Read On! New anthology, “Human Rights and Children”

Honored to be a contributor to Human Rights and Children, an anthology of works in the field edited by another IntLawGrrls contributor, Hofstra Law Professor Barbara Stark.

The collection’s just been issued by Edward Elgar Publishing, which writes:

“This volume provides a comprehensive overview of children’s human rights, collecting the works of leading authorities as well as new scholars grappling with emerging ideas of ‘children’ and ‘rights.’ Beginning with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world, this book explores the theory, doctrine, and implementation of the legal frameworks addressing child labor, child soldiers, and child trafficking, as well as children’s socio-economic rights, including their rights to education.”

My own contribution is listed in this compendium as: “Diane Marie Amann (2013), ‘A Review of Reimagining Child Soldiers in International Law and Policy in Mark A. Drumbl, Oxford University Press’, American Journal of International Law…” On my SSRN page, I describe this book review as follows:

“This essay reviews ‘Reimagining Child Soldiers in International Law and Policy’ (2012), in which author Mark Drumbl examines legal doctrine, global activism, and social science research respecting underaged combatants.”

Additional contributors to this collection who have also contributed to IntLawGrrls include, besides Professor Stark and me, Mark A. Drumbl and Nienke Grossman. The balance of contributors are as follows: Philip Alston, Jo Becker, Maria Bouverne-De Bie, Claire Breen, Geert Cappelaere, Cynthia Price Cohen, Katherine Covell, Mac Darrow, Martha F. Davis, Michael J. Dennis, Janelle M. Diller, Sara A. Dillon,  Martin Guggenheim, Stuart N. Hart, Kamran Hashemi, R. Brian Howe, David A. Levy, Janet McKnight, Tendai Charity Nhenga-Chakarisa, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Roslyn Powell, Alison Dundes Renteln, Marilia Sardenberg, William A. Schabas, David M. Smolin, Murray A. Straus, Laura Thetaz-Bergman, John Tobin, Jonathan Todres, Geraldine Van Bueren, Wouter Vandenhole, Eugeen Verhellen, and Barbara Bennett Woodhouse.

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann blog)

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Children Born of Rape in Bemba: Can the ICC Close the Accountability Gap?

BembaChildren born of sexual and gender-based violence in situations of conflict and mass violence have, until recently, been neglected in international criminal law. These children exist in what the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict has previously termed an “accountability gap” as the “punishment against or redress by the perpetrator rarely includes reparations for the women who were victimized or the children who were born as a result of rape”.

Such children have, however, featured in recent cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC). For instance, in the case against Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, leader of the Congolese Movement of Liberation of the Congo (MLC), convicted in March 2016 of war crimes and crimes against humanity for crimes committed by his troops in the Central African Republic (CAR) between 2002 and 2003, unwanted pregnancies and the birth of children were identified during sentencing as a harm of rape. This case represents the first time the ICC will have the opportunity to provide reparations to victims of rape and a recent Expert Report on reparations suggested that children born of rape should be included within this process.

Children Born of Rape in Bemba

It is unclear how many children were born of rape as a result of Bemba’s MLC crimes. Expert testimony provided during the Trial, however, identified at least four women who suffered unwanted pregnancies as a result of rape, noting that:

One victim did accept the child as being her own, so took on, shouldered that. There was another one who didn’t want to have anything to do with the child she had given birth to, and there was a third one who had an abortion. Actually, she had to do this in hiding, and that meant that there were medical consequences to that abortion. And a fourth, well, we lost track of her. We do not know what the outcome in terms of this pregnancy was.

These children, who are about 13 years old now, are in a precarious situation in terms of their own identity and family relations, as explained by the mother of one of the children during the sentencing hearing:

She doesn’t know who her father is. She doesn’t know where he is. She has no news of him. And I wonder how things will develop. I ask God if I die, what will happen to that child? The three others which I had, I know that their father’s families are there, and if something happened to me, those children could go and live with the family of their father. But when it comes to this child, what will her fate be if anything happens to me? Continue reading

Introducing Eithne Dowds

EithneIt is our great pleasure to introduce our new IntLawGrrls contributor Eithne Dowds! Eithne is a lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast. Her research intersects the areas of international criminal law, feminist legal theory, sexual offences and children born of sexual violence in conflict. Eithne is particularly interested in feminist strategies in international criminal law and the extent to which developments at the international criminal level might bear relevance to domestic law on sexual offences.

Eithne completed her PhD in 2017, which examined the role of consent in an international criminal definition of rape. In particular, it focused on the definition at the International Criminal Court and whether the definition could facilitate ‘positive’ norm transfer from the international to the domestic. She is in the process of turning her thesis into a book which will be published by Hart in 2019.

Heartfelt welcome!

