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War Crimes

Sexual Minorities in Conflict Zones: A Review of the Literature

Citation:

Moore, Melinda W., and John R. Barner. 2017. “Sexual Minorities in Conflict Zones: A Review of the Literature.” Aggression and Violent Behavior 35: 33-37.

Authors: Melinda W. Moore, John R. Barner

Abstract:

In civil and ethnic conflict, sexual minorities experience a heightened risk for war crimes such as sexual violence, torture, and death. As a result, sexual minorities remain an invisible population in armed conflict out of a need for safety. Further study of sexual minorities in conflict zones confronts matters of human rights, war crimes, and the psychosocial effects of war. This article reviews the existing research on sexual minorities in conflict zones, examines the findings on human rights, war crimes, and the psychosocial effects of war and violence on sexual minority populations, and reviews the barriers to effectiveness faced by intervention programs developed spe- cifically to aid post-conflict societies. The article concludes with a summary of findings within the literature and further considerations for research on aggression and violent behavior with sexual minority groups in conflict zones.

Keywords: violence, aggression, Sexual minorities, gender, war, armed conflict, human rights

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, Justice, War Crimes, LGBTQ, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against men, SV against women, Torture, Sexual Torture, Violence

Year: 2017

Defining Sexual Violence as a Crime Against Humanity in Colombia: Recommendations for Law 1719 of 2014

Citation:

Fetterhoff, Christina M. 2014. “Defining Sexual Violence as a Crime Against Humanity in Colombia: Recommendations for Law 1719 of 2014.” Eyes on the ICC 10 (1): 123–46.

Author: Christina M. Fetterhoff

Abstract:

This article examines whether changes to Colombia's Criminal Codes, enacted through new legislation to assure access to justice for victims of sexual violence in the context of armed conflict, provide adequate definitions to bring Colombia in line with international legal standards. If Colombia is successful, it will be able to exercise concurrent jurisdiction with the International Criminal Court over these crimes. However, the current definitions of conflict-related crimes of sexual violence fall short of providing Colombia with this option.

Keywords: International Criminal Law, the International Criminal Court, Colombia, complementarity, sexual violence, Crimes against Humanity, war crimes, gender

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, International Criminal Law, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2014

“Without These Women, the Tribunal Cannot Do Anything”: The Politics of Witness Testimony on Sexual Violence at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

Citation:

Koomen, Jonneke. 2013. “‘Without These Women, the Tribunal Cannot Do Anything’: The Politics of Witness Testimony on Sexual Violence at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.” Signs 38 (2): 253–77. doi:10.1086/667200.

Author: Jonneke Koomen

Abstract:

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was established by the UN Security Council to prosecute high-profile organizers of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, including those responsible for systematic sexual violence against Rwandan women. Focusing on tribunal cases involving mass rape, I examine how global justice for Rwandan women is produced through the politics of translation and negotiation. Through in-depth interviews and ethnographic fieldwork, I investigate how unspeakable suffering is articulated through witness testimony, translated into the language of international law, and mediated through the tribunal bureaucracy. I examine encounters between international tribunal workers and Rwandan witnesses, specifically how ICTR staff investigate sexual violence, gather witness statements, and render individuals’ stories fit for public appearance at the tribunal. I also explore the conditions under which witnesses tell their stories in ICTR courtrooms. I argue that international justice at the ICTR depends on Rwandan victims and witnesses. At the same time, however, the project of international justice for women depends on routine social practices that at times marginalize Rwandan women as objects of justice. I contend that these practices may, counterintuitively, reinforce the distance between “local victims” and the expansive ambitions of international justice.

Topics: Gender, Genocide, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Post-Conflict, Security, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2013

Sex in Peace Operations

Citation:

Simm, Gabrielle. 2015. Sex in Peace Operations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/law/un-and-international-organisations/sex-peace-operations?format=PB.

