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International Criminal Court Update

On June 21st, the ICC sentenced Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo to 18 years of imprisonment. He had been found guilty in March as a military commander responsible for crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and war crimes (murder, rape, and pillaging) committed in the Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003. Bemba was sentenced to 18 years of imprisonment (less eight years for time already served). Reparations to victims will be considered at a later date.

Also this week, Fatou Bensouda, the ICC Prosecutor, published a draft Policy on Children. It is intended to guide the Office of the Prosecutor in addressing crimes under the Rome Statute that are against or affect children, as well as the Office’s interaction with children during the course of its work.

Prosecutor Bensouda introduced the policy by saying that it “demonstrates our firm commitment to closing the impunity gap for crimes against or affecting children, and adopting a child-sensitive approach in all aspects of our work bearing in mind their rights and best interests. It is also our hope that the Policy, once adopted, will serve as a useful guide to national authorities in their efforts to address crimes against children.”

Comments can be submitted until Friday, August 5th. The policy’s final version will be launched in November 2016.

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