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November 2014
Editor-in-Chief: Nicola Giovannini
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 Highlights

FGM / No Peace Without Justice: the anti-FGM front at the United Nations grows bigger
 

No Peace without Justice and the Radical Party welcome the decision made by the UN Third Committee on Social, Cultural and Humanitarian affairs (SOCHUM), to unanimously adopt, with 125 co-sponsorships, a Resolution to universally ban female genital mutilations (FGM). The UN General Assembly had first expressed itself against this traditional practice on 20 December 2012, after the long BanFGM campaign led by a coalition of African and European NGOs, created thanks to the initiative of No Peace Without Justice.
 
The encouraging data is that there is an increasing number of countries promoting the Resolution: 21 more than in 2012. This is not only an acknowledgement for female activists working on the field, but also the sign of a growing consensus coming from the States, willing to engage themselves at the global level to politically implement the content of the Resolution, which condemns FGM as a violation of the rights of women and young girls.
 
Normative tools and effective implementation, together with correct training and prevention, are also pivotal factors. We wish that this further stance on the matter from the international community will be an incentive for both the states lacking legislation and for those already engaged in ad-hoc measures.
 
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Joint Statement: Bahrain elections must not be used to cover human rights violations
 

On 22 November 2014, Bahrain’s citizens were called to cast their votes for legislative and municipal elections. The elections were the first to take place since the people of Bahrain took to the streets and squares of the Kingdom in February and March 2011, demanding more openness in the political process and sustained reform to enlarge the space for freedoms and rights enjoyed by Bahraini citizens.
 
Since then, the government of Bahrain has violently repressed any attempt to denounce the human right situation in the country and thwarted any attempt to establish a meaningful and inclusive political dialogue with the opposition. Peaceful protesters, human rights defenders and democracy advocates continue to face extra-judicial detentions, imprisonment, ill treatment and torture in detention centres. The main coalition of opposition societies has therefore taken the decision not to participate in this electoral venture, which was sure to be considered neither inclusive nor a sign of political reform.
 
In a joint statement promoted by No Peace Without Justice and the Radical Party ahead of these elections, international and Bahraini civil society groups called on the international community to finally use their influence to end violations of human rights, starting with the immediate and unconditional release of human rights defenders and all those arbitrarily detained for exercising their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. The international community should also refuse to be satisfied by an exclusive electoral process and instead to push for a real and inclusive dialogue with the opposition to reach a national consensus on a serious reform program.
 
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Use 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to pledge even better achievements in the next 25 years and beyond
 

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted 25 years ago, was a truly ground-breaking document. Not so much because it codified the human rights of children into one document, nor because it has subsequently become the most widely ratified human rights instrument in the world. The real innovation – which continues to be a bedrock in the conceptualisation of children’s rights today – is the conception of the child as a rights holder, not merely an object of protection.
 
This in many ways marked a turning point in how children are viewed within the societal or community context. The concept of the child as a rights holder is also informing discussions of and developments around the implementation of international justice and accountability efforts.
 
The Special Court for Sierra Leone, for example, focused on the experiences of children throughout their indictments and decisions. Several truth commissions and other non-judicial mechanisms have also focused on violations against children, including disseminating child friendly versions of their reports. The International Criminal Court has likewise had a focus on children, albeit through the lens of specific cases and limited to the conscription, enlistment or use of children to participate actively in hostilities. However, the ICC Prosecutor, upon taking office in 2012, has indicated that under her leadership the focus would be on all children affected by armed conflict, including children involved with armed forces in numerous different ways.
 
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*  Alison Smith is Legal Counsel and Director of International criminal Justice Program of No Peace Without Justice

 NPWJ events

Libya: NPWJ convenes a seminar on commonalities and differences of the Transitional Justice processes in Libya and Tunisia
 

On 19 and 20 November 2014, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), with the support of the Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center (KADEM), organised in Tunis a seminar on “Transitional Justice: The Transitional Justice Law and its Mechanisms”. Participants included Tunisian and Libyan NGOs, human rights activists and transitional justice experts as well international organisations and representatives from UN Agencies and the diplomatic corps based in Tunisia.
 
The seminar aimed at fostering a productive dialogue between Tunisian and Libyan democracy advocates to share experiences and compare the different ways in which transitional justice issues have developed in the two countries. The Tunisian successful experience and the lesson learned accumulated by Tunisian civil society can be a critical factor to develop a concrete political strategy to support the legitimate aspiration of the  Libyan people for security, dignity and democracy.
 
