Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War in International Humanitarian Law


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


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

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