop rape.
Officially launching May 6, 2012, the Campaign demands urgent and bold political leadership to prevent rape in conflict, to protect civilians and rape survivors, and calls for justice for all—including effective prosecution of those responsible. Within its first month, the Campaign gained over 2,500 members from 125 countries—including over 500 member organizations.