20 ICC benefits

Here are 20 reasons to back the ICC and the fight for global justice.

1. It is a global Court for the powerless - Around the globe, victims of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes are demanding justice. If we abandon the ICC, we abandon the most vulnerable in our world and allow self-serving politicians and governing elites seeking immunity to destroy over half a century of human rights advances.

2. It is a Court of last resort - The ICC prosecutes individuals for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. But only if governments don't do so first.

3. It gives us a path to global peace - Grave crimes threaten the peace, security and well-being of the world.

4. It is a symbol of hope – Throughout history, millions of children, women and men have been victims of unimaginable atrocities. In the 20th century alone, an estimated 200 million people died as a result of conflict, massacres and oppression. That’s around 1 in every 27 deaths. The establishment of the ICC has given hope for a better world. We cannot let history repeat itself.

5. It is independent and impartial - One of the main achievements and pillars of the Rome Statute is the independence of the ICC, including the prosecutor and judges, from governments and from the United Nations Security Council. The ICC Rome Statute carries with it safeguards against politically motivated investigations and prosecution.

6. It is mandated by the international community - 124 states are in the Assembly of States Parties, ‘Like-minded’ progressive states fought to establish the ICC. They continue to defend the Court and provide it with support in difficult times. The ICC is simply fulfilling its role as laid out in the Rome Statute.

7. It is supported by global governments and civil society – The push for the ICC was driven by a ground-breaking alliance between non-governmental organizations all over the world. This is a global movement to end impunity that has defied all the odds and endured the opposition of the world's major powers.

8. It is making progress - Set up in 2002, the Court has already made significant progress in holding those most responsible at the highest levels for atrocities to account. It has issued its first verdicts and potentially thousands of victims are in line to receive reparations. Criticism has grown as the Court has become more effective.

9. It is a court for future generations - The ICC may stumble, but its full potential will be realized in the generation of our children.

10. It prevents and deters global anarchy - ICC investigations and prosecutions can prevent crimes like genocide from happening in the first place. More accountability is need in the world to address global humanitarian crises that are spiraling out of control.

11. It stands for equality of all before the law - Because of the cornerstone Rome Statute prohibition of immunity, for the first time in history, we can bring all individuals - including presidents, generals and rebel leaders - to justice for grave international crimes.

12. It is a victim-centered Court - Victims of grave crimes are the reason the ICC exists. In this unique system, they can participate in ICC proceedings and receive reparations, including through the Trust Fund for Victims, to help rebuild their lives.

13. It is responding to the calls of victims - victims of grave crimes have said time and again they want justice, either through national judicial systems or through the ICC.

14. It sets justice standards – Through fair, effective and independent justice, the ICC’s investigations, trials and staff set the standard for justice for grave crimes.

15. It advances gender justice – The scourge of sexual and gender-based crimes is found in conflicts the world over. The ICC is leading efforts to stamp out it out.

16. It protects children - Hundreds of thousands of children are forced to take part in conflicts around the world. These are crimes under the ICC Rome Statute.

17. It is a sound investment in peace – International justice costs a fraction of the conflicts that make it necessary. In 2015, governments spent $14 trillion on war. Ensuring peace through the ICC costs under $170 million per year.

18. It builds stable societies – Ratifying the Rome Statute commits nations to creating national laws to prosecute war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

19. It increases access to justice – Access to justice is goal 16 of the new United Nations Global Goals, agreed to by all UN member states.

20. It involves states in its governance – Through its governing body, the Assembly of States Parties, the ICC provides forum for states to shape the future of international criminal justice and to advocate for reform. Each state has one equal vote.