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Sexual Violence against Women in Armed Conflicts: Standard Responses and New Ideas


Zinsstag, Estelle. 2006. “Sexual Violence against Women in Armed Conflicts: Standard Responses and New Ideas.” Social Policy and Society 5 (1): 137–48.

Author: Estelle Zinsstag


This article aims to assess ways in which different justice schemes may operate together for an improved legal and political response to victims of sexual crimes in the aftermath of armed conflicts. The article will briefly present the problem of sexual violence against women in armed conflict. It will then consider the evolution of criminal justice in regard to this crime, the results of recent attempts to implement truth and reconciliation processes, as well as briefly assess reparation schemes. Finally it will suggest a series of measures for coordinating the various schemes of justice in a way that guarantees women’s rights in the aftermath of a conflict.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Reparations, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against Women

Year: 2006

Restorative Justice for the Girl Child in Post-Conflict Rwanda


Feliciati, Clara Chapdelaine. 2006. “Restorative Justice for the Girl Child in Post-Conflict Rwanda.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 7 (4): 14–35.

Author: Clara Chapdelaine Feliciati


The girl child suffers from both sexism and “childism” for she is at the intersection of women’s rights and children’s rights. The question of her fate in post-conflict Rwanda is particularly crucial for during the Rwandan genocide in 1994, she suffered egregious sexual violence based on gender regardless of her age. Not only were two-year old girls raped, but there was a clear intention to make women and girls suffer differently from men and boys: while the latter were killed rapidly with a single shot or machete stroke, girl children and women were mutilated, tortured and left to die slowly. However, to focus solely on the sexual abuse of girl children in conflict hinders other aspects of the discrimination they undergo in numerous areas of their daily lives. Our hypothesis is that the sexual violence suffered by girl children during the genocide can be seen as emblematic of a general pattern of sexual discrimination in Rwandan society which was unleashed by the exacerbation of the ethnic conflict. Based on this premise, Rwanda will be studied as a case in point by defining the girl child in that specific context and suggesting a restorative approach to her fate. First, this article will study the status of the girl child in international law. Second, it will examine her status in Rwanda before and during the genocide, as well as in the transitional or post-conflict society she dwells in today. Finally, this article will provide recommendations for her healing through a “childered” and gendered approach to recovery by establishing a restorative paradigm in terms of safety, remembrance, and reconnection.

Keywords: girl child, Rwanda, restorative justice

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, Justice, Reparations, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2006

The Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Treatment of Sexual Violence Against Women


Mantilla Falcón, Julissa. 2005. “The Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Treatment of Sexual Violence Against Women.” Human Rights Brief 12 (2): 1–4.

Author: Julissa Mantilla Falcón


Sexual violence against women is an expression of gender- based violence that affects thousands of women around the world during times of armed conflict, as well as in times of peace. Impunity and silence typically surround these cases.

Many times, victims do not discuss what happened to them because of feelings of shame and guilt. In most cases, government authorities and some sectors of civil society do not consider sexual violence to be a human rights violation. Fortunately, international human rights instruments and judicial decisions have begun to define sexual violence as a violation of human rights and, in some contexts, as a crime against humanity or a war crime.

The work of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (PTRC) made important inroads in identifying sex- ual violence as a human rights violation. In its Final Report, the PTRC analyzed the situation of Peruvian women subjected to sexual violence during the armed conflict and countered the idea that it was simply a collateral damage of war. Asserting that sexual violence is a human rights violation, the PTRC established a record of the sexual violence that occurred during Peru’s 20 year armed conflict and recommended that the State institute a system of reparations for the victims.

The Final Report of the PTRC, released on August 28, 2003, includes a chapter on sexual violence against women. This article presents its main findings.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, Impunity, Reparations, TRCs, War Crimes, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against Women Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2005

The Peruvian Truth Commission's Mental Health Reparations: Empowering Survivors of Political Violence to Impact Public Health Policy


Laplante, Lisa, and Miryam Rivera Holguin. 2006. “The Peruvian Truth Commission’s Mental Health Reparations: Empowering Survivors of Political Violence to Impact Public Health Policy.” Health and Human Rights 9 (2): 136–63.

Authors: Lisa Laplante, Miryam Rivera Holguin


The Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), formed in 2001, turned national attention toward the serious mental health consequences of the country's 20-year internal armed conflict. The TRC prioritized reparations in mental health, using a legal justification that provided victims-survivors of the war with a rights-based framework for demanding that the public sector attend to their mental health needs. Since the majority of victims-survivors come from historically poor, rural, and marginalized populations and have tended to not exercise their right to health for a variety of social, economic, and cultural reasons, framing mental health in terms of rights helps to empower these people to impact the development of appropriate policies in mental health. The authors suggest that this process contributes directly to improving the mental health of this population.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Development, Gender, Health, Mental Health, Justice, Reparations, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Rights, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2006

Unspeakable Truths: Transitional Justice and the Challenge of Truth Commissions


Hayner, Priscilla B. 2010. Unspeakable Truths: Transitional Justice and the Challenge of Truth Commissions. Oxford: Routledge.

Author: Priscilla B. Hayner

Topics: Justice, Reparations, Transitional Justice, TRCs

Year: 2010


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