In an effort to promote accountability, the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) has developed a Policy Paper on Gender Persecution. This Policy Paper strengthens recognition of the crime of gender persecution in investigations and legal proceedings and reaffirms the understanding of gender in international criminal law. This moment reaffirms – once and for all – that targeting women and LGBTIQ+ persons in peacetime and conflict can amount to a crime against humanity, and that survivors of these crimes cannot be silenced. The Policy Paper provides a powerful tool for women’s and LGBTIQ+ rights activists as they work to dismantle oppressive, discriminatory gender narratives and build sustainable peace.
The Office of the Prosecutor released the Policy Paper during the Assembly of States Parties in December 2022 after a year-long consultation and drafting process. Building on our long history of fighting for accountability for gender-based crimes within international law frameworks, MADRE served as the secretariat to bring together civil society groups to participate in the development of the Policy Paper on Gender Persecution. Along with our partners, MADRE facilitated input from nearly 400 organizations and 150 activists from over 100 countries and territories, including an open letter that compiled perspectives from over 220 organizations from 80 countries and territories. Governments, UN Special Rapporteurs and Independent Experts, UN agencies, legal scholars, and other civil society movements also shared input with the Office of the Prosecutor, leading to a truly expansive consultation process with global reach.
Click here to read more about MADRE’s work to include civil society voices in the development of the new policy paper on gender persecution.
With support from UNWOMEN, MADRE and the Human Rights and Gender Justice (HRGJ) Clinic at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law developed the “Identifying Gender Persecution in Conflicts and Atrocities Toolkit.” The toolkit is designed to provide investigators, lawyers, advocates, documenters, and first responders with a framework for recognizing and understanding the legal context of gender persecution.
Developed with the input of legal experts, feminist scholars, and practitioners, the toolkit’s four main sections (1) provide an overview of the international crime of persecution on gender grounds as a crime against humanity; (2) outline how persecution on gender grounds manifests, including past and current examples of gender persecution across a range of geographic, cultural and political contexts; (3) provide exercises and tools to assist the reader with identifying and documenting gender persecution; and (4) concludes with recommendations for ensuring accountability for gender persecution.