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Sierra Leone

What Is Forced Marriage - Towards a Definition of Forced Marriage as a Crime Against Humanity

Citation:

Toy-Cronin, Bridgette A. 2010. “What Is Forced Marriage - Towards a Definition of Forced Marriage as a Crime Against Humanity.” Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 19 (2): 1.

Author: Bridgette A. Toy-Cronin

Abstract:

The Special Court for Sierra Leone’s Trial and Appeals Chambers handed down judgments considering, for the first time, forced marriage as a crime against humanity. This Article critiques those decisions against the Appeals Chamber’s stated aim of “enriching the jurisprudence of international criminal law.” This Article argues that there is a need to recognize a crime of forced marriage, but in order to enrich current jurisprudence, it should be limited to only the conferral of the status of marriage and the ongoing effects of that status on the victim. Other crimes that occur within the marriages should not be collapsed into the prosecution of forced marriage; they are separate offenses that need separate recognition. Two contrasting examples of forced marriage are compared: so-called “forced marriages” in a number of African conflicts involving the abduction of women and girls by rebels and forced marriage between 1975 and 1979 in Khmer Rouge-ruled Cambodia. The African examples are drawn from published research, while a portrait of forced marriage in Cambodia is sketched through stories gathered in field research conducted in Cambodia in 2006, along with some published material. This Article argues that there is a lacuna in the law that requires the recognition of forced marriage as a crime. The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (the “ECCC”), established to try Khmer Rouge crimes, has the opportunity to address this crime and to create a record of the fact that forced marriages were traumatic events that deeply affected thousands of Cambodian lives.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia, Sierra Leone

Year: 2010

Building Meaningful Participation in Reintegration Among War-Affected Young Mothers in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Northern Uganda

Citation:

McKay, Susan, Angela Veale, Miranda Worthen, and Michael Wessells. 2011. “Building Meaningful Participation in Reintegration among War-Affected Young Mothers in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Northern Uganda.” Intervention 9 (2): 108–24. doi:10.1097/WTF.0b013e328348dfe7.

Authors: Susan McKay, Angela Veale, Miranda E. Worthen , Michael Wessels

Abstract:

When young mothers formerly associated with armed groups return to communities, they typically are social isolated, stigmatized, and marginalized thereby making (re)integration challenging for themselves and their communities. Their children face child protection problems such as neglect, rejection, and abuse. In this paper, we describe an innovative field practice - community-based participatory action research (PAR) - that meaningfully involved war-affected young mothers. The project took place in 20 field sites in Liberia, northern Uganda and Sierra Leone and was implemented through an academic-nongovernmental (NGO) partnership. Participants were 658 young mothers, both formerly associated and other vulnerable mothers. Within the context of caring psychosocial support, these young mothers organized themselves into groups, defined their problems, and developed social actions to address and change their situations. Project outcomes included young mothers and their children experiencing improved social reintegration and acceptance, more positive coping skills, and decreased participation in sex work for livelihoods.

Keywords: Participatory Action Research, War-Affected Young Mothers, Meaningful Participation, Liberia, Northern Uganda, Sierra Leone, reintegration

Topics: Age, Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda

Year: 2011

The Application of Human Rights Treaties in the Development of Domestic and International Law: A Personal Perspective

Citation:

Doherty, Teresa A. 2009. “The Application of Human Rights Treaties in the Development of Domestic and International Law: A Personal Perspective.” Leiden Journal of International Law 22 (4): 753–59.

Author: Teresa A. Doherty

Abstract:

This article considers the application of international human rights treaties or conventions to domestic law in common law countries and the historical differences in approach between some jurisdictions. It promotes the view that the judiciary of a country which has signed an international human rights treaty or convention may refer to such a treaty when interpreting domestic law, notwithstanding the fact that the treaty or convention has not been incorporated into domestic legislation. The article also suggests that international human rights treaties and conventions have a role in developing international criminal law and international humanitarian law. It cites the example of the decision that forced marriage is an inhumane act, a crime against humanity, by the Special Court of Sierra Leone, and gives the factual and jurisprudential background to that decision.

