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Big Win! Update on the Draft Treaty on Crimes Against Humanity

With your help, MADRE has achieved a historic victory – an important step in the ability of international law to protect all victims of atrocities.

A new treaty on crimes against humanity is under construction. Once completed, it would seek justice for mass crimes carried out as systematic or widespread attacks on civilians, including murder, rape and forced disappearance. But early drafts of the treaty contained an outdated definition of gender, which has been interpreted by conservative governments and activists to oppose comprehensive protections for the rights of women and LGBTIQ people.

This is why, together with a coalition of partners, we launched a campaign to ensure that this new treaty would include comprehensive protections for the rights of women and LGBTIQ people. Click here to read more about this win!

And we turned the tide! Nineteen out of 33 governments participating in this process declared that the rights of women and LGBTIQ people are protected under international criminal law and that the treaty must reflect this principle. In response, the International Law Commission (ILC), the body in charge of drafting the treaty removed an outdated definition of gender - a direct result of MADRE and our partners’ mobilization to update the treaty and fight against impunity for gender-based crimes.

“More than ever, we must unite as women’s and LGBTIQ movements. By winning new legal language that supports an inclusive understanding of gender, we’ve shown that we can hold the line together against right-wing backlash and push forward towards futures where people of all gender identities and sexual orientations are protected from rights violations.” – Yifat Susskind, MADRE Executive Director

To see what you helped make possible, read more about the treaty and view the timeline to this monumental win here.

June 24, 2019