Today there was a meeting held by the Mission of Qatar and UN Women about the importance of documenting conflict-related sexual and gender based violence as a first step toward accountability.
Recently, there have been mass displacements and increases in violence around the world. Rape, forced marriage, and sexual slavery continue to occur in the ongoing battle against sexual and gender-based crimes. In order to efficiently investigate and document these crimes, the need for accountability is fulfilled by the Justice Rapid Response (JRR)-UN Women SGBV Justice Experts Roster.
The speakers discussed specific investigations that enabled the prosecution to raise awareness about these crimes, including those in North Korea, Iraq, and Syria. Ms. Davidian led the meeting and gave a background on how JRR was founded. On September 28th, 2009, there was a massive crackdown in Guinea against a protest for democracy that led to 150 deaths. The Secretary-General established a Commission of Inquiry, and UN Women found that 109 acts of sexual violence had occurred that day. Seeing the need to bring attention to these crimes, the JRR partnership and institute started. Qualified experts from all over the world are trained for 7-10 days, specifically on sexual, gender-based violence, and placed on a roster. Today, approximately 170 professionals are available to assist inquiry and investigations and document to ensure accountability. They ensure linguistic and cultural diversity on the roster to aid victims all around the world.
Ms. Ahmed ensured Arabic speaking professionals on the roster as Qatar’s contribution and stressed the necessity to work harder to prevent such crimes protecting women and girls in armed conflict. Mr. Wenaweser and Mr. Garcia presented Liechtenstein and Argentina’s firm support towards the JRR initiative respectively. Ms. Madenga led a discussion about finding patterns of Boko Haram violence against people.
Meeting: Securing Accountability for Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender Based Crimes
Date/Location: Wednesday, March 16th, 2016; 10:00-13:00; Conference Room 9
Speakers: H.E. Ms. Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the UN; H.E. Mr. Christian Wenaweser, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the UN; H.E. Mr. Martín Garcia Moritán, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Argentina to the UN; Mr. Tim Mawe, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Ireland to the UN; Ms. Federica Tronchin, SGBV and MENA Region Programme Manager, Justice Rapid Response; Ms. Alison Davidian, Transitional Justice Policy Specialist, UN Women; Ms. Renifa Madenga, SGBV investigator deployed to the Boko Haram Fact Finding Mission
Written By: WIT Representative Jin Yoo
Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick
Photo Credit: Francois Guillot / AFP / Getty Images