Topics: Gender, International Law, International Human Rights, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2009

Preserving the Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone: Challenges and Lessons Learned in Prosecuting Grave Crimes in Sierra Leone

Citation:

Kamara, Joseph F. 2009. “Preserving the Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone: Challenges and Lessons Learned in Prosecuting Grave Crimes in Sierra Leone.” Leiden Journal of International Law 22 (4): 761–77.

Author: Joseph F. Kamara

Abstract:

Sierra Leone experienced particularly heinous and widespread crimes against humanity and war crimes during its eleven years of civil war from 1991 to 2002. During the war, the civilian population was targeted by all the fighting factions. Civilians were captured, abducted, and held as slaves used for forced labour. The Special Court for Sierra Leone was established by the government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations in 2002, through Security Council Resolution 1315. It is mandated to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed in Sierra Leone since 30 November 1996. The aim of this paper is to sketch out the extent to which the jurisprudence of the Special Court can serve as a model for efficient and effective administration of criminal justice nationally through the preservation of its legacy.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, International Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2009

Gender Violence or Violence Against Women? The Treatment of Forced Marriage in the Special Court for Sierra Leone

Citation:

Slater, Rachel. 2012. “Gender Violence or Violence Against Women? The Treatment of Forced Marriage in the Special Court for Sierra Leone.” Melbourne Journal of International Law 13 (2):  732.

Author: Rachel Slater

Abstract:

The article considers the case for viewing forced marriage, a prevalent form of violence suffered by women during the Sierra Leone conflict, as a gender crime. The article begins with a brief examination of the Special Court for Sierra Leone trials, commonly known as the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council Trial, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council Appeal, the Revolutionary United Front Trial and the Charles Taylor Trial. Part IV then puts forward a conceptualisation of forced marriage as a gender crime and not purely violence suffered by women. It is argued that in order to fully reflect the nature of the harm suffered, the gender element of the violence must be foregrounded. This argument rejects calls for forced marriage to be viewed as enslavement or sexual slavery and emphasises the specific harm stemming from the label ‘wife’ as demonstrative of the force of socially assigned gender roles; these roles are integral to the crime rather than just forming the broader social context. This suggests that forced marriage as a gender crime should be seen as a stand-alone crime separate from other instances of forced marriage. In Part V and Part VI, it will be argued that the categorisation of forced marriage as a gender crime is a vital step towards the recognition of this type of gender violence as being within the scope of international law. Specifically, this article considers the characterisation of forced marriage under international criminal law in light of its interest to international refugee law, where similar violence might be raised as ‘persecution’ under the definition in art 1A(2) of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2012

‘Forced Marriage’ in Conflict Situations: Researching and Prosecuting Old Harms and New Crimes

Citation:

Bunting, Annie. 2012. “‘Forced Marriage’ in Conflict Situations: Researching and Prosecuting Old Harms and New Crimes.” Canadian Journal of Human Rights 1 (1): 165-185.

Author: Annie Bunting

Abstract:

In 2008, the Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) found “forced marriage” to be a new crime against humanity, distinct from the crime of sexual slavery. With expert evidence on the abduction and forced labour of women and girls during the extended conflict in Sierra Leone, the SCSL found such forced conjugal association to be part of the widespread or systematic attack on the civilian population in Sierra Leone. This article examines the Court’s decision in the context of developments of international criminal law and with comparisons to similar gender violence in Liberia, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The author argues that practices described as “forced marriage” in these conflict situations ought to be charged as “enslavement” and not a new crime against humanity – the other inhumane act of forced marriage.

Topics: Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2012

Engendering (In)security in Peace Support Operations

Citation:

Higate, Paul, and Marsha Henry. 2004. “Engendering (In)security in Peace Support Operations.” Security Dialogue 35 (4): 481–98.

Authors: Paul Higate , Marsha Henry

Abstract:

This article contributes towards ongoing debates on gender, security, and post-conflict studies. Its focus is on the activities of male peacekeepers and their gendered relations with women and girls. Against the backdrop of the peacekeeping economies in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone, we focus on the consequences of male peacekeepers' construction and enactment of masculinity (and masculinities) on the security of local women. We conclude by suggesting that a deeper understanding of gender relations and security in peacekeeping contacts is necessary for any policy intervention in post-conflict settings. 