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ICC: NPWJ organises Conference at the Italian Senate to celebrate 20 years of commitment against impunity
 

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), founded in 1994 with the mandate of campaigning for the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a critical part of an effective system of international criminal justice. NPWJ celebrated its long-standing commitment to end impunity by organising a conference “20th anniversary of No Peace Without Justice: Challenges and Opportunities of the International Criminal Court”, which was held at the Italian Senate, in Rome, on 13 November 2014 (from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm).
 
The purpose of the Conference was to analyse the fundamental principles and lessons learnt by the ICC over the course of its first 10 years, as well as the challenges and opportunities faced by the Court in carrying out its mandate, particularly in respect of cooperation with States parties and complementarity with national courts.
 
The conference, which was opened by Pietro Grasso, President of the Italian Senate, and Emma Bonino, former Italian Foreign Minister and founder of No Peace Without Justice, examined those issues through its high-level participants, including James Kirkpatrick Stewart, Deputy Prosecutor of the ICC; Sidiki Kaba, Minister of Justice, Senegal, incoming ASP President;Benedetto Della Vedova, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Italy; Athaliah Lesiba Molokomme, Attorney-General of Botswana;  Binta Mansaray, Registrar, Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone.
 
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 NPWJ on Radio Radicale

Have Breakfast with No Peace Without Justice
 

No Peace Without Justice and Radio Radicale, the foremost Italian nationwide all-news radio, have an ongoing partnership to provide news and information on our activities to a broad Italian audience. This partnership features an in-depth weekly program on NPWJ’s current campaigns and activities. The program is broadcast in Italian every Friday morning immediately before the main news summary.

The last episodes focus mainly on the Conference on the International Criminal Court organised by NPWJ and held in Rome on 13 November. Alvilda Jablonko, Female Genital Mutilation Program Coordinator, reports the developments of the mission in Senegal while Giulia Cappellazzi illustrates the seminar on “Transitional Justice: The Transitional Justice Law and its Mechanisms” organised by NPWJ in Tunis. Finally, Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, NPWJ Secretary-General comments on the debating inside the UN General Assembly, focusing on the Third Committee on Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Affairs.

Listen to the episodes

 NPWJ press releases

FGM / No Peace Without Justice: the anti-FGM front at the United Nations grows bigger
Roma - Bruxelles - New York, 26 novembre 2014

Joint Statement: Bahrain elections must not be used to cover human rights violations
21 November 2014

Use 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to pledge even better achievements in the next 25 years and beyond
Alison Smith*, 20 November 2014

Libya: NPWJ convenes a seminar on commonalities and differences of the Transitional Justice processes in Libya and Tunisia
Brussels - Tunis, 19 November 2014

ICC: NPWJ organises Conference at the Italian Senate to celebrate 20 years of commitment against impunity
Rome, Italy, 13 November 2014

Bahrain: NPWJ hosts roundtable with opposition leaders and calls for democratic reform and end of repression
Brussels, 12 November 2014

Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal: unfair trials and death penalty will not bring justice
Brussels – Rome – New York, 6 November 2014

Tunisian first election under new constitution: a milestone for the country of the Jasmine revolution
Brussels – Rome – New York, 29 October 2014

Bahrain’s allies must take action to free human rights defenders
28 October 2014

Libya's crossroad, where is Europe going?
Gianluca Eramo*, Brussels, 24 October 2014

 NPWJ in the news


 

MGF: Cresce all'ONU il consenso contro le mutilazioni genitali femminili
Sabrina Gasparrini*, La Voce di New York, 26 November 2014

No alle mutilazioni genitali (grazie anche all’Italia)
Onultalia, 25 November 2014

Corte Penale Internazionale, una giornata di iniziativa politica
Agenzia Radicale, 13 November 2014

Napolitano: "Rafforzare lo stato di diritto per promuovere la pace"
Rai News, 13 November 2014

Giustizia, Grasso: Corte penale internazionale a un punto di svolta
ilVelino/AGV NEWS, 13 November 2014

Giustizia: Presidente Grasso, Italia crede senza riserve nella Corte Penale Internazionale
AGENPARL (Roma), 13 November 2014

Quirinale: messaggio di Napolitanno alla Bonino
Riccardo Angelo Ronconi, Agenparl, 13 November 2014

Napolitano: rafforzare stato di diritto per promuovere pace
ADN Kronos, 13 November 2014

Sfide e opportunità per la Corte penale internazionale: conferenza in Sala Zuccari
ADN Kronos, 12 November 2014

Opinion: Libya’s crossroads – where is Europe going?
By Gianluca Eramo, MENA Programme Coordinator of NPWJ, Libya Herald , 30 October 2014

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