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International Law

Forced Pregnancy: Codification in the Rome Statute and its Prospect as Implicit Genocide

Citation:

Jessie, Soh Sie Eng. 2006. “Forced Pregnancy: Codification in the Rome Statute and Its Prospect as Implicit Genocide.” New Zealand Journal of Public and International Law 4 (2): 311.

Author: Soh Sie Eng Jessie

Abstract:

The Bosnia–Herzegovina political conflict between 1992 and 1995 shone international light on the use of forced pregnancy campaigns as tools in ethnic conflicts. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is the first international treaty to explicitly define the crime of forced pregnancy, but its enactment was controversial. This article discusses the intensive opposition to its inclusion in the Rome Statute, from religious, cultural and political perspectives. It also suggests that domestic antiabortion laws and control over women's reproductive rights raise different issues from a forced pregnancy provision, and that there was a need for the express codification of forced pregnancy as a separate offence, given that it is neither novel nor rare. The Rome Statute lists forced pregnancy as a separate offence, but it is not expressly criminalised as genocide. However, this article argues that forced pregnancy is implicit genocide. It involves attacking women in the targeted group for the purpose of their impregnation through rape, and their detention to facilitate the birth of resulting babies. Forced pregnancy campaigns infiltrate the targeted community through gene pool pollution and manipulation of cultural beliefs.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Genocide, Health, Reproductive Health, International Law, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, Sexual Violence Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2006

Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, Feminisms

Citation:

Hesford, Wendy. 2011. Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, Feminisms. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. https://www.dukeupress.edu/spectacular-rhetorics.

Author: Wendy Hesford

Abstract:

Spectacular Rhetorics is a rigorous analysis of the rhetorical frameworks and narratives that underlie human rights law, shape the process of cultural and legal recognition, and delimit public responses to violence and injustice. Integrating visual and textual criticism, Wendy S. Hesford scrutinizes “spectacular rhetoric,” the use of visual images and rhetoric to construct certain bodies, populations, and nations as victims and incorporate them into human rights discourses geared toward Westerners, chiefly Americans. Hesford presents a series of case studies critiquing the visual representations of human suffering in documentary films, photography, and theater. In each study, she analyzes works addressing a prominent contemporary human rights cause, such as torture and unlawful detention, ethnic genocide and rape as a means of warfare, migration and the trafficking of women and children, the global sex trade, and child labor. Through these studies, she demonstrates how spectacular rhetoric activates certain cultural and national narratives and social and political relations, consolidates identities through the politics of recognition, and configures material relations of power and difference to produce and, ultimately, to govern human rights subjects.

(Duke University Press)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Genocide, International Law, International Human Rights, Rights, Human Rights, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking

Year: 2011

Forced Marriage and the Exoticization of Gendered Harms in United States Asylum Law

Citation:

Millbank, Jenni and Catherine Dauvergne. 2010. "Forced Marriage and the Exoticization of Gendered Harms in United States Asylum Law."Columbia Journal of Gender & Law. 19: v. 

Authors: Jenni Millbank, Catherine Dauvergne

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, International Law Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2010

Armed Conflict and Sexual Violence Against Women: An Inevitable Accompaniment?

Citation:

Gökalp Kutlu, Ayşegül. 2014. “Armed Conflicts and Sexual Violence Against Women: An Inevitable Accompaniment?” Kosbed 28: 1–20.

Author: Ayşegül Gökalp Kutlu

Abstract:

Violence against women – rape and all kinds of sexual assault – during armed conflicts is a practice which was known but ignored by human rights discourse and humanitarian law for many years. When states and ideals legitimize killing and other acts of violence, rape is seen as an unfortunate by-product. Therefore, it is common to think about sexual violence against women in armed conflicts as “coincidental”. However, normalizing rape and sexual assault contains the risk of permitting sexual violence and legitimizing its use as a weapon of war. This article will analyse the development and mechanisms of International Humanitarian Law, which is also known for the law of war, with a feminist perspective. It will be argued that International Humanitarian Law lacks effective measures to counter sexual violence.

Keywords: feminism, International Humanitarian Law, sexual violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against women

Year: 2014

Women in Detention

Citation:

Ashdown, Julie, and Mel James. 2010. “Women in Detention.” International Review of the Red Cross 92 (877): 123–41.

Authors: Julie Ashdown, Mel James

Abstract:

Prison systems are rarely gender sensitive, and are even less so in conflict situations. When women are detained, it is crucial that international standards, applied with sensitivity to women's particular needs, are brought to bear. This article gives an overview of the relevant international law, as well as the gender-specific considerations that need to be taken into account when implementing it.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, International Law

Year: 2010

Women's participation in the Rwandan genocide: mothers or monsters?

Citation:

Hogg, Nicole. 2010. “Women’s Participation in the Rwandan Genocide: Mothers or Monsters?” International Review of the Red Cross 92 (877): 69–102.

