Statement: 12 May 2023

The Office of the Prosecutor launches public consultation to renew Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-based Crimes


The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr Karim A.A. Khan KC, is pleased to announce a call for public submissions for suggested changes to revise the 2014 OTP Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-based Crimes, update the Office’s approach, and build upon dedicated investigative experience and relevant jurisprudence. 

Through this Policy renewal process, the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) seeks to reflect recent advances in its pursuit of accountability for sexual and gender-based crimes as well as incorporate new and innovative approaches to investigating and prosecuting these acts. 

The revision process will also identify ways to strengthen implementation of the new Policy Paper across an Office that has been restructured since the original Policy’s passage in 2014. 

Finally, the Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-based Crimes will be updated in alignment with Office’s other relevant guidance, including the 2022 Policy Paper on Gender Persecution and the 2016 Policy on Children, currently under review.

In highlighting the importance of stakeholder consultation in efforts to renew the 2014 Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-based Crimes, Prosecutor Khan stated: “In assuming my role at the International Criminal Court, I pledged to strengthen the OTP’s commitment to seeking accountability for sexual and gender-based crimes.  From securing new convictions, revising our internal practice tools and internal oversight mechanisms, and strengthening application of a gender analysis at all levels of our work, we have made substantial progress in our fight against sexual and gender-based crimes. We now need to review and update our 2014 Policy Paper to ensure that it reflects nearly a decade of lessons learned, while also clarifying in practical terms how to take a survivor-centred and trauma-informed approach to investigation and prosecution in these cases. To ensure the strongest possible product, we invite input from colleagues in civil society, national authorities, and other accountability mechanisms who have relevant content and implementation expertise to share. With this rich range of perspective, we will produce a revised Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-based crimes that will help ensure the highest quality work from my own office while also serving as a key resource for others who join us in seeking justice for survivors across the world.”

Prof. Kim Thuy Seelinger, Special Adviser to the Prosecutor on Sexual Violence in Conflict, is assisting the Prosecutor and the OTP in renewing this policy. 

In this first round of external consultations, the Office welcomes review of the 2014 Policy, encouraging proposals how to enhance both its content and implementation. The Prosecutor thanks in advance all external experts whose input helps to generate comprehensive approaches to policy and practice, while also maintaining and furthering transparency and predictability on the part of the OTP.

Comments can be sent to [email protected] by Monday, 12 June 2023, midnight, CEST. All input received by the deadline will be carefully considered in the internal review and revision process.

The Office is grateful for the interest and support of the Rome Statute community for its activities and initiatives.

Source: Office of the Prosecutor | Contact: [email protected]