Author: Gabrielle Simm

Abstract:

Gabrielle Simm's critical re-evaluation of sex between international personnel and local people examines the zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and its international legal framework. Whereas most preceding studies of the issue have focused exclusively on military peacekeepers, Sex in Peace Operations also covers the private military contractors and humanitarian NGO workers who play increasingly important roles in peace operations. Informed by socio-legal studies, Simm uses three case studies (Bosnia, West Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo) to illustrate the extent of the problem and demonstrate that the problems of impunity for sexual crimes are not just a failure of political will but the result of the structural weaknesses of international law in addressing non-state actors. Combining the insights of feminist critique with a regulatory approach to international law, her conclusions will interest scholars of international law, peace and conflict studies, gender and sexuality, and development.
 
(Cambridge University Press)

Topics: International Law, International Human Rights, International Organizations, Justice, War Crimes, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, NGOs, Peacekeeping, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against women Regions: Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2015

Sexual Violence against Child Soldiers

Citation:

Grey, Rosemary. 2014. “Sexual Violence against Child Soldiers.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 16 (4): 601–21. doi:10.1080/14616742.2014.955964.

Author: Rosemary Grey

Abstract:

In addition to participating in hostilities, girl soldiers are often raped, sexually enslaved and used as “bush wives” by their commanders and fellow soldiers. As this issue of sexual violence against girl soldiers has become increasingly visible in recent cases before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), attempts have been made to prosecute this conduct within the established framework of international criminal law. Most recently, this issue has been addressed in the case of The Prosecutor v Bosco Ntaganda, one of the six cases that have come before the ICC from the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. On 9 June 2014, the Pre-Trial Chamber confirmed the charges in the Ntaganda case, and found that the rape and sexual slavery of girl soldiers in Ntaganda's armed group by other members of that group could constitute war crimes under Article 8(2)(e)(vi) of the Rome Statute. This article considers what the Ntaganda decision adds to the jurisprudence on sexual violence against child soldiers, and what it demonstrates about the limits of the law.

Keywords: sexual violence, child soldiers, war crimes, international criminal court, Ntaganda case

Topics: Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, International Criminal Law, International Organizations, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Rape, SV against men Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2014

“Without These Women, the Tribunal Cannot Do Anything”: The Politics of Witness Testimony on Sexual Violence at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

Citation:

Koomen, Jonneke. 2013. “‘Without These Women, the Tribunal Cannot Do Anything’: The Politics of Witness Testimony on Sexual Violence at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.” Signs 38 (2): 253–77. doi:10.1086/667200.

 

Author: Jonneke Koomen

Abstract:

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was established by the UN Security Council to prosecute high-profile organizers of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, including those responsible for systematic sexual violence against Rwandan women. Focusing on tribunal cases involving mass rape, I examine how global justice for Rwandan women is produced through the politics of translation and negotiation. Through in-depth interviews and ethnographic fieldwork, I investigate how unspeakable suffering is articulated through witness testimony, translated into the language of international law, and mediated through the tribunal bureaucracy. I examine encounters between international tribunal workers and Rwandan witnesses, specifically how ICTR staff investigate sexual violence, gather witness statements, and render individuals’ stories fit for public appearance at the tribunal. I also explore the conditions under which witnesses tell their stories in ICTR courtrooms. I argue that international justice at the ICTR depends on Rwandan victims and witnesses. At the same time, however, the project of international justice for women depends on routine social practices that at times marginalize Rwandan women as objects of justice. I contend that these practices may, counterintuitively, reinforce the distance between “local victims” and the expansive ambitions of international justice.

Topics: Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, Transitional Justice, War Crimes, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against women, Violence

Year: 2013

Addressing Sexual Violence in Internationally Mediated Peace Negotiations

Citation:

Jenkins, Robert, and Anne Marie Goetz. 2010. "Addressing Sexual Violence in Internationally Mediated Peace Negotiations." International Peacekeeping 17 (2): 261–77.

