The Blog offers information about recent decisions by international and internationalized tribunals, as well as relevant events, resources, and developments regarding gender and sexual-based violence. If you wish to contribute to the Blog, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

One Year Since 219 Girls Abducted in Chibok

Media reports are broadcasting protests in London, Paris, and Abuja marking the one-year anniversary since Boko Haram militants forcibly abducted 219 school girls from the Chibok community. Many of the girls have reportedly become victims of forced marriage. According to Amnesty International, the militants have abducted 2,000 girls and women since the start of last year, using them as cooks, sex slaves and fighters.

Project Staff Visit Bosnia

vlasic training2As part of the “Strengthening Victims’ Access to Justice in Bosnia” project, Susana SaCouto, Director of the War Crimes Research Office, and Chante Lasco, Jurisprudence Collections Coordinator, traveled to Bosnia for a week of trainings and outreach in October. Ms. SaCouto and Ms. Lasco helped provide a two-day training in Vlasic, Bosnia, for prosecutors, judges, victim/witness support staff, NGOs that work with victims, media personnel, and law enforcement from four different cantons outside of Sarajevo. The training was provided in partnership with Medica Zenica, a Bosnian NGO that has been assisting victims of conflict-related sexual violence for the past 20 years. Ms. SaCouto and Ms. Lasco's presentations focused on the use of jurisprudence in deciding cases involving conflict-related sexual violence. Ms. SaCouto and Ms. Lasco also met with State Prosecutors in Sarajevo and Ms. SaCouto gave a presentation to Judges from the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina War Crimes Section and their legal officers. Students from the University of Sarajevo Faculty of Law also met with Ms. SaCouto and Ms. Lasco to begin their involvement in the project, which will include accessing and coding verdicts from the State Court War Crimes Section and cantonal and district courts for inclusion in the Gender Jurisprudence Collections (  These activities are a key component of the “Strengthening Victims’ Access to Justice in Bosnia” project which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and aims to support the effective prosecution of conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence by providing tools and training to stakeholders throughout Bosnia.

Gender Jurisprudence Collections Coordinator Speaks at Conference About the Need for Sustained International Support for Prosecutions of Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender Crimes in Bosnia

On September 19, 2014, Chante Lasco, who runs the Gender Jurisprudence Collections, presented a paper at the "Women in and at War" conference held at the University of Warwick near Coventry, the United Kingdom. The paper she presented is co-authored by Susana SaCouto, Director of the War Crimes Research Office, and addresses the challenges facing prosecutors, judges, and others in the domestic criminal justice system in Bosnia and Herzegovina currently trying conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence cases. Ms. Lasco's remarks emphasized the need for sustained international support for war crimes prosecutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, both at the State Court level and in the cantonal and district courts throughout Bosnia now trying war crimes cases.

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia Sentence Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan to Life Imprisonment for Crimes against Humanity

On August 7, 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia announced its judgment in Case 002/01, finding Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan guilty of several crimes against humanity including murder, political persecution, extermination, and other inhumane acts. Both former Khmer Rouge officials were sentenced to life in prison for their role in atrocities committed between April 17, 1975, and December of 1977 in Cambodia. Evidence of sexual and gender-based violence was cited in the judgment including allegations of rape that occurred during the forced evacuation of Phnom Penh in 1975. The Court also discussed the incidence of forced marriage that occurred during this period, finding that forced marriage was a policy of the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) but noting that the nature and implementation of this policy will be addressed in the next trial against the same accused in Case 002/02. Case 002/02 will address several charges including the genocide of the Cham (and related religious persecution in the forced movement of the Cham minority) and the genocide of the Vietnamese; forced marriages and rape nationwide; internal purges; crimes committed at several detention centers and work sites; the treatment of Buddhists; and political persecution/targeting of former Khmer Republic Officials.

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