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
7/29/2014 Extensive Female Genital Mutilation Study To Be Conducted in the US - The Obama administration plans to conduct a large study on female genital mutilation (FGM) to try to assess how many girls and women in the US are at risk, and how many have already experienced, FGM.
According to experts, FGM tends to take place during summer break when parents take their daughter outside of the country for the practice.
Jaha Dukureh, a 24-year-old woman who grew up in Gambia, experienced FGM there, and then child marriage in the US, started a petition that gained more than 220,000 supporters. . . .