U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged all states to sign up to the International Criminal Court and rejected criticism the body was a court only for African crimes.
IFSW Senior Vice President Charles Mbugua is attending the meeting and will provide a report to the world conference on social work and social development which meets in Hong Kong on 14-16 June.
IFSW President David N Jones commented on the relevance of the ICC to social work practice. ‘Social work is a human rights profession’, he stated, ‘and human rights come under the most severe attack in times of war. We will be discussing the practice of social work in situations of extreme conflict at the conference in Hong Kong’, he continued, ‘and I expect that we will agree to develop guidelines for social workers in such contexts. Our guidance will be drafted taking careful note of the experience of the ICC and of social workers around the world who have continued to do their crucial humanitarian work despite severe personal threat’, David Jones concluded. Delegates from member states are meeting in Kampala for 10 says in early June to discuss the achievements of the ICC, set up in 2002 as the world’s first permanent war crimes court, and seek to give it extra powers to prosecute crimes of state aggression. “If the ICC is to have the reach it should possess… we must have universal support, only then will perpetrators have no place to hide,” Ban told delegates.
The ICC has been ratified by 111 member states, but large powers such as the U.S., Russia, China and India have not. NGOs have urged nations to make strong commitments to the ICC and step up their efforts to arrest indicted suspects.