The United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) published a new Analytical Brief, The prosecution of ISIL-associated women. Based on information collected through CTED’s engagement with Member States, its other partners, and through its own open-source research on almost 80 States whose nationals are believed to have travelled to Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic to join ISIL, this Analytical Brief traces the evolution of prosecutorial practice with regard to women who have returned from the conflict zone to their countries of origin. It identifies an urgent need to develop more gender-sensitive criminal justice responses, as well as alternative approaches to rehabilitation and reintegration outside the criminal justice system.
The Analytical Brief finds that the scarcity of data remains a key challenge. Because the systematic collection of gender-disaggregated data is still not the norm, it remains very difficult to track developments; understand the challenges; and implement tailored, gender-sensitive policy responses.
The Analytical Brief shows that there is a need to continue to develop a nuanced understanding of gender roles and motivations, as well as assessments of risks and mitigating circumstances. While research on these issues has advanced, the implementation of findings into policy and practice is lagging behind. Within judicial systems, there is an urgent need for training and capacity-building on gender-sensitive approaches to investigations and prosecutions.
While this Analytical Brief focuses on the situation of foreign women returning to their countries of origin, it emphasizes that more attention should be paid to Iraqi and Syrian women associated with ISIL and the specific challenges relating to their rehabilitation and reintegration, including the need for transitional justice approaches in their communities.
This Analytical Brief continues a series of CTED analytical products on the gender dimensions of return from terrorist groups, including the Trends Report on the Gender Dimensions of the Response to Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters and the Analytical Brief on the Repatriation of ISIL-associated Women.
This Analytical Brief was prepared by CTED in accordance with Security Council resolution 2395 (2017), which directs CTED to conduct analytical work on emerging issues, trends and developments and to make its analytical products available throughout the United Nations system.
CTED Analytical Briefs aim to provide the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, United Nations agencies, and policymakers with a concise analysis of specific issues, trends and developments, as identified through CTED’s engagement with Member States on their implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions. They also include relevant data gathered by CTED, including through engagement with its United Nations partners; international, regional and subregional organizations; civil society organizations; and members of the CTED Global Research Network (GRN).