Umsha and Zeynep
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.