On 11 November at The Hague Humanity Hub, Gambia announced that it had brought forward an application at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Myanmar over genocide allegations. The hosts of Asymmetrical Haircuts podcast had the chance to interview Akila Radhakrishnan, who is at the centre of the lobby behind this initiative for justice and accountability.

Akila is the president of the Global Justice Center based in New York, an international human rights organisation focused on gender equality and the rule of law. In this episode, she spoke in detail on the Rohingya genocide, including on the heinous sexual-based violence aspect of it all.

We talked to a lot of traditional states [on taking action] as you would think of them, [but] none of them had the courage and the ability to do what Gambia did and step up, and take it.

Akila Radhakrishnan on lobbying for justice for the Rohingya.

Akila believes that NGOs must play a key role in pursuing accountability and justice. Her organisation, the Global Justice Center, is among those pursuing state accountability for perpetrating genocide and other abhorrent acts of violence. However, she has observed a “lack of political or moral courage” by the international community in ensuring that.

Gambia, which brought forward the application against Myanmar, is one of the positive examples. The country wants to take leadership in setting a standard for taking human rights violations seriously – doing so both domestically and internationally with its pursuit for justice beyond its own borders.

With the Global Justice Center’s focus on the gender aspect of human rights, Akila has identified Myanmar’s use of sexual violence as a military tactic. This component of Myanmar’s gender ideology has been present even before the Rohingya genocide, but was more marked in this recent campaign, she says. Ultimately, the campaign sought to eliminate the community’s ability to sustain its future.

You can listen to the entire episode by clicking here or view the entire episode library of Asymmetrical Haircuts. You can also read more about the 11 November meeting at the Humanity Hub in which Gambia announced its application at the ICJ.

Asymmetrical Haircuts is a podcast delivering engaging and straightforward discussions about international justice. It’s the result of a collaboration between Humanity Hub members Janet Anderson and Stephanie van den Berg and is recorded at the Humanity Hub.