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Joint Advocacy on The Gambia v Myanmar case before the ICJ: Global Justice Center and Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

While the GJC/GCR2P project is reaching completion, the members have focussed on:

  • Raising awareness and the need to address gendered aspects of the crime of genocide

  • Advocating for intervention by states, including Canada

  • Continuing high level diplomatic engagement on the ICJ case and the upcoming Universal Periodic Review

Key Initiatives

19th Session of the ICC Assembly of States Parties (ASP)

On the occasion of the 19th Session of the ICC Assembly of States Parties (ASP) in early-December 2020, GJC and GCR2P co-hosted a virtual side-event alongside our partners No Peace Without Justice, Amnesty International, the Association against Impunity, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Fortify Rights, Human Rights Watch, Parliamentarians for Global Action, Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WIGJ), and the Embassy of Bangladesh to the Netherlands. The main objective of this ASP side event was to hear directly from Rohingya human rights activists about their perspectives on justice and accountability, with a specific focus on sexual and gender-based crimes.

Panel Discussion: ‘Preventing Atrocities with a WPS Perspective: A Myanmar Case Study’

On 11 November 2020, GJC and GCR2P hosted a webinar in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), and the UN secretary General’s annual report on R2P, which analyzed issues related to the overlap between gender and R2P. It also reflected on the need for the international community to do more to ensure a holistic, consistent, and gender-inclusive approach to atrocity prevention and response. During the webinar, international experts, advocates, and academics discussed how gender permeates every stage of mass atrocity crimes and the role gender can play in preventing them in the context of Myanmar.

Submission of Shadow Report to the Third Cycle Universal Periodic Review of Myanmar

In July 2020, GJC and GCR2P submitted a formal shadow report to the Human Rights Council ahead of its third cycle of Universal Periodic Review (‘UPR’) for Myanmar. This detailed analysis explained that Myanmar has not met its international obligations and provided specific recommendations to the Government on meeting its international obligations to prevent mass atrocities and provide justice for victims and survivors ─ especially of SGBV ─ and to eliminate discriminatory laws and policies. Specifically, GJC and GCR2P called on Myanmar to:

1. Grant civilian courts jurisdiction over military perpetrators and specify that sexual and gender-based crimes (SGBC) perpetrated by the military will be prosecuted in civilian courts, whether or not the crime took place during conflict;

2. Incorporate into domestic legislation the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV);

3. Repeal constitutional provisions that grant the military impunity for human rights violations, including SGBV, and those provisions that permit all military matters, including crimes committed against civilians, to be adjudicated only through court martial;

4. Ensure full transparency with respect to prosecutions of military perpetrators of human rights violations, including SGBV; and,

5. Release Myanmar’s Independent Commission of Enquiry (‘ICOE’) report in full so that its findings and analysis can be meaningfully evaluated and understood.

In conjunction with the UPR shadow report, GJC also published an updated factsheet on Myanmar’s proposed prevention of violence against women (‘POVAW’) law, highlighting that the new law is an opportunity for the government to ensure a comprehensive framework for addressing SGBV, bring its domestic laws in line with international obligations, and ensure adequate redress for violence to all women. GJC’s analysis and an in-depth interview with GJC’s president was featured in an article by the Inter Press Service.

High-level Webinar: Myanmar's Ongoing Political Transition and Key Prospects for International Justice for the Rohingya

GJC’s president moderated a high-level panel on Myanmar’s ongoing political transition and key prospects for international justice for the Rohingya. Convened by the Burmese Rohingya Organization UK (BROUK), panellists included Mr. Tun Khin (President, BROUK), Mr. Arsalan Suleman (member of legal team representing The Gambia at the ICJ), Mr. Tomas Ojea Quitana (former Special Rapporteur on Myanmar from 2008-2014), Mr. Eric Rosenberg (senior advisor for the Ferencz International Justice Initiative at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Simon-Skojdt Center for the Prevention of Genocide). This panel discussion provided viewers with an update on the ongoing international justice processes against Myanmar at the ICJ, ICC, and in Argentinian courts through a universal jurisdiction case, gave insight on how the international community could hold the Burmese government accountable, and expanded on ways to uplift the rights and security of Rohingya people during the country’s ongoing political transition.

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