Faced with the grim reality of increased abuse of women during international conflicts, the International Criminal Court (ICC) intensified its focus on gender-based crime.
Located at the Hague in the Netherlands, the ICC is an independent organization charged with investigating and prosecuting crimes that impact countries and communities around the world.
The Hague is a long way from New York City, yet the interest in protecting women and men from gender-based misconduct remains the same. In New York, state and federal civil and criminal law protect people from harm and discrimination in day-to-day life, and in the workplace.
At the ICC, a recently published policy paper sets forth new principles for prosecuting sexual and gender-based crimes. In an important development, crimes of this nature committed in international and national conflicts are to be considered war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The new policy, presented by the chief prosecutor of the ICC Fatou Bensouda, sets forth planks that include:
- Gender-based crimes are recognized as grave. Types of gender-based crime, whether inflicted on female or male persons, include rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, sterilization, forced pregnancy and other forced violence of a sexual nature.
- The importance of thorough investigation, analysis and prosecution of gender-based crimes is vital. Charges are to be brought when there is sufficient evidence to support the allegation.
- Protection of victims and management of expectation of victims and witnesses is essential.
In the paper, Ms. Bensouda notes, “An act of a sexual nature is not limited to physical violence.” This holds true in the international and local community.
If you suffer sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace, speak with an experienced employment attorney in New York.