On 9 April 2018, the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor requested a ruling of a pre-trial chamber on the ICC’s jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
While Geoff Curfman in his Just Security post has already aptly commented on the Prosecution’s approach, this post seeks to examine the Prosecution’s request from a different angle, namely a gender perspective.
Background: Sexual violence against Rohingya
Documentation efforts in refugee camps in Bangladesh are exposing the grave nature and vast scale of sexual violence perpetrated against Rohingya in Myanmar, forcing many to flee. Human Rights Watch, for example, stated that it “found that Burmese security forces raped and sexually assaulted women and girls […]”. The report of the OHCHR’s Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar declared that there is “ample and corroborated information on brutal gang rapes and other forms of sexual violence against women”. Finally, Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, told the Security Council that every woman or girl she had spoken with during her visit to Rohingya encampments in Bangladesh “ha[d] either endured or witnessed sexual violence”, including seeing women literally being raped to death. Approximately 80% of those forced into Bangladesh since 25 August 2017 are women and children, and while sexual violence has not be limited to women and girls, it is understood they appear to comprise the majority of victims of sexual violence in this context.
Sexual violence and the Prosecution’s Request: Deportation as a blessing in disguise for gender justice Read the rest of this entry…