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International Human Rights

Still a Blind Spot: The Protection of LGBT Persons during Armed Conflict and Other Situations of Violence

Citation:

Margalit, Alon. 2018. "Still a Blind Spot: The Protection of LGBT Persons during Armed Conflict and Other Situations of Violence." International Review of the Red Cross 100 (907-909): 237-65.

Author: Alon Margalit

Abstract:

This article draws attention to the situation of LGBT persons during armed conflict. Subjected to violence and discrimination outside the context of armed conflict, the latter aggravates their vulnerability and exposure to various abuses. Despite important progress made with respect to their protection under human rights law, a similar effort is largely absent from the international humanitarian law discourse. This article accordingly highlights some of the norms and challenges pertaining to the protection of LGBT persons in time of war.

Keywords: International Humanitarian Law, LGBT, sexual orientation, gender identity, armed conflict, protection, discrimination, non-refoulement, sexual violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict, Gender, International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, LGBTQ, Security, Sexuality, Sexual Violence, Violence

Year: 2018

Localizing Gender Equality after Conflict

Citation:

Lynch, Moira. 2019. "Localizing Gender Equality after Conflict." Peace Review 31 (1): 83-90.

Author: Moira Lynch

Abstract:

Debates have grown in recent years concerning the realistic utility and application of international human rights law to a local context. Since 2000, the United Nations Security Council has issued eight Women, Peace, and Security resolutions geared toward promoting gender equality measures in conflict prevention during conflict and post-conflict settings. The first of these resolutions, United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, has been adopted by a number of UN Member States through National Action Plans (NAPs), which provide a framework and roadmap for integrating gender equality measures at the domestic level. Although NAPs were once considered promising, they have largely been unsuccessful.
 
By examining the implementation challenges facing other gender equality measures and localization programs that seek more effective implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security Resolutions, the following argues that a bottom-up approach rather than a top-down approach must be considered more seriously by international actors supporting implementation and integration of international human rights law, not only for the obvious reason that it emboldens local agency in the adoption process, but also because it is likely to produce outcomes that are meaningful and sustainable for the communities most affected by these provisions.
 
As such, continued emphasis on change that emanates from the top down in a given country often ignores the reality that gender equality measures in international human rights law are often perceived by governments and civil society actors as a serious disruption to domestic gender norms. Sole reliance on state institutions to deliver these commitments is flawed because it fails to recognize the necessary dialog and contestation among various stakeholders concerning the role of external norms in a local context.

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Conflict, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law, International Human Rights, Post-Conflict, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2019

Frictional Encounters in Postwar Human Rights: An Analysis of LGBTQI Movement Activism in Lebanon

Citation:

Nagle, John. 2019. "Frictional Encounters in Postwar Human Rights: An Analysis of LGBTQI Movement Activism in Lebanon." The International Journal of Human Rights 24 (4): 357-76.

Author: John Nagle

Abstract:

The advancement of LGBTQI rights is now a significant component of many international aid programmes. The successful diffusion of LGBTQI rights is supposed to rest on a successful interaction between international agencies that foster global rights and social movement actors that embed these processes at the local level. Yet, these encounters between global human rights ideas and local practices may not always generate positive dynamics. Drawing on the concept of ‘friction’ – the unstable qualities of interaction between global and local forces – this paper explores the relationship between international actors promoting LGBTQI rights and local social movement activists in post-conflict societies. I argue that the notion of global rights is particularly problematic in the context of post-conflict societies where rights are allocated on the basis of sectarian identity. To empirically illustrate these issues, I look at LGBTQI social movement activism in the divided society of Lebanon. In particular, I examine the emergence and development of Helem – the first recognised LGBTQI rights group in the Middle East and North Africa – which quickly became the poster child for international development and aid agencies in the Global North.

Keywords: human rights, LGBTQ, post-conflict

Topics: Development, International Law, International Human Rights, International Organizations, LGBTQ, NGOs, Post-Conflict, Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon

Year: 2019

Accompanying Maya Women: Armed Resistance and Transitional Justice Struggles

Citation:

Lykes, M. Brinton. 2019. "Accompanying Maya Women: Armed Resistance and Transitional Justice Struggles." Social Justice 46 (1): 49-64.

Author: M. Brinton Lykes

Annotation:

Summary:
"Those of us who position ourselves as “intermediaries” (Merry 2006), grounded in international human rights norms and feminist transnational activist scholarship in partnership with local women and children working at the grassroots, contribute in particular ways to feminist peacemaking and peacebuilding. Over 25 years ago, having completed a PhD in community-cultural psychology and while teaching university students in the Global North, I responded positively to an invitation from a Maya Ixil woman, whom I had worked with when she was in exile in Mexico, to facilitate a workshop with women in a rural town in the Guatemalan Highlands. I had been training community-based health promoters—mostly men—during my summer breaks from university teaching, and I was eager to experience a rural community and work with women. Since then, I have returned annually, living and working with Maya women and children in contexts of war and postgenocide transitions. I draw on some of these experiences of coconstructing knowledge(s) from the bottom up as one small contribution to a collective feminist/womanist1 effort to build the more equitable, just, and peaceful world in which we seek to live" (Lykes 2019).