Keywords: security, insecurity, gender, peacekeeping, masculinity, femininity, militarization, sexuality

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Girls, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Conflict, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict, Security, Male Perpetrators Regions: Africa, Central Africa, West Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone

Year: 2004

Peacekeepers, Masculinities, and Sexual Exploitation

Citation:

Higate, Paul. 2007. “Peacekeepers, Masculinities, and Sexual Exploitation.” Men and Masculinities 10 (1): 99–119. doi:10.1177/1097184X06291896.

Author: Paul Higate

Abstract:

My aim in this article is to analyze a set of gendered power relations played out in two postconflict settings. Based on interviews with peacekeepers and others, I argue that sexual exploitation of local women by male peacekeepers continues to be documented. I then turn to scholarly considerations of peacekeeper sexual exploitation, some of which accord excessive explanatory power to a crude form of military masculinity. This is underlined by similarly exploitative activities perpetrated by humanitarian workers and so-called "sex tourists." In conclusion, I argue that a form of exploitative social masculinities shaped by socioeconomic structure, impunity, and privilege offers a more appropriate way to capture the activities of some male peacekeepers during peacekeeping missions. Finally, in underlining the conflation of military masculinities with exploitation, I pose the question of how to explain those military men who do not exploit local women while deployed on missions.

Keywords: gendered power relations, male peacekeepers, military masculinities, exploitative social masculinities

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Humanitarian Assistance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against women Regions: Africa, Central Africa, West Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone

Year: 2007

Peacekeepers and Gender: DRC and Sierra Leone

Citation:

Higate, Paul. 2004. “Peacekeepers and Gender: DRC and Sierra Leone.” Pambazuka News, no. 164, 4.

Author: Paul Higate

Abstract:

While sexual exploitation and violence has become a common feature in peacekeeping contexts among state and non-state actors, this monograph focuses on peacekeepers and the alleged abuse of power that they exert over the local population. Many of the findings are anecdotal and based on short visits in mission areas. Recommendations are based on extant UN policies and do not comprehensively reflect the views of civil society organisations, the host governments or local women leaders. The monograph does, nevertheless, represent an insight into the challenges faced by women in conflict and post-conflict environments, and highlights best practices aimed at stemming the on-going exploitation and abuse being committed by those with the responsibility to protect. (AfricaPortal)

Topics: Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Humanitarian Assistance, Justice, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against women Regions: Africa, Central Africa, West Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone

Year: 2004

From the Private to the Public Sphere: New Research on Women's Participation in Peacebuilding

Citation:

Moosa, Zohra, Maryam Rahmani, and Lee Webster. 2013. "From the Private to the Public Sphere: New Research on Women's Participation in Peace-Building." Gender & Development 21 (3): 453--72. doi:10.1080/13552074.2013.846585.

Authors: Zohra Moosa, Maryam Rahmani, Lee Webster

Abstract:

Despite the United Nation’s landmark Security Council Resolution on women, peace and security in 2000 which highlighted the importance of women’s participation in peace-building, only one in 40 peace treaty signatories over the last 25 years has been a woman. Yet evidence from non-government organisations and women’s rights organisations shows that women are active agents of peace, resolving conflicts at all levels of society with little or no recognition. This article discusses new research which tracks women’s roles in building peace at local levels in five conflict-affected contexts: Afghanistan, Liberia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sierra Leone. The article highlights the significance of violence against women as a barrier to peace-building, and explores how and why women’s exclusion and marginalisation from peace processes tends to increase the more formal the processes become. The article uses two case studies of women’s rights organisations in Afghanistan and Nepal to illustrate the research findings and demonstrate how communities can mobilise to promote gender equality and fulfill women’s rights.

Keywords: peace, women, security, peace-building, Afghanistan, Nepal, women's rights organisations, women human rights defenders

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, NGOs, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Rights, Women's Rights, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, West Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Liberia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sierra Leone

Year: 2013

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