If you would like to help end impunity for sexual violence in armed conflict, you can write to your local Member of Parliament about the investigation and prosecution of Australians who fought with Da’esh in Syria and Iraq.
If you don’t know who your Member of Parliament (MP) is, you can search the parliamentary website here, with your postcode. The postal address and email of your MP will be available there too.
We have prepared the body of a basic letter that you can use. You can amend this as you like, and fill in the spaces with the details of your MP.
Please let us know if you have any follow up correspondence with your MP.
Re: investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of sexual violence in Iraq and Syria
Da’esh has used sexual violence as a weapon of war, constituent of genocide, and in crimes against humanity in Iraq and Syria.
Sexual violence in armed conflict is a long-standing issue. Gendered crimes are often perpetrated outside the jurisdiction of institutions willing and able to bring the perpetrators to justice and the crimes are often overlooked. But over 100 Australians have travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight with Da’esh and other violent extremist organisations.
Australia can contribute to ending the impunity for sexual violence in armed conflict by prosecuting our nationals for these crimes. This will support the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and related resolutions. It will also support the implementation of Australia’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2012-2018.
In Australia, genocide and crimes against humanity are outlawed in the International Criminal Court Act 2002. War crimes are criminalised in the War Crimes Act 1945 and the Geneva Conventions Act 1957. These acts have been incorporated in Division 268 of the Criminal Code Act.
I ask you to please raise this issue in your party room and in any relevant committees you sit on.
The United Nations has published reports on the crimes committed in Syria and Iraq. But the relevant Australian authorities will need to be resourced for the investigations and prosecutions of these crimes.
Thank you for your time and consideration.