Senate Votes for Anti-International Criminal Court Amendment
The Senate voted 78-21 in favor of adopting an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Act that would block the United States from participating in the International Criminal Court (ICC). The amendment, a version of the deceptively named American Servicemembers’ Protection Act authored by Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), passed after an earlier attempt by Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) to delay the vote on Helms’ language was defeated by two votes. Senator Helms has been leading the fight in the Senate against the ICC, but his amendment may be removed in conference. The House version of the appropriations bill does not include language on the ICC.
The ICC would be a permanent court designed to prosecute war criminals, genocide, and crimes against humanity. Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the ICC also presents clear language defining gender crimes to include rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity. Forty-two countries, including several members of the European Union, have ratified the ICC treaty, and only eighteen more must ratify for the court to be established.
Media Resources: Washington Post, 12/8/01; Campaign for Global Change Press Release, 12/9/01; Feminist Majority
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .