In December 2017, Justice Rapid Response (JRR) was honored by the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice for its work to advance justice for sexual and gender-based crimes. This award comes in the form of an inscription of JRR’s name and logo on the new Gender Justice Legacy Wall, which will reside in the permanent premises of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
The Legacy Wall is a new project of Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, an international civil society organization which advocates for accountability and prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) crimes and gender justice before the ICC, and domestic courts and mechanisms. The names to be featured on the Legacy Wall were selected for their work to advance justice for gender-based crimes, and include those from civil society, government, multi-lateral organizations and the private sector. Other honorees include actress/advocate Angelina Jolie, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina, and ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
The Legacy Wall is intended to be a living legacy with more names to be added at future significant anniversaries of the Rome Statute, as the gender justice field continues to evolve.
The launch event was held at the United Nations in New York during the 16th session of the ICC Assembly of States Parties, and brought together State representatives, human rights practitioners and gender justice advocates.
“JRR is humbled to stand alongside so many other organizations and individuals who have helped transform our response to sexual and gender-based crimes,” said Andras Vamos-Goldman, Executive Director of JRR. “Just over eight years ago, when JRR became operational, the deployment of an SGBV experts on a team investigating serious conflict-related crimes would not have been the norm. But today, investigations into mass atrocities that don’t include a strong SGBV component are simply not taken seriously by the international community.”
JRR was created by States to improve the quality of investigations into serious human rights violations and international crimes through a rapidly-available pool of experts. Since 2009, JRR has supported 130 investigations and inquiries; from a roster of currently over 650 professionals; representing 50 professional categories of expertise; who come from 110 countries and every part of the world; 55 per cent of whom are women. Experts are certified to the roster only after rigorous vetting.
Within the broader JRR roster is the JRR-UN Women SGBV Justice Experts Roster, which allows States, accountability processes and the international community to access experts in sexual and gender-based violence. To date, members of the 200+ SGBV Justice Experts Roster represent dozens of categories of professionals, including investigators, prosecutors, gender advisors, witness protection specialists and specialists in crimes involving children. Experts from the SGBV Justice Expert Roster have deployed to document and investigate serious crimes including in Guatemala, Iraq, North Korea, South Sudan, and Syria.
“JRR would not have been able to do this work without a formidable team of partners, especially our largest partner, UN Women,” said Federica Tronchin, SGBV Programme Manager and Head of JRR’s New York Office.
“The experts on the JRR-UN Women SGBV Justice Experts Roster represent the highest caliber of professionals, dedicated individuals who work in difficult conditions to ensure that survivors can access justice, and are treated with the care and respect they deserve in the process. We also take this opportunity to recognize the incredible bravery of survivors of SGBV, who constantly remind us of why we do this work. We share this award with them,” said Tronchin.
JRR also thank entities—the courts, governments, and other processes—who have placed their trust in JRR to identity the right expert, and have come back repeatedly to access expertise from the roster. JRR also acknowledges the generous support of our donors who have made this work possible.
View the NY event programme here
Hannah Dunphy, Communications and External Relations Officer
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