The training course on “Investigating Cases of Sexual and Gender-based Violence as International Crimes,” being held in The Hague, from 10-14 September 2012, was officially opened by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, on Monday, September 10th.
Participants were welcomed by Andras Vamos-Goldman, Executive Director of Justice Rapid Response, Nahla Valji, Programme Specialist for Rule of Law and Transitional Justice at UN Women, and John Ralston, Executive Director of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations .
The course’s aim is to increase the pool of experts that can be rapidly deployed to lead and participate in investigations of conflict gender-based crimes. It is a collaborative project between UN Women, Justice Rapid Response and the Institute for International Criminal Investigations. This training course in The Hague is the first of a series of two courses, the second of which will be held in Pretoria, South Africa, from January 28 to February 1, 2013.
The experts to be trained come from all regions of the world, and upon successful completion they will become part of a special sexual gender-based violence sub-roster of the Justice Rapid Response roster and will be available for rapid deployment by states, as well as the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, and other international institutions. These training courses are made possible thanks to the generous support primarily from the Government of Canada, as well as contributions from Sweden and UN Women.
The Chargé d’ Affaires of Canada, the Ambassador of Sweden, South Africa, and the Ambassador for International Organizations of the Netherlands, as well as a representative of the Embassy of the United Kingdom and of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court were in attendance.