Statement: 2 December 2014

Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, following the Appeals Chamber decision on the verdict and sentence in the Lubanga case: Protecting children means preserving the future

Yesterday's Appeals Chamber decision confirming, by majority, the verdict declaring Mr. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo guilty and the decision sentencing him to 14 years of imprisonment concludes the first case of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC has already issued three Trial Judgements and this decision is the second decision to reach finality at the Court.  The significance of this case for millions of children around the world cannot be overstated. The decision sends a clear message to those who recruit and conscript children to take active part in hostilities that they will be held accountable for such crimes irrespective of their position or status. 

To be sure, this decision stands as a symbol of hope and an important step towards bringing an end to the suffering of tens of thousands of children still forced to fight, to kill and to die in conflicts around the world.

A crime against a child is a crime against all of humanity.  My Office is committed to ending impunity for these egregious crimes and will continue its work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with the support of DRC authorities, to break the cycle of violence in the country and the wider Great Lakes Region. We must contribute to lasting change for the sake of all victims; for the sake of our children, indeed, for the sake of future generations. 

The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial investigations and prosecution of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Office of the Prosecutor is currently conducting eight investigations: Uganda; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; Central African Republic; Kenya; Libya; Côte d'Ivoire and Mali. The Office is also conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Iraq, Nigeria and Ukraine.   

To consult the Appeals Chamber's decision, please click here

Further information on this case is available here

Source: Office of the Prosecutor  |  [email protected]