AREAS OF WORK
To advance the IJP's mission, we engage in four key areas of work: Casework, Advocacy, Emergency Response Network, and Health
and Reparations Project(HARP).
We train and educate lawyers, intermediaries, advocates, activists, and other interested parties on human rights and international criminal law around the world.
The IJP seeks to create a norm where conflict is resolved not through violence but through the rule
of law. We work to ensure that the voices of survivors of genocide, crimes against humanity, and
war crimes are heard at all levels, especially at the International Criminal Court (ICC). To achieve
this, we focus our advocacy on promoting victims’ rights at the ICC and other international
tribunals; advancing the rights of the Darfuri Diaspora in the United States and abroad; and
fighting to end impunity and hold perpetrators of international crimes accountable.
The IJP applies our extensive knowledge of and experience with criminal and humanitarian law for the benefit of human trafficking victims. Projects in our Modern Day Slavery Initiative include:
Working as a key member of the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking to educate hotel management about warning signs ahead of the 2014 Super Bowl
Filing amicus briefs in federal court on the devastating impact of human trafficking on victims.
Exploring the connection between armed conflict and human trafficking.
Educating businesses on how to protect their supply chains.
Educating the public on the international human rights law dimensions of human trafficking, though university presentations and other workshops.
Chasing Bashir and
BashirWatch is a multifaceted advocacy campaign that aims to end the decade-long impunity enjoyed by Bashir and three other Sudanese officials—Ahmad Muhammad Harun, Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, and Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein—wanted by the ICC for genocide, war crimes, and/or crimes against humanity committed in Darfur. To achieve this goal, the campaign seeks to galvanize worldwide action from global citizens to press their governments and the entire international community, especially in Africa and the Middle East, to strongly call for members of the ICC and member states of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) who referred the case to the Hague to follow through with their legal obligation and enforce the arrest warrants for Bashir and others.
Follow the campaign at www.bashirwatch.org! It features in-depth analysis of the issues, a collection of endorsements from various organizations, an international rapid response mechanism to protest and stop Bashir’s travels, and much more!
Through legal advocacy and raising awareness, IJP has taken on the issue of anti-trafficking to help protect victims. Recently we have partnered with NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking and our very own, Wanda Akin, has been asked to become a member of their Legislative Committee.
IJP’s Co-Founder Wanda Akin Brown presents at “I am Jane Doe” film screening and panel discussion on human trafficking. Thanks to our wonderful partners at YWCA Bergen County and the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking. Ms. Akin was joined by NJ Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Dwanee C. from the Dream Catcher Program. We must continue to educate and fight against Backpage and human slavery.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE NETWORK
In Darfur, violence against civilians has resulted in the deaths of around 300,000
civilians and the displacement of 2.7 million people since 2003. The atrocities
committed in Darfur are so gruesome that the President of Sudan, Omar Al-Bashir,
has been charged with perpetrating genocide on his own people by the Prosecutor
of the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
To date, an estimated 1500-2500 refugees from this conflict have fled to the U.S.
Although now safe from the violence, it is apparent that these Darfurians continue
to suffer from different kinds of trauma: The medical or psychological trauma
directly related to the atrocities they have suffered, the challenges resulting from
displacement from their homes, and the difficulties from resettling and adjusting to
a new country and society. Many of these refugees have lost family members,
possessions, connection to the lands, their way of life, and their community.
Mental Health Care
We work with professional therapists who can offer initial mental health assessments to the women we encounter and determine whether a further referral might be in order.
Our Network relies on the assistance of reliable translators and interpreters who work with the Marilyn S. Broad Fellow to assist the Darfurian refugees.
WOMEN OF DARFUR
Darfurian women are particularly vulnerable members of an insular community that often lacks access to decent health, social or legal services. These women are at risk of being disenfranchised because of mental or medical health problems, discrimination in the community because of past sexual violence or because of poverty due to a lack of income generating skills. Some even face homelessness. Many Darfurian women are in critical need of assistance, both for their own sake and for the sake of their children and their communities. This need is made even more pressing by the fact that the next calendar year is likely to see an additional influx of Darfurians to the United States.
It is clear that access to the right kind of legal, medical, or social support at the right moment can make a radical difference in the lives of these women. The IJP is already very active in this area, and in the past, it has provided individual emergency aid on a case-by-case basis. Now, we are expanding to provide aid on a case-by-case basis as part of a larger emergency response mechanism to reach more women and families.
Our goal is to coordinate an organized network of health care, social services, legal professionals, and others to assist Darfurian women and their families in the United States. And, ultimately, our hope is that this Network will be sustainable and function on a peer-to-peer basis, being led by Darfurian women themselves and making the IJP’s response actions unnecessary.
WHY THE IJP
In the spring of 2005, the Prosecutor of the ICC opened an investigation into the crimes committed in Darfur after the United Nations Security Council referred the matter to the Court. To date, the ICC has issued arrest warrants against four members of the Sudanese government, including President al-Bashir, for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
Shortly after the arrest warrants were issues, the IJP founders, Wanda M. Akin and Raymond M. Brown, began working with members of the Darfurian Diaspora in the United States who wanted to know more about the legal proceedings at the ICC. Akin and Brown soon took on the task of gathering the stories of the genocide victims and submitting their applications to participate in the trial against President al-Bashir. Today, Akin, Brown, and the IJP team have interviewed close to 100 Darfuris in the United States and other countries around the world.
For many Darfurian women, the IJP is often the first and only place where they share their stories. It may be their first opportunity to break their silence and discuss the horror of witnessing family members die, sexual violence, and/or domestic violence. Recognizing that the IJP might be the only organization the women ever talk to, we feel obligated to expand our activity from listening and recording these experiences to addressing the most pressing needs of the women, such as healthcare, mental health care, temporary lodging, legal advice, and more.
The IJP’s founders, Raymond M. Brown, Esq. and Wanda M. Akin, Esq., currently represent the first Darfurian victims recognized by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to participate in the proceedings related to the Darfur Situation. They also represent four Darfurian victims participating in the case against Sudanese President al-Bashir.
HEALTH AND REPARATIONS PROJECT
IJP, their Darfurian allies, and the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Boston College launched the Health
and Reparations Project (HARP) on October 23, 2012 at Boston College. IJP Co-Founders Wanda
Akin and Raymond Brown presented on the forgotten genocide in Darfur and the need for
transitional justice for the Darfurian people, launching HARP to more than 100 people, including
Boston College students and faculty, IJP partner organizations, NGOs, human rights activists from
the region, friends and family. Click the links below to learn more about HARP.
Full HARP 2012 Project Launch Report