Event information

10 May 2023, 18:30-20:00
Register start 28 April 2023
Register end 10 May 2023

Book Launch: Atrocity Crimes, Children and International Criminal Courts


Cover page of the book Cover page of the book

This event marks the launch of Professor Cécile Aptel’s new book ‘Atrocity Crimes, Children and International Criminal Courts: Killing Childhood’ published by Routledge.

In this book, Cécile Aptel – one of our faculty members and a leading expert in international criminal justice, transitional justice and child rights – shows how international criminal courts have paid only limited and inconsistent attention to atrocity crimes affecting children.

The book reviews how different international and hybrid criminal jurisdictions, from the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals to the International Criminal Court, have considered international crimes committed against or by children. The book also considers how international criminal justice can help contribute to the recognition of the impact that international crimes have on children, whether as victims or as participants and strengthen their protection.

The book elucidates the many obstacles that have contributed to the international courts’ focus on the experience of adults, rendering children almost invisible. It proposes an agenda to improve this situation, calling for international investigative and prosecutorial strategies to be less adult-centric and also for the scope of crimes against children to be broadened beyond the focus on child soldiers.

Based on her book’s findings, the author will discuss with leading experts the key issues related to the investigation and prosecution of international crimes affecting children.


  • Erica Harper, Head of Research and Policy Studies, Geneva Academy


  • Cécile Aptel, Deputy Director, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research and Faculty member, Geneva Academy
  • Catherine Marchi-Uhel, Head, International Impartial and Independent Mechanism - Syria (IIIM)
  • Benyam Dawit Mezmur, Eleanor Roosevelt Fellow, Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School and Professor of Law, University of Western Cape, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and former Member and Chairperson of the  African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
  • Aurélie Lamazière, Lead on Accountability for Grave Violations Affecting Children, Senior Programme Manager, Save the Children

Closing Remarks

  • Mikiko Otani, Chair, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child


The book launch will be followed by a reception.


Portrait of Claire An News

MAS in Transitional Justice: What our Alumni Say

30 January 2024

As a Programme Officer at the UN Women Centre of Excellence for Gender Equality, Claire An forms part of a team focussing on ending violence against women and implements research programmes that measure femicide and technology-facilitated violence against women. In this interview, she tells about the programme, fond memories and what it brought to her career.

Read more

Stavros Pantazopoulos News

Our New Visiting Fellow: Stavros Pantazopoulos

9 February 2024

Dr Stavros-Evdokimos Pantazopoulos will focus, during his fellowship at the Geneva Academy, on the protection of the environment in armed conflict and will notably address the initiative to criminalize conflict-related environmental harm, placing the emphasis on the crime of ecocide. 

Read more