Open for comment: ICC OTP’s Draft Policy on Children
Last week, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (“ICC”), Mrs Fatou Bensouda, published a draft Policy on Children for comment. The Policy once finalised and adopted, will help guide the Office of the Prosecutor (“Office”) in its efforts to address international crimes under the Rome Statute against or affecting children, as well as the Office’s interaction with children during the course of its work.
In highlighting the importance of the Policy, Prosecutor Bensouda stated: “when I assumed the role of Prosecutor in June 2012, one of the principal goals I set for the Office was to ensure that we pay particular attention not only to ‘children with arms’, but also ‘children affected by arms.’ This Policy 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.”
The draft Policy is based on the Rome Statute and other regulatory instruments of the Court, as well as applicable treaties, principles and rules of international law. It also draws on the experience of the Office; its existing good practices and lessons learned, as well as relevant international jurisprudence.
The ICC OTP has said that it welcomes and encourages comments on the draft Policy. Comments can be sent to the following email address: OTPLegalAdvisorySection@icc-cpi.int until Friday, 5 August 2016.
Following consideration of the comments received and any appropriate amendments to the draft, the final version of the policy will be officially launched in November 2016.