Write On! 10th Anniversary Special Issue of Trade, Law and Development on WTO’s Role in Global Governance

backlit_keyboardThis installment of Write On!, our periodic compilation of calls for papers, includes calls to be published in the 10th Anniversary Special Issue of Trade, Law and Development, as follows:

Trade, Law and Development, a student edited journal on international economic law, is seeking unpublished, original articles, comments, notes, or book reviews for publication in its special issue (Vol. 10, No. 1 2018). The theme of the special issue is Revisiting WTO’s Role in Global Governance.  The issue will be published in the summer of 2018.  Deadline is February 28, 2018.

►  For further information, click here. Questions may be sent to editors@tradelawdevelopment.com 

Go On! 18th Specialization Course in International Criminal Law for Young Penalists in Siracusa, Italy

trunks.jpgGo On! makes note of interesting conferences, lectures, and similar events.

► The Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights is organizing its 18th Specialization Course in International Criminal Law for Young Penalists on “International and Transnational Crimes,”  dedicated to the memory of Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni (1937-2017).  The course will take place from May 27 to June 4, 2018 in Siracusa, Italy.

The Siracusa Institute will select 60 participants who should have a university degree, ideally in law or with some studies in law, and be 35 years of age or under. The Institute will offer 10 scholarships to applicants from Developing and Less Developed Countries. Applications should be submitted by March 27, 2018.

To apply, click here. Direct any questions or concerns to icl-course@siracusainstitute.org.

Moving from Rights Eroded to Rights Realized

In 2017, a women’s rights watchdog group reported that 25 women were killed for their human rights work, a decrease from the 37 women human rights defenders (WHRDs) killed in 2016. These deaths are an outrage, but represent only the most extreme form of violence and repression that human rights defenders around the world are confronting.

We are witnessing a growing trend of “closing space” for civil society actors – a term which refers to restrictions that authoritarian and right-wing governments are imposing to obstruct and limit oppositional voices. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders receives complaints from activists world-wide about closing space, and reports that one-third to nearly one-half of which concerned WHRDs in the years from 2004 to 2014.

Women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI*) human rights defenders the world over are targeted in the closing space phenomenon both for who they are as well as for the work they do. These defenders are targeted because they are often “perceived as challenging accepted sociocultural norms, traditions, perceptions, and stereotypes about femininity, sexual orientation, and the role and status of women in society.” Yet, only limited analysis has been made of their experiences of closing space.

Rights Eroded Blog Photo

In response, the International Human Rights Law Clinic (IHRLC) of Berkeley Law and the Urgent Action Funds for Women’s Human Rights (UAF) conducted a review of the laws and their impacts on WHRDs in 16 countries. Our report Rights Eroded: A Briefing Report on the Effects of Closing Space on Women Human Rights Defenders offers a window on the challenges women and LGBTQI* human rights defenders face as well as their resistance strategies and recommends action international and state authorities as well as donors should take to protect these front-line activists.

Women and LGBTQI* human rights defenders interviewed for the report spoke of their experiences of structural and social discrimination, targeted efforts by the State to hinder their work, gendered forms of harassment, and criminalization of their activities. They described a climate in which States have moved to restrict their access to the funds essential to their work. Governments have applied a complex web of rules including anti-money laundering and national security legislation to ensnare organizations engaged in legitimate human rights work. They emphasized how social stigma and targeted campaigns by the State to delegitimize their work undermine public support for their activities and limit the resources available to them. Activists revealed the ways in which they self-censor to avoid confrontation and abuse from State actors. And, importantly, they cataloged the strategies that they employ to resist closing space through alliance building with other human rights activists, leveraging media attention, and adopting new funding strategies. Continue reading

Introducing Katrina Natale

natale_katrina_210x270-210x270.jpg It is our great pleasure to introduce Katrina Natale to IntLawGrrls! Katrina has been a clinical teaching fellow with the International Human Rights Law Clinic at UC Berkeley School of Law since 2015. In her time with the clinic, Katrina has taught and supervised students working on a wide range of human rights issues in both the United States and abroad employing diverse methodologies. Her work has ranged from assisting UN special procedures mandate holders to respond to individual complaints to collaborating on empirical research exploring access to justice and victim rights for family survivors of homicide in Oakland. With the clinic, she has had a hand in issuing reports on human rights violations experienced by tipped workers in the U.S. restaurant industry and on closing space for women human rights defenders. Her interests include international criminal law, humanitarian law, sexual and gender-based violence, victim rights, and transitional justice.

Prior to joining the clinic, Katrina worked on human rights issues in Cambodia for nearly 5 years. She conducted research on sexual and gender-based sexual violence under the Khmer Rouge regime and, later, served as the in-country legal coordinator for the Center for Justice and Accountability and as a legal officer in the Civil Party Lead Co-Lawyers Section of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Before attending law school, Katrina worked with a number of grassroots, social justice organizations on issues of human rights, transitional justice, and domestic and sexual violence both in the United States and abroad.

Heartfelt welcome!