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Genocide, International Law, International Human Rights, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2019

Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN Peacekeepers: Towards a Hybrid Solution

Citation:

Mudgway, Cassandra. 2019. Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN Peacekeepers: Towards a Hybrid Solution. New York: Routledge.

Author: Cassandra Mudgway

Annotation:

Summary:
Sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations (UN) peacekeepers is not an isolated or recent problem, but it has been present in almost every peacekeeping operation. A culture of sexual exploitation and abuse is contrary to the UN’s zero-tolerance policy and has been the target of institutional reforms since 2005. Despite this, allegations of sexual abuse continue to emerge, and the reforms have not solved the problem. This book is a response to the continued lack of accountability of UN peacekeepers for sexual exploitation and abuse. Focusing on military contingent members, this book aims to analyse ways in which the UN can fill the accountability gap while taking a feminist perspective and emphasising the needs of victims, their communities, and the host state.
 
This book directly challenges the status quo of relying on troop-contributing countries (TCCs) to hold their peacekeepers to account. It proposes first, the establishment of a series of hybrid courts, and second, a mechanism for dealing with victim rehabilitation and reparation. It addresses these topics by considering international and human rights law and will be of interest to researchers, academics, policymakers, and students with an interest in international criminal law, United Nations peacekeeping, and peace studies.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Year: 2019

Gender and Reparations: Seeking Transformative Justice

Citation:

Jones, Emily. 2020. "Gender and Reparations: Seeking Transformative Justice." In Reparations for Victims of Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, edited by Carla Ferstman and Mariana Goetz, 86-118. Leiden: Brill Nijhoff.

Author: Emily Jones

Annotation:

Summary: 
"In response to concerns around often returning people to situations of inequality through the way reparations are currently applied, there have been multiple calls for and attempts to implement more transformative forms of reparations, i.e. reparations which seek to address and subvert pre-existing unequal and discriminatory structures. Section two of this chapter outlines some of these responses, focusing on transformative reparations both as an essential framing of reparations from a gender perspective as well as an area in which further gender analysis could be pursued to great gain. However, since transformative reparations are largely undefined, how and whether such reparations have been taken up, or not, depends on one's perspective on what transformative reparations exactly entail. Section three therefore draws on feminist work as a way through which to provide an analysis of what transformative reparations could and have included. I then go on, in section four, to analyse some specific examples of reparations that have been used to challenge pre-existing structural inequalities, focusing on the Cotton Fields judgment at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR), and outlining the gender literature on reparations programmes. I argue that further and more radical transformative reparations are needed. Such reparations, it is posed, are possibly best implemented through guarantees of non-repetition.
 
Drawing on the examples given in sections three and four, section five outlines some possible ways in which gender-just transformative reparations can be developed further. One way that transformative reparations could be and to some extent have been applied is through communal reparations such as education, training and housing programmes seeking to challenge and change oppressive structures in society. I argue that there is a need for reparations in these forms to be applied more often and their reach to be extended both in terms of what they offer and who is included. The need for a greater recognition of the currently often marginalised framework of economic and social rights is also noted, arguing for the further integration of these rights into reparatios frameworks. I then go on to note the need for intersectional analyses within the field of transformative reparations. Such analyses are required to ensure that transformative reparations can properly understand and take full account of the various harms many people face due to discrimination, structural inequality and oppression.
 
The final section of this chapter analyses the limited of the field of gender and transformative reparations by drawing on other critical approaches to international law which have been little applied to this area, including post-colonial feminist analyses. Noting that reparations are a secondarily applied right granted in response to a primary rights violation, the limits of the human rights framework in being able to provide transformative justice is questioned. I conclude by arguing that further critical engagement is essential both in order to frame reparations in truly transformative ways as well as to understand the limits of the transformative project and, subsequently, of human rights law, in being able to provide transformation." (Jones 2020, 86-7)

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Education, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law, International Human Rights, Intersectionality, Justice, Reparations, Rights, Human Rights

Year: 2020

The Law of Armed Conflict and the Operational Relevance of Gender: The Australian Defence Force's Implementation of the Australian National Action Plan

Citation:

Prescott, Jody. 2016. "The Law of Armed Conflict and the Operational Relevance of Gender: The Australian Defence Force's Implementation of the Australian National Action Plan." In Imagining Law: Essays in Conversation with Judith Gardam, edited by Dale Stephens and Paul Babie, 195-216. South Australia: University of Adelaide Press.

Author: Jody Prescott

Annotation:

Summary:
“Australia, like many other nations, has now promulgated a national action plan (NAP) to implement UNSCR 1325 across the whole of its government's activities. Unlike other nations' militaries, however, the speed and the thoroughness with which the Australian Defense Force  (ADF) has moved to incorporate the requirements of UNSCR 1325 and related Security Council resolutions as reflected in the Australian NAP into its activities and operations is both heartening and amazing. What is not clear at this point is whether the ADF's implementation of the NAP will culminate in dealing only with the aspects of LOAC and human rights law where they coincide, such as preventing, investigating and prosecuting instances of sex- and gender-based violence (SGBV) in operations. In arguing that the ADF needs to follow the path set out by Professor Gardam and her colleagues regarding the operational relevance of gender to law of armed conflict (LOAC) to its logical and fundamentally transforming conclusion, this chapter will first briefly describe how the differentiated impact of armed conflict and climate change upon women and girls might influence the modern international security environment in which the ADF operates. Mindful of these operational facts, and consistent with the NAP's requirement to enhance normative mechanisms related to the greater protection of women and girls in armed conflict, this chapter will explore the status of women under the LOAC. Next, it will explore ADF doctrine as it exists at the time of this writing, in order to set a baseline against which to measure the ADF's implementation progress. This chapter will then examine the tasks assigned to the ADF by the NAP which are particularly operational in nature, and the way in which these tasks have been translated into action as ADF implementation has progressed. Against this factual, policy and legal backdrop, how the ADF might more fully deal with the broad application of UNSCR 1325 to operational issues involving LOAC will be explored, and certain measures that might foster this result will be recommended” (Prescott 2016, 196-197). 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, Peacebuilding, Sexual Violence, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2016

The Grip of Sexual Violence: Reading UN Security Council Resolutions on Human Security

Citation:

Engle, Karen. 2014. “The Grip of Sexual Violence: Reading UN Security Council Resolutions on Human Security.” In Rethinking Peacekeeping, Gender Equality and Collective Security, edited by Gina Heathcote and Dianne Otto, 23–47. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: Karen Engle

Abstract:

The issue I would like to pose in this chapter is about the grip of sexual violence on human security discourse. I do not want to address the violence itself, but to consider why many feminist — and even non-feminist — discussions about human rights and security have become inextricably connected to concerns about sexual violence, primarily but not exclusively against women. I consider here the United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions on what is termed ‘human security’, and debates and media around them. I do so because I believe they are representative of an escalating emphasis on the horrors of sexual violence more generally within international human rights and humanitarian law, discourse and advocacy.

Topics: Media, International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Security, Human Security, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women

Year: 2014

Women, PMSCs and International Law: Gender and Private Force

Citation:

Vrdoljak, Ana F. 2015. “Women, PMSCs and International Law: Gender and Private Force.” In Gender and Private Security in Global Politics, edited by Maya Eichler, 187-207. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Ana F. Vrdoljak

Abstract:

The application of international law norms and shortcomings of existing regulatory regimes covering PMSCs reinforce concerns about transparency and accountability in respect of gender-related violence, harassment, and discrimination. This chapter focuses on the main issues and legal concerns raised by the impact of the privatization of war on women. The first part examines current initiatives at the international level to provide a regulatory framework for PMSCs and encompasses the obligations of states (and international organizations) in respect of international humanitarian law, human rights law, and use of force. The second part outlines the influence of civil society participation (including feminist academics, women’s NGOs, and so forth) in breaking the “silence” within international organizations and international law concerning violence against women and girls and its potential influence upon the regulation of PMSCs.

Keywords: women, private military and security companies, international law, human rights law, International Humanitarian Law, United Nations, PMSCs

Topics: Civil Society, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Privatization, Violence

Year: 2015

Women and Private Military and Security Companies

Citation:

Vrdoljak, Ana F. 2010. “Women and Private Military and Security Companies.” In War By Contract: Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law and the Regulation of Private Military and Security Companies, edited by Francesco Francioni and Natalino Ronzitti, 1-25. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Ana F. Vrdoljack

Abstract:

Lack of clarity about the application of international law norms and inadequacies of existing regulatory regimes covering private military and security companies have reinforced concerns about transparency and accountability in respect of gender-related violence, harassment and discrimination. This chapter focuses on the main issues and legal concerns raised by the impact of the privatisation of war on women, both as PMSC employees and civilians. Part I highlights how armed conflict, civil unrest, occupation and transition have a detrimental effect upon the lives of women with particular reference to safety, displacement, health and economic disadvantage. Part II provides a summary of existing international humanitarian law and human rights provisions relating to women. Part III examines recent developments within the United Nations, the work of the ICRC, and international criminal law jurisprudence shaping these legal norms. Part IV considers the key recommendations of recent international and international initiatives covering PMSCs and women.

Keywords: women, private military and security companies, gender, sexual assault, forced prostitution, human trafficking, sexual harassment, discrimination, international law, International Humanitarian Law, human rights

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Privatization, Rights, Human Rights, Violence

Year: 2010

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