Women, War, and Rape: Challenges Facing the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia


Niarchos, Catherine N. 1995. “Women, War, and Rape: Challenges Facing the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.” Human Rights Quarterly 17 (4): 649-90.

Author: Catherine N. Niarchos


The International Tribunal established in 1993 to prosecute those responsible for atrocities committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991 has jurisdiction over acts of violence against women, including rape, forced prostitution, and forced impregnation. An estimated 20,000-50,000 women were raped in acts which were not random but, in fact, appear to be part of a deliberate policy. Rape has always played a significant role in war. Historically, it has not been regarded as a serious crime; at most, it has been considered a crime against honor. In order for the Tribunal to successfully address rape in the former Yugoslavia, it must overcome the double legacy of the historic use of rape as a weapon of war and the tendency of international humanitarian law's to overlook and dismiss the experience of women.

Topics: Gender, Women, International Law, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Women Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 1995

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