Coalition for the International Criminal Court
Follow Us: Facebook Twitter
CICCCourtCoalitionCoalitionDocumentsPressDonation
Browse by Region
map Americas Africa Asia and Pacific Europe Middle East and North Africa
Gender and the ICC
Gender and the ICC
Silvana Arbia, Registrar of the ICC, and Kristin Kalla, Senior Programme Officer of the Trust Fund for Victims, with Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice Executive Director Brigid Inder at the Launch of the Gender Report Card 2009. Credit: Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice
The Rome Statute is the first international treaty to identify crimes against women as crimes against humanity, war crimes, and in some instances, genocide. Non-governmental organizations—including members of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court —were at the forefront of ensuring that the Rome Statute thoroughly safeguarded women’s rights.

The Statute recognizes rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced sterilizations, gender-based persecutions, trafficking of persons particularly of women and children, and sexual violence as crimes under its jurisdiction.

Here are some of the provisions included in the Statute:


Procedural Protections for Victims and Witnesses

Women victims and witnesses before the ICC can expect procedures designed to address their needs. The ICC Statute and Rules of Procedure and Evidence (Rules) offer important protections for victims and witnesses, particularly those who suffered sexual or gender violence.

  • The Court is required to protect the safety, physical and psychological well-being, dignity, and privacy of victims and witnesses, with special regard to factors such as their gender and whether the crime involved sexual or gender violence.

  • The Statute and Rules also establish a Victims and Witnesses Unit to provide protection, security, counseling, and other assistance.

  • The Court can institute measures to protect victims and witnesses during trials and pre-trial proceedings.

  • The Court is also required to be vigilant in controlling the questioning of witnesses to avoid harassment or intimidation, especially in sexual violence cases.



  • Rules of Evidence to Protect Victims of Sexual Violence

    The Rules are designed to shield victims of sexual violence from damaging or intrusive attacks on their sexuality or credibility.
  • The Court cannot admit evidence of a victim or witness's prior or subsequent sexual conduct or require corroboration of testimony concerning sexual violence.

  • The Rules outline principles to guide the Court in handling sexual violence cases, making clear that a victim's consent cannot be inferred where the perpetrator took advantage of a coercive environment (such as a detention center), and requiring special procedures for presenting evidence of consent to acts of sexual violence.



  • Staff Expertise on Gender and Sexual Violence

  • The Statute requires that the ICC prosecutor appoint advisers with legal expertise on sexual and gender violence and that the Victims and Witnesses Unit, to be housed within the ICC registry, include staff with experience in trauma related to sex crimes.

  • The Statute also requires states, in electing judges, to take into account the need for "fair representation" of female and male judges, and requires that the prosecutor and registrar do the same when hiring staff.



  • Victims’ Participation in the Proceedings

    The ICC Statute and Rules facilitate victims' direct participation in the Court's proceedings. Victims can express their views, in accordance with the Statute and the Rules, giving them a chance to tell their stories even if they are not called as witnesses. This will allow individual women's voices, sometimes overlooked in international prosecutions, to emerge.


    Useful links

    UN Women Facebook page

    International Women’s Day website and Facebook page


    For more information on this issue, please contact Alix Vuillemin Grendel.
    NGO Media Statements
    Author Date and Title
    NPWJ
    13 June 2014
    NPWJ calls for concrete action to end sexual and gender-based violence in conflict at Global Summit in London
    Amnesty International
    10 June 2014
    World's governments must turn back the tide of sexual violence at global summit
    FIDH
    10 June 2014
    FIDH attends Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict
    Human Rights Watch
    10 June 2014
    DR Congo: Summit Should Support Justice for Rape Victims
    ICTJ
    10 June 2014
    ICTJ Participates in Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict
    Human Rights Watch
    09 June 2014
    Global Summit Spotlights Rape in War
    REDRESS
    09 June 2014
    REDRESS welcomes new international protocol to investigate sexual crimes; urges states to end impunity and afford reparation to victims
    Related Websites
    Author Date and Title
    AI
    07 Mar 2007
    Amnesty International
    APWLD
    07 Mar 2007
    Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development
    CAFRA
    07 Mar 2007
    Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action
    CRR
    07 Mar 2007
    Center for Reproductive Rights
    CWGL
    07 Mar 2007
    Center for Women’s Global Leadership
    CZZR
    07 Mar 2007
    Centre for Women War Victims-ROSA (Croatia)
    WRC
    07 Mar 2007
    Coalition for Women’s Human Rights in Conflict Situations
    federa
    07 Mar 2007
    Federation for Women and Family Planning (Poland)
    FIDA Kenya
    07 Mar 2007
    Federation of Women Lawyers Kenya (FIDA Kenya)
    HRW
    07 Mar 2007
    Human Rights Watch
    IAWJ
    07 Mar 2007
    International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ)
    FIDA Ghana
    07 Mar 2007
    International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Ghana)
    IFWLC
    07 Mar 2007
    International Federation of Women in Legal Careers
    IGLHRC
    07 Mar 2007
    International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
    IWH
    07 Mar 2007
    International Women's House
    IWHRLC
    07 Mar 2007
    International Women’s Human Rights Law Clinic
    IWRAW
    07 Mar 2007
    International Women’s Rights Action Watch
    IWTC
    07 Mar 2007
    International Women’s Tribune Center
    Isis-WICCE
    07 Mar 2007
    Isis-Women's International Cross Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE) (Uganda)
    NOW
    07 Mar 2007
    National Organization for Women (NOW) USA
    NYCCWI
    07 Mar 2007
    New York Coalition on Comfort Women Issues
    Prolert
    07 Mar 2007
    Project Alert on Violence Against Women (Nigeria)
    RWM
    07 Mar 2007
    Rural Women’s Movement (South Africa)
    Sakhi
    07 Mar 2007
    Sakhi for South Asian Women
    AWM
    07 Mar 2007
    The Afghan Women's Mission
    TIAW
    07 Mar 2007
    The International Alliance for Women
    NCRW
    07 Mar 2007
    The National Council for Research on Women
    WIDALF
    07 Mar 2007
    WIDALF Afrique de l’Ouest
    WiLDAF
    07 Mar 2007
    Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF)
    WISCOMP
    07 Mar 2007
    Women in Security, Conflict Management & Peace (WISCOMP, India)
    WILPF
    07 Mar 2007
    Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
    WWSF
    07 Mar 2007
    Women's World Summit Foundation
    WC
    07 Mar 2007
    Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children
    WEDO
    07 Mar 2007
    Women’s Environment and Development Organization
    WIGJ
    07 Mar 2007
    Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice
    WILD
    07 Mar 2007
    Women’s Institute for Leadership Development
    UN Reports, Resolutions, and Statements
    Author Date and Title
    UN Women
    05 Mar 2012
    Message of Michelle Bachelet Executive Director of UN Women on International Women’s Day 2012
    Mission of Estonia to the United Nations
    23 Feb 2012
    Statement by H.E. Tiina Intelmann, Ambassador-at-Large for International Criminal Court, Republic of Estonia President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
    United Nations Security Council
    23 Feb 2012
    Statement by the President of the Security Council
    UNHCR
    Jan 2008
    UNHCR Handbook for the Protection of Women and Girls
    Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in cooperation with the UN Mission in S
    20 Aug 2007
    Eighth periodic report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in the Sudan: Women abducted, raped and kept as sex slaves following the December 2006 attacks on Deribat
    UN
    08 Mar 2007
    United Nations Secretary General Statement on IWD 2007
    UN
    08 Mar 2007
    Background Document on Ending Impunity for Violence Against Women and Girls