Rape as Genocide: Bangladesh, the Former Yugoslavia, and Rwanda


Sharlach, Lisa. 2000. “Rape as Genocide: Bangladesh, the Former Yugoslavia, and Rwanda.” New Political Science 22 (1): 89-102.

Author: Lisa Sharlach


According to the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of an ethnic, national, or religious group and/or 'deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part' constitute genocide. Rape certainly may cause serious physical and/or mental injury to the survivor, and also may destroy the morale of her family and ethnic community. However, this Convention does not explicitly state that sexual violence is a crime of genocide. The Convention should be expanded to include mass rape, regardless of whether the victims are raped on the basis of racial/ethnic, national, or religious identity. 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Ethnicity, Genocide, International Law, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans Countries: Bangladesh, Rwanda, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2000

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