Authors: Robert Jenkins , Anne Marie Goetz

Abstract:

Negotiated peace agreements rarely address the legacy of wartime sexual violence committed by state and non-state armed actors, even in cases where mass rape has been a prominent feature of the conflict. This article examines why this has been the case. It assesses the implications of UN Security Council resolution 1820 (June 2008), which calls for internationally mediated peace talks to address conflict-related sexual violence; advances reasons why doing so may contribute to more durable peace; and outlines where specific textual references to sexual violence in peace agreements could enhance the well-being of survivors and reduce the chances of brutal and widespread sexual violence persisting in the post-conflict period. The article focuses on five types (or elements) of peace agreement: (1) early-stage agreements covering humanitarian access and confidence-building measures; (2) ceasefires and ceasefire monitoring; (3) arrangements for demobilization, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) and longer-term security sector reform (SSR); (4) post-conflict justice institutions; and (5) provisions relating to reparations for victims of serious human rights abuses.
 

 

Topics: DDR, Economies, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, International Human Rights, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Reparations, Transitional Justice, War Crimes, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820, Security Sector Reform, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Year: 2010

The Legacy of Gender-Based Violence and HIV/AIDS in the Post-Genocide Era: Stories From Women in Rwanda

Citation:

Russell, Susan Garnett, Sanaya Lim, Paul Kim, and Sophie Morse. 2015. “The Legacy of Gender-Based Violence and HIV/AIDS in the Post-Genocide Era: Stories From Women in Rwanda.” Health Care for Women International, August, 1–43.

Author: Susan Garnett Russell, Sanaya Lim, Paul Kim, Sophie Morse

Abstract:

Drawing on qualitative interviews with 22 Rwandan women, we describe the lived experiences of women survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) more than a decade and a half after the 1994 Genocide. We argue that the intersection between GBV and HIV/AIDS has long-term implications: the majority of women interviewed continue to endure trauma, stigma, social isolation, and economic hardship in the post-genocide era and are in need of expanded economic and mental health support. Our findings have implications for the importance of providing integrated psychosocial support to survivors of GBV post-conflict contexts. 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Health, HIV/AIDS, Mental Health, PTSD, Reproductive Health, Trauma, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Reparations, War Crimes, Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2015

Sexing the Subject of Transitional Justice

Citation:

Rimmer, Susan Harris. 2010. “Sexing the Subject of Transitional Justice.” The Australian Feminist Law Journal 32: 123-47.

Author: Susan Harris Rimmer

Abstract:

In the absence of the requisite political will at both the domestic and international level, transitional justice mechanisms can be manipulated or rendered impotent, whilst creating false expectations, waylaying the efforts of human rights advocates and costing millions of donor dollars. A feminist strategic legalist approach would focus on gaining the full participation of women in peace negotiations and key decisions about transitional justice processes and the development of a justice sector, and preserving evidence and acquiring data in relation to international and domestic gender crimes for the day when fair trials can be held. The formal ending of violence does not necessarily mean the achievement of peace, rather it provides a 'new set of opportunities that can be grasped or thrown away'. Law in a transitional period might hold an 'independent potential for effecting transformative politics' and 'liberalising' change. On the other hand, in the context of the societal breakdown caused by armed conflict, feminist scholars may be asking international law to engage in too much 'heavylifting'. If transitional justice represents theory and praxis in a liminal zone between international relations and international law, both of which have proved resistant to feminist analysis, why are many feminists so confident that transitional justice represents an opportunity for transformative change?

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2010

Gender and Judging at the International Criminal Court

Citation:

Chappell, Louise. 2010. “Gender and Judging at the International Criminal Court.” Politics & Gender 6 (3): 484-95.

Author: Louise Chappell

Abstract:

Imagine this: a court presided over by a majority of women judges--many of whom are from racially marginalized backgrounds--and which has a "constitution" that has gender justice at its core. Incredibly, given what we know about gender and judging cross-nationally, this is not some utopian vision but the current reality at the International Criminal Court (ICC). As of May 2010, the 18 member ICC bench consisted of 11 women judges, most of whom were from outside the West and many of whom have expertise in gender-based violence. This development raises a range of important questions, two of which I want to speculate on in the following discussion: How is it that the sex profile of the ICC bench differs so dramatically from domestic-level courts? What difference might this profile make to the transformation of international law in terms of expanding gender justice principles?

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Transitional Justice, War Crimes, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2010

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