Guest post by GW professor Aisling Swaine
The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, has released for consultation its new Draft Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender Based Crimes (Draft Policy Paper).
The Draft Policy Paper is a welcome initiative from the OTP. It provides a platform from which the OTP can contribute to furthering the application of International Criminal Law in ways that are both sensitive and responsive to a gendered understanding of international crimes.
If tailored to the needs of males, females, transgendered and inter-sex individuals of variant ages and intersectional characteristics, the full implementation of the Draft Policy Paper has the potential to ensure that a safe and holistic approach is taken to the prosecution of these crimes.
Dr. Catherine O’Rourke (Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster), Professor Fionnuala ní Aoláin (Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster and School of Law, Minnesota University) and I wrote a response to the draft policy.
In our submission to the OTP, we highlighted the following:
- The Draft Policy Paper appears to take an ‘integrationist’ approach to addressing gender in its work. Our paper highlights that the integrationist approach does little to address the gendered assumptions and relations that inform why and how variant gendered identities may require specific tailored approaches. We recommend that the Draft Policy Paper adopts Gender Mainstreaming as its approach. As per UN Policy (ECOSOC Agreed Conclusions, 1997/2), Gender Mainstreaming, when fully implemented enables a transformative approach. In the case of the OTP, this would mean that investigation and prosecution of sexual crimes would be based on an approach that uses gender analysis to address exclusions and the particularities of stigma, as well as the experiences of sexual violence on the basis of gender norms, which all would be into taken account in ways that transform inequalities.