A Louisville group is joining others worldwide in marking today’s Human Rights Day. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.
The United Nations General Assembly designated each December 10th Human Rights Day in 1950. And this year, the Louisville chapter of the United Nations Association is recognizing the occasion by showing The Reckoning, a film about the International Criminal Court. The court came into being in 2002 after 60 countries ratified a treaty outlining the court’s function. Since then it has opened investigations into human rights situations in Northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan’s Darfur region.
Matt Hankin is president of the local UN Association chapter. He says the film shows a court doing difficult work with scarce resources.
“The film follows the work of ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo for three years across four different continents as his team lays out warrants,” he says.
Hankin also says it’s a suspenseful telling of a young and landmark court.
“The criminal court officially came into effect once it got 60 ratifications in 2002, so it’s nascent and very new,” he says. “And so it’s chronicling a lot of that.”
Hankin says the film shows a need for the court, which was supported by the United States under President Bill Clinton but the country has yet to ratify the treaty.
“The United States should be a part of something that they helped form,” he says. “In 1998, in the Rome Conference to create the Rome Statute, David Schaffer at the time was Bill Clinton’s ambassador at large for war crimes, was very involved in putting it together.”
TOP: Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo in the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. (Credit: Skylight Pictures) BOTTOM: Professor Pilo inspects a skull in the killing fields of Bogoro, Ituri, eastern Congo. (Credit: Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos)