Politics by Other Means: When Does Sexual Violence Threaten International Peace and Security?

Citation:

Anderson, Letitia. 2010. “Politics by Other Means: When Does Sexual Violence Threaten International Peace and Security?” International Peacekeeping 17 (2): 244–60.

Author: Letitia Anderson

Abstract:

In certain circumstances, rape, like war itself, may be politics by other means. After the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1820, the question is no longer whether sexual violence is a threat to international peace and security, but when. To move from normative recognition to real-world impact, better understanding is needed of when sexual violence should trigger action by the Security Council in relation to situations on its agenda, or be taken into account as a factor that prompts Security Council engagement. A six-pillar test is proposed to guide such determinations, namely: when it constitutes a crime of international concern; when it attracts command responsibility; when civilians are targeted; when it proliferates owing to a climate of impunity; when there are cross-border implications; and/or when it is a ceasefire violation. Sexual violence that falls into any one or any combination of these categories concerns the Security Council, peacemakers and peacekeepers.

Topics: Gender, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Criminal Law, Peace Processes, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1820, Sexual Violence, Rape

Year: 2010

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