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March 14, 2012-Democratic Republic of Congo, Staff Notes, International Criminal Court

Lubanga verdict marks major milestone for International Criminal Court

by FEDERICO BORELLO

Today, the International Criminal Court found Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese warlord, guilty of recruitment and use of child soldiers during a brutal war in the Ituri district, in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is the first trial at the ICC to reach the judgment phase, which marks a huge milestone for the ICC just months ahead of its 10th anniversary in July. 

Humanity United welcomes this decision and is committed to supporting the court’s efforts as part of our focus to strengthen institutions that promote peace, security, and justice. We provide support to organizations that help to foster international cooperation with the ICC, such as the Coalition for the International Criminal Court and Human Rights Watch. We are also trying to learn more about issues that directly impact the court's effectiveness, such as funding research by the University of California, Los Angeles to look at the relationship between the court and the UN Security Council.

In 2012, our work on international justice will focus on supporting the work of the ICC in situation countries, promoting international cooperation with the Court, encouraging ratifications—particularly in the Middle East and North Africa—and, if needed, supporting evidence-gathering efforts by experienced NGOs to gather and store evidence of mass atrocities. 

Abigail Long is a Policy and Government Relations Associate and Federico Borello is an Investment Director. Both are based in Humanity United’s Washington D.C. Office.

Photo: The Hague, home of the International Criminal Court (Flickr)