In September 2021, the Global Forum for Counter-Terrorism's (GCTF) Working Group on Criminal Justice and Rule of Law (CJ-ROL Working Group) endorsed "The Memorandum on Criminal Justice Approaches to the Linkages between Terrorism and Core International Crimes, Sexual and Gender-based Violence Crimes, Human Trafficking, Migrant Smuggling, Slavery and Crimes Against Children." This provided a comprehensive list of non-binding recommendations that GCTF Members may implement to address the linkages between within their individual criminal justice systems.
To support practitioners and policymakers in boosting their efforts to strengthen criminal justice responses to ensure suspected terrorists are held accountable for the full range of crimes they have committed, the ICCT collaborated with The International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) to deliver four Workshops on the implementation of GCTF guidance on linkages between terrorism and 'core international crimes'. These efforts were funded by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
About the project
Certain acts by terrorists groups can have a nexus to other core international crimes such as crimes against humanity, if the attack is part of a widespread and systematic attack on the civilian population during an armed conflict, or genocide if the attacks are conducted with the intent to destroy (in whole or in part) a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group. , links to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), human trafficking and migrant smuggling have been recognised by several UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) such as UNSCR 2331 (2016) and 2338 (2017).
However, the prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence crimes, and other related crimes, remains relatively low within domestic practice, despite evidence of multiple crimes with linkages between terrorism offences, SGBV, and core international crimes having been committed by terrorist groups in West and East Africa. Linkages to core international crimes, SGBV crimes, human trafficking, migrant smuggling, slavery, and crimes against children requires additional considerations to ensure that alleged terrorists are brought to justice within a rule of law framework.
These workshops were delivered with simultaneous translation to maximise their reach and the effective impartment of understanding on linkages. The long-term impact of these sessions were:
- Raising awareness of "The Memorandum on Criminal Justice Approaches to the Linkages between Terrorism and Core International Crimes, Sexual and Gender-based Violence Crimes, Human Trafficking, Migrant Smuggling, Slavery and Crimes Against Children."
- Providing practical and hands-on guidance to practitioners and policymakers on how to develop and implement a rule of law-based framework to prosecute alleged terrorists for the full range of crimes committed.