UN Women Grant Awarded to American University Washington College of Law’s Gender and International Law Project
Sept. 26, 2019
American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) is pleased to announce that UN Women has awarded AUWCL’s War Crimes Research Office, Academy on Human Rights, and Women and the Law Program a grant for the programs’ joint Gender and International Criminal Law Project initiative, “Documenting Good Practice on Accountability for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Guatemala.” This work is one component of our Gender and International Criminal Law Project, which provides practitioners tools for and promotes the investigation and prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence under international law.
Through the grant and partnership with UN Women, the Project will publish a report raising awareness of the specific legal strategies used in the Sepur Zarco case in Guatemala – a groundbreaking prosecution providing redress for indigenous victims of sexual violence and sexual slavery that occurred during that country’s civil war – and the role client-centered lawyering played in delivering justice.
Sepur Zarco is one of a handful of successful prosecutions for sexual and gender-based crimes committed in conflict in all of Latin America. Director of the War Crimes Research Office Susana SáCouto and Co-Director of the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Claudia Martin, with the assistance of AUWCL students, advised one of the lead NGOs in that case and submitted two critical amicus briefs in support of the victims at both the trial and appellate stages of the proceedings.
AUWCL students will continue to play a central role during the creation of the Project’s report. Students in WCL’s International Criminal Law Practicum and Project Dean’s Fellows will research and draft sections of the report under the supervision of SáCouto, Martin and Associate Director of the Women and the Law Program Daniela Kraiem.