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“If we expect to achieve a world without genocide, a world free of horrific war crimes and a world where every citizen's freedoms and rights are protected, then we need to recognize that some crimes go beyond the borders of any one nation and affect us all as human beings.”
Jane Wells Founder of 3 Generations
More than 10 years have passed since the founding of the ICC; the first independent, permanent, treaty based criminal court committed to ending impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. Since its’ inception, 18 cases involving 8 different situations have been brought before the ICC. This includes the convicted Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese Warlord guilty of enlisting and conscripting child soldiers to actively participate in hostilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern Ituri Region from 2002 to 2003. His 14 year prison sentence, handed down to him in July of last year, symbolized an important landmark for the ICC as it was the Court’s first sentencing since its’ establishment.
3 Generations is proud to have been involved in the coverage of this historical trial. In collaboration with Aegis Trust, an organization devoted to ending crimes against humanity, we created the Lubanga Chronicles Project, an examination of the trial from both a legal and a human-interest perspective. By chronicling the key legal arguments in conjunction with a close analysis of the trial’s participants, we were able to illuminate the significance of the trial while in progress. Survivors of Lubanga’s malfeasance were given a chance to share their story in a court of law; finally providing them an opportunity to confront their assailant, share their story and for many, begin the healing process. Furthermore, the documented testimonies of witnesses serve to honor the memory of Lubanga’s victims in perpetuity. The Project portrayed the restorative and retributive aspects of criminal court trials, a critical way in which the ICC ensures justice for those who have been wronged.
The conviction of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo further demonstrated the gravity of the International Criminal Court. A testament to their sovereignty and their ability to enforce justice, they held a committer of egregious crimes accountable and set a new precedent for perpetrators of such atrocities. This was a notable feat and yet, the ICC continues to struggle with international recognition. We have documented survivor stories from and extensively researched 4 of the 8 situations that are currently being investigated by the ICC’s prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda. In of these situations, arrest warrants have been issued, however, a lack of unanimous international cooperation has led to a lack of complicity. The fight to end impunity is two-tiered - advocacy AND accountability, action AND justice - so we have decided to consolidate our Humanity’s Courtroom project with our End of Atrocity project. The Imagine the End of Atrocity movement works with various visionaries, community leaders and social justice activists to create a comprehensive and universal vision for a world without mass atrocities and human rights violations. Luis Moreno Ocampo, the former ICC prosecutor, is one such visionary. When asked what a world without genocide would look like, Ocampo responded:
A world without genocide would be a world where humanity learns that we are a global community. We need institutions, global institutions. We need The International Criminal Court. [...] The idea is my community is my neighborhood, and my community is my town, it's my country, but also it's the world. And the world community has a little link. The link is we respect life. We cannot attack other people. We cannot commit genocide.
As members of a global community, it is our collective responsibility to support global institutions that uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and apply them to all countries, all people equally. The International Criminal Court is one such institution and we will continue to raise awareness to their work. Make sure to check our facebook and twitter for regular updates about the ICC.
Your support means so much to us and we hope that you continue to follow us for the latest developments on achieving a world free of atrocity.
In a recent speech given by Judge Sang-Hyun Song, the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), he pithily explained the work of the global criminal court when he said, “[it] is about much more than just punishing the perpetrators. The Rome Statute and the ICC bring retributive and restorative justice together with the prevention of future crimes.”
President Song’s description is the very reason why the work of the ICC is so vital to the mission of 3 Generations.
The ICC’s commitment to ending impunity for perpetrators of the most serious international crimes – namely war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide – not only delivers justice to the individuals prosecuted but also guarantees justice for the hundreds of thousands directly impacted, the millions still living in affected communities, and the billions that now live under the legal protection of the Rome Statute system.
It means justice for Umsha and Zeynep, two sisters from Darfur who watched their father and brother shot to death and their way of life destroyed when the Janjaweed raided their village. It means justice for Marielle, a 30-year-old woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo who was gang raped by four soldiers in her own home. It means justice for Irene, an Acholi woman from Uganda who has lived in an Internationally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp for twenty plus years.
Unfortunately, even in its 10th year of existence, the ICC still faces resistance from various actors in the international community, ultimately hindering its ability to bring to trial committers of mass atrocities and hold them accountable for their egregious crimes. In Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s fifteenth and final report on the situation in Darfur, the former ICC Prosecutor expressed the importance of enforcing Security Council’s referrals to the ICC and his frustration with Sudan’s refusal to extradite war criminals residing within her borders. The consequences are dire as Sudan’s failure to execute the arrest warrants both weakens the worlds fight against impunity and puts the ‘never again’ promise to a test, Ocampo asserted.
The ICC is a nascent institution in the body of mechanisms that exist to ensure that human rights are protected and preserved. In such a short period time, it has had an incredible impact from elucidating the most vulnerable people in our society to setting new international precedents. It is crucial that ICC maintains its legitimacy and that individuals responsible for atrocious acts are held liable. We must continue the fight and assure ‘never again’ is a staple is in our society.
It is only through your support that the shared dream of 3 Generations and the ICC - to end injustice - can be realized. Gross violations of human rights need to be impeded before they can even begin, the voices of victims need to be heard before they vanish into a forgotten past and change needs to be demanded before its too late.
Thank you for your continued commitment to our cause and make sure to visit the 3G website in 2013 as we revamp it to include an interactive map with information about twentieth century genocides, escalating twenty-first century conflicts such as in Mali and Syria, and the ICC’s involvement throughout the world:
To read more about Umsha, Zeynep, Marielle and Irene, please visit the link below. To stay informed about the ICC and the implements of justice, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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