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The Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Crimes International

Criminal Court
In June 2014, the International Criminal Court (ICC) presented a Policy paper on Sexual and
Gender!ased "iolence Crimes, in the #rame$or% o# the ICC Strate&ic Plan 2012201',
committin& to inte&rate a &ender perspecti(e and analysis into the $hole ICC)s $or%, #rom
in(esti&ations and prosecutions, to trainin& to ICC personnel and adoption o# a (ictimcentred
approach*
+ot$ithstandin& the international community)s e##ort at endin& an increasin& impunity,
e##ecti(e in(esti&ation and prosecution o# sexual and &ender ,ased (iolence crimes still #ace
ma-or challen&es* .his policy paper can ,ecome an important tool to o(ercome some
o,stacles, as it represents a #urther step to$ards the systematisation o# a &ender approach in
endin& impunity o# national and international crimes* / #irst step is ICC)s role, $hich is the #irst
instrument in international la$ to include an expansi(e list o# sexual and &ender,ased crimes
as $ar crimes in ,oth international and noninternational armed con#lict* It also understands
sexual and &ender ,ased crimes as crimes a&ainst humanity and includes not only rape, ,ut
also other #orms o# sexual (iolence, persecution on the ,asis o# &ender, and comprehends that
sexual and &ender ,ased crimes can constitute acts o# &enocide*
.he policy paper presented ,y the ICC continues in the same direction* It underlies the
interconnected, yet distinct, nature o# sexual (iolence and &ender ,ased (iolence crimes, and
reco&nises that such patterns o# (iolence, e(en i# o#ten correlated and in#luenced ,y other
%inds o# (iolence, constitute crimes per se* .hey need to ,e analysed, in(esti&ated, prosecuted
and char&ed as speci#ic crimes, to $hich other char&es can ,e cumulated (#or example, cases
o# torture that imply rape, can ,e char&ed cumulati(ely as rape and torture)* /doptin& a
&ender perspecti(e means that the ICC $ill apply a &ender analysis to all crimes $ithin its
-urisdiction, examinin& ho$ such crimes are related to ine0uality ,et$een men and $omen,
and their relationships in speci#ic contexts*
.he ICC indicates sexual and &ender ,ased (iolence crimes as amon& the &ra(est ones* In
order to reco&nise the &ra(ity o# such acts, the Court $ill &i(e due consideration to the sexual
and &ender dimensions o# the char&ed crimes, includin& the su##erin& in#licted to (ictims,
$itnesses, #amilies and communities* It also $ill adopt a &enderinclusi(e approach #or
reparations* In addition, the Court $ill pay particular attention to the (ictims and $itnesses)
sa#ety, protection, psychosocial and health conditions* .he support o# the ci(il society is
extremely important in this sense1 this is $hy the ICC is committed to promote such
colla,oration* /t the same time, the ICC reiterates the complementarity o# its $or% $ith
national e##orts, and those o# other sta%eholders, to end impunity1 all possi,le colla,orations in
this sense $ill continue to ,e promoted*
In order to accomplish this (ast and complex ran&e o# tas%s, the Court expresses the need to
pro(ide re&ular trainin& on &ender approaches, sexual (iolence and &ender ,ased (iolence
crimes to its $hole sta##, also #indin& technical experts that can ensure an ade0uate $or% on
pre(enti(e examinations, in(esti&ation and prosecution o# such crimes*
.he ela,oration o# the 2Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender!ased "iolence Crimes3 con#irms
the tendency, already expressed $ith the 4ecommendation +o* 50 o# the Con(ention #or the
6limination o# /ll 7orms o# 8iscrimination a&ainst 9omen o# +o(em,er 2015, o# reco&nisin& a
distincti(e character to &ender ,ased (iolence as much more than mere human ri&hts (iolation*