Author: Nicole Hogg

Abstract:

The participation of women in the 1994 Rwandan genocide should be considered in the context of gender relations in pre-genocide Rwandan society. Many 'ordinary' women were involved in the genocide but, overall, committed significantly fewer acts of overt violence than men. Owing to the indirect nature of women's crimes, combined with male 'chivalry', women may be under-represented among those pursued for genocide related crimes, despite the broad conception of complicity in Rwanda's Gacaca Law. Women in leadership positions played a particularly important role in the genocide, and gendered imagery, including of the 'evil woman' or 'monster', is often at play in their encounters with the law.

Topics: Gender, Women, Genocide, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Impunity Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2010

The Dialogue of Difference: Gender Perspectives on International Humanitarian Law

Citation:

Durham, Helen, and Katie O’Byrne. 2010. “The Dialogue of Difference: Gender Perspectives on International Humanitarian Law.” International Review of the Red Cross 92 (877): 31–52.

Authors: Helen Durham, Katie O'Byrne

Abstract:

This article examines the meaning and potential usefulness of a 'gender perspective' on international humanitarian law (IHL). In order to do so, it considers a number of 'gendered' themes found within IHL, including the role of women as combatants, and the gendered use of sexual violence during times of armed conflict. The authors suggest that further development and understanding of a gender perspective will contribute to the resilience and effectiveness of IHL as a system of law, and will strengthen the protection of those who are victimized and disempowered during times of war.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Gender Analysis, International Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Sexual Violence

Year: 2010

The Nairobi Declaration: Redefining Reparation for Women Victims of Sexual Violence

Citation:

Couillard, Valérie. 2007. “The Nairobi Declaration: Redefining Reparation for Women Victims of Sexual Violence.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 1 (3): 444–53. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijm030.

Author: Valérie Couillard

Abstract:

This paper explores the contribution of the Nairobi Declaration on the Right of Women and Girls to a Remedy and Reparation to the problem of delivering justice through reparation programmes for women victims of sexual violence in conflict situations. It highlights that this civil society initiative is particularly significant because it gives voice to women and girls who are survivors of sexual violence. Placed in the context of the recent adoption by the United Nations' General Assembly of the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law, the Nairobi Declaration redefines reparation and guides policy-making to implement the right to reparation specifically for victims of sexual violence. The concept of reparation as a transformative and participative process put forward in the Nairobi Declaration constitutes its most innovative and inspiring contribution.

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Justice, Reparations, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2007

‘When We Wanted to Talk About Rape’: Silencing Sexual Violence at the Special Court for Sierra Leone

Citation:

Kelsall, Michelle Staggs, and Shanee Stepakoff. 2007. “‘When We Wanted to Talk About Rape’: Silencing Sexual Violence at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 1 (3): 355–74. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijm034.

Authors: Michelle Staggs Kelsall, Shanee Stepakoff

Abstract:

This article explores the legal and psychological ramifications arising from the exclusion of evidence of sexual violence during the Civil Defence Forces (CDF) case at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Using empirical findings from post-trial interviews conducted with the ten victim-witnesses who were originally to testify, we juxtapose what the Special Court allowed the women to say, and what the women themselves wanted to say. From a legal perspective, we then critique the Trial Chamber's reasons for excluding the evidence and question the legal bases upon which the women were silenced, arguing that wider and wider circles of the women's experience were removed from the Court's records despite there being ample authority at an international level to support inclusion. We further look at the gendered biases in international criminal law and how expedience and efficiency usurped the significance of prosecuting crimes of sexual violence in this instance. From a psychological perspective, we discuss the consequences that the act of silencing had for the witnesses, and argue that a more emotionally sensitive understanding of the Court's notion of ‘protection’ is required.

Topics: Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2007

Ending Impunity for Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes: The International Criminal Court and Complementarity in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Citation:

Lake, Milli. 2014. “Ending Impunity for Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes: The International Criminal Court and Complementarity in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” African Conflict & Peacebuilding Review 4 (1): 1-32

Author: Milli Lake

Abstract:

The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established in 2002 to combat impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern. It seeks to do so in two ways: through a series of high-profile cases in The Hague, intended to deter future war criminals; and through its complementarity mechanism, which equips national legal systems to prosecute ICC crimes domestically. Through a case study of the prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, this article examines efforts by various stakeholders to realize the legal complementarity principle embedded in the Rome Statute. The article argues that the domestic prosecution of ICC crimes requires developments in four distinct areas: legislative reform, institutional reform, education and training, and the building of public trust and participation. The research also reveals that where developments in these areas have occurred, they have been propelled by a variety of domestic and international stakeholders. However, the ICC itself has failed to contribute significantly to the realization of complementarity that is central to achieving its mandate.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Education, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2014

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