The National Prosecution of CRSV in Guatemala and Colombia: Closer to a Victim-Centered Justice?

Date: 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020, 12:30pm to 1:45pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

Sexual violence is a widespread and chronic issue in conflicts around the world. National efforts to address impunity for conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) have led to progress and faced challenges. The UN Team of Experts, together with its partners, initiated a Digital Dialogue Series addressing topics covered in the Special Issue of the Journal of International Criminal Justice on CRSV

The second Digital Dialogue of the Series will bring together several contributing authors to the Special Issue, academics, and experts on the prosecution and investigation of serious crimes in Latin America, with a focus on Colombia and Guatemala. Indeed, despite widespread impunity for conflict-related sexual violence, there have been a number of significant and innovative efforts to hold perpetrators accountable within national justice systems in these countries.

In Guatemala, national courts have prosecuted several emblematic cases involving sexual violence perpetrated by state security forces during the internal armed conflict. In Colombia, the creation of a Gender Submission within the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, as well as of a special investigation team for cases of sexual violence in the Investigation and Prosecution Unit, offer among others an opportunity for the development of innovative responses to conflict related sexual violence as the Jurisdiction begins to investigate and adjudicate priority cases.

Hosted by: the UN Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict

In collaboration with: Center for Gender Human Rights Gender and Migration at the Institute for Public Health,  Institute for Public Health, Washington University in St. Louis ; Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard University; the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University; and the School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute.

Panelists: 

  • Ms. Daniela Kravetz | Attorney; Human Rights, Accountability, and Gender-based Violence Expert; Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea 
  • Ms. Marta Valiñas | Member of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; Human Rights and Legal Professional Specializing on Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes
  • Ms. Susana SáCouto | Professorial Lecturer-In-Residence; Director of the War Crimes Research Office of the Washington College of Law
  • Ms. Ana Medina | Member of the Civil Society Organization, Mujeres Transformando el Mundo (MTM) 
  • Amb. Charlotta SchlyterAmbassador for Sustainable Development, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations
  • Ms. Mona Rishmawi (Moderator) | Co-lead entity of the UN Team of Experts Chief of Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch 

Daniela Kravetz (Chile) was appointed in October 2018 as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea. Ms Kravetz is an attorney with extensive experience in human rights, accountability, gender-based violence and access to justice in conflict and post-conflict settings. Her experience covers countries in Latin America, Africa, and the former Yugoslavia. While serving as a humanitarian law expert on the Security Council mandated Panel of Experts on the Sudan from 2016 to 2018, Ms Kravetz conducted fact-finding missions to the Sudan and regional countries to investigate alleged violations by the parties to the conflict. Previously, she worked for over twelve years at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, first as a law clerk in Chambers and later as a prosecutor in the Office of the Prosecutor. Her prior experience includes working as a human rights officer in the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Marta Valiñas is a human rights and legal professional, who has been specializing on international criminal justice and, more specifically, on sexual and gender-based crimes. Most recently, she worked in one of the investigation teams at the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (2014-2019). Prior to that, she worked as a legal adviser, both in non-governmental organizations, such as REDRESS (2009) and the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (2013/2014), and in the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina (2009-2013). She has consulted for various organizations, including UNICEF-IRC, UN Women, ICTJ, the OSCE Gender Section, and various times for Justice Rapid Response. In this quality, she has recently trained and mentored legal professionals in domestic jurisdictions such as Guatemala and Colombia (2017 and 2019). Ms. Valiñas holds a graduate degree in Law from the University of Porto and a Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratization (E.MA). She has also been an academic researcher at the University of Leuven on transitional justice (2004-2008).

Susana SáCouto directs the War Crimes Research Office of the Washington College of Law, which promotes the development and enforcement of international criminal law and international humanitarian law. She is also Professorial Lecturer-in-Residence at the Washington College of Law, where she teaches courses on international criminal law, international legal responses to conflict-based sexual and gender violence. Ms. SáCouto’s background includes extensive practical experience with organizations working on human rights issues at both the domestic and international level, including Women Empowered Against Violence, Inc., the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Center for Human Rights Legal Action in Guatemala, and the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. She also served as co-chair of the Women’s International Law Interest Group of the American Society for International Law, and was awarded The Women’s Law Center 22nd Annual Dorothy Beatty Memorial Award for significant contributions to women’s rights. In December 2017, she was honored as part of the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice’s unveiling of the Gender Justice Legacy Wall, which celebrates judges, practitioners, academics, advocates, diplomats, survivors, witnesses, and others who have helped shape the field of international gender justice over the past 125 years.

Amb. Charlotta Schlyter, Ambassador for Sustainable Development, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations, will give the closing remarks.

Mona Rishmawi is the Chief of the Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). She has been working for the United Nations since November 2000. Until June 2009, she served as the OHCHR Legal Advisor and the Coordinator of the Rule of Law and Democracy Unit. She was the Executive Director of the UN International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur which was established by the UN Security Council resolution 1564 of 18 September 2004. This inquiry led in March 2005 to the first referral of a situation by the UN Security Council to the International Criminal Court. Between 2000 and 2004, she was the Senior Policy Adviser to two UN High Commissioners for Human Rights: Mary Robinson and Sérgio Vieira de Mello. In 2003, she served with Sérgio Vieira de Mello in Iraq in his capacity as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General.

You can also find additional information about the entire series on this page: https://spark.adobe.com/page/BKdUQCMyYyJbJ/.

The panelists will answer some of the questions during the session. Please submit any questions you may have for them at least 24 hours prior to the webinar by sending an email to toesvc@un.org

Virtual Event Details:
This event will be livestreamed on YouTube Live. Attendees registered for this event (link below), will first receive a confirmation email from Harvard Web Publishing, confirming that they have signed-up succesfully. On the day of the event, they will receive a reminder for the livestream 30 minutes before the event along with a link to the YouTube page where you can participate in the live chat and ask questions during the event.

Registration Closed