Sexual Slavery, Enforced Prostitution, and Forced Marriage as Crimes against Humanity during the Indonesian Killings of 1965-66


Pohlman, Annie. 2019. "Sexual Slavery, Enforced Prostitution, and Forced Marriage as Crimes against Humanity during the Indonesian Killings of 1965-66." In The International People's Tribunal for 1965 and the Indonesian Genocide, edited by Saskia E. Wieringa, Jess Melvin, and Annie Pohlman. New York: Routledge.

Author: Annie Pohlman


This chapter examines some of the tensions between conceptualisations of crimes against humanity in contemporary international criminal law and the prosecution of historical cases of this violence. It focuses on how there is growing recognition of the need to distinguish and separate sexual crimes by type, with particular attention paid to the separation of the three closely related but distinct crimes against humanity: sexual enslavement, enforced prostitution, and forced marriage. The chapter provides the Prosecutors of the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) for each of these sexually based crimes. It explores the dilemma of applying current-day gender jurisprudence to an historical case of mass violence. Sexual violence was pervasive during both the massacres of 1965-1966 and the mass political detentions that followed the 1 October 1965 coup in Indonesia. In the evidence brief on sexual violence prepared for the Prosecutor at the IPT 1965, a wide range of acts was listed under a group heading of ‘sexual enslavement.’

Topics: Gender, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, Violence Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2019

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