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International Humanitarian Law IHL

Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War in International Humanitarian Law

Citation:

Park, Jennifer. 2007. “Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War in International Humanitarian Law.” International Public Policy Review 3 (1): 13–18.

Author: Jennifer Park

Abstract:

Sexual violence as a weapon of war targets individuals not only on the basis of group membership, but also uniquely on the basis of gender. Despite substantial increases in occurrence during warfare, international and national mechanisms have largely neglected the impact of sexual violence in hindering peace and obscuring perceptions of security among population groups. The failure to clearly recognise sexual violence as a weapon of war has resulted in impunity, in turn affecting the likelihood of future outbreaks of conflict. To prevent further negligence, the establishments of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) have made notable progress toward reconceptualising sexual violence as a weapon of war. This paper highlights and evaluates the innovations made by the ICTY and the ICTR towards recognising the issue of sexual violence as a threat to international peace and security in international law.

Topics: International Law, International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Security, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Europe, Balkans Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2007

Prosecuting Wartime Rape and Other Gender-Related Crimes Under International Law: Extraordinary Advances, Enduring Obstacles

Citation:

Askin, Kelly D. 2003. “Prosecuting Wartime Rape and Other Gender-Related Crimes Under International Law: Extraordinary Advances, Enduring Obstacles.” Berkeley Journal of International Law 21 (2): 288.

Author: Kelly D. Askin

Abstract:

Examines the changes in international law regarding sexual violence against women. Overview of the relevant customary and treaty law norms particularly within humanitarian law; Ways in which war increasingly is waged against the civilian population; Treatment of gender-related crimes in the post-World War II trials held in Nuremberg, Germany and Tokyo, Japan.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women Regions: Asia, East Asia, Europe, Central Europe Countries: Germany, Japan

Year: 2003

Protection of Women in Armed Conflict

Citation:

Gardam, Judith, and Hilary Charlesworth. 2000. “Protection of Women in Armed Conflict.” Human Rights Quarterly 22 (1): 148-66.

Authors: Judith Gardam, Hilary Charlesworth

Abstract:

This article examines the role of the international law in protecting women during armed conflict. The article takes note of role of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in addressing needs of women during armed conflict. Women increasingly bear the major burden of armed conflict. In recent years particular attention has been given to the question of violence against women in armed conflict. The significance of these developments is considerable. Considerable work has been done regarding women and armed conflict by institutions concerned with human rights violations against women generally. Indeed, the process of identifying women's particular experiences and demonstrating the failure of the law to acknowledge them is more advanced in this context than in organizations focusing solely on armed conflict. It is evident today that women experience armed conflict in a different way than men. The article concludes that the ICRC is finally recognizing the need to address the specific needs of women in armed conflict. However, a serious commitment to real change is needed. As the traditional guardian of International Humanitarian Law, the ICRC must take concrete steps to make the law relevant to the lives of the majority of the world's population.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2000

Women, War, and Rape: Challenges Facing the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Citation:

Niarchos, Catherine N. 1995. “Women, War, and Rape: Challenges Facing the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.” Human Rights Quarterly 17 (4): 649-90.

Author: Catherine N. Niarchos

Abstract:

The International Tribunal established in 1993 to prosecute those responsible for atrocities committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991 has jurisdiction over acts of violence against women, including rape, forced prostitution, and forced impregnation. An estimated 20,000-50,000 women were raped in acts which were not random but, in fact, appear to be part of a deliberate policy. Rape has always played a significant role in war. Historically, it has not been regarded as a serious crime; at most, it has been considered a crime against honor. In order for the Tribunal to successfully address rape in the former Yugoslavia, it must overcome the double legacy of the historic use of rape as a weapon of war and the tendency of international humanitarian law's to overlook and dismiss the experience of women.

Topics: Gender, Women, International Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 1995

Sexual Torture of Men in Croatia and Other Conflict Situations: An Open Secret

Citation:

Oosterhoff, Pauline, Prisca Zwanikken, and Evert Ketting. 2004. "Sexual Torture of Men in Croatia and Other Conflict Situations: An Open Secret." Reproductive Health Matters 12 (23): 68-77.

Authors: Pauline Oosterhoff, Prisca Zwanikken, Evert Ketting

Abstract:

Sexual torture constitutes any act of sexual violence which qualifies as torture. Public awareness of the widespread use of sexual torture as a weapon of war greatly increased after the war in the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. Sexual torture has serious mental, physical and sexual health consequences. Attention to date has focused more on the sexual torture of women than of men, partly due to gender stereotypes. This paper describes the circumstances in which sexual torture occurs, its causes and consequences, and the development of international law addressing it. It presents data from a study in 2000 in Croatia, where the number of men who were sexually tortured appears to have been substantial. Based on in-depth interviews with 16 health professionals and data from the medical records of three centres providing care to refugees and victims of torture, the study found evidence of rape and other forced sexual acts, full or partial castration, genital beatings and electroshock. Few men admit being sexually tortured or seek help, and professionals may fail to recognise cases. Few perpetrators have been prosecuted, mainly due to lack of political will. The silence that envelopes sexual torture of men in the aftermath of the war in Croatia stands in strange contrast to the public nature of the crimes themselves.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Men, Health, Mental Health, Reproductive Health, International Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Sexual Violence, SV against men, Torture, Sexual Torture Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Croatia

Year: 2004

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