On 8 March 2013, the International Criminal Court (ICC) joins communities worldwide in marking International Women’s Day. As a day to celebrate advancements in women’s rights, it is also a day to recall how much still needs to be done to promote and defend those rights, particularly for women and all others made vulnerable in situations of armed conflict.
“Violence against women is violence against humanity”, says ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song. “In armed conflict, women are often targets of systematic violence. These crimes, including rape, sexual slavery, and other atrocious acts of violence, which tear at the fabric of entire communities, must be stopped. The ICC seeks to put an end to these crimes by helping ensure that they do not go unnoticed or unpunished. For all those marking this important day, we ask that you join us in working toward that goal”.
Adding to the President’s remarks, the ICC Prosecutor Mrs Fatou Bensouda states: “Today serves as a reminder that there is still much to be done. It is still the norm in many societies to deny the existence of gender crimes, ignore them and even shame the victims. The law is a powerful tool to shed light on these crimes, give a voice to the victims and punish the perpetrators. We have a responsibility and a clear mandate to investigate and prosecute those who use violence against women as a tool in war”.
The ICC is the first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, namely war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The majority of cases brought before the Court have involved allegations of sexual or gender-based violence.
For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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