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Sexual Slavery

Women in Post-Conflict Niger-Delta of Nigeria: Amnesty versus Restorative Justice

Citation:

Abimbola, Foluke Oluyemisi. 2019. "Women in Post-Conflict Niger-Delta of Nigeria: Amnesty versus Restorative Justice." Journal of Law and Criminal Justice 7 (1): 23-34.

Author: Foluke Oluyemisi Abimbola

Abstract:

The Niger-Delta of Nigeria is known for violence and conflicts as a result of opposition of militant groups to oil exploration activities concentrated in this area of Nigeria. The militant groups are still agitating for a share of the oil revenue and for the development of their region. Women in the Niger-Delta of Nigeria have experienced different levels of violence and torture during these conflict situations. Some of the crimes perpetrated against women during these conflicts are rape, forced labour, sex slavery, and brutal murder of their family members. In addition, during conflict situations and even thereafter, the women experience a deeper level of poverty as a result of their inability to continue with their economic activities such as farming or fishing due to displacements caused by the conflict as most of the women living in the Niger-Delta rural communities are subsistence farmers. Following years of insurgency by angry militants against the Nigerian government, the amnesty strategy was eventually mapped out by the government of the day in order to give the militant youth economic opportunities to stem the tide of conflicts. However, the vast majority of women and girls who were and are still victims of these conflicts were not included. This paper shall highlight the need for restorative justice especially for women who are victims of the insurgency. Whereas amnesty seeks to give a better future to the militants, the women are unable to recover effectively with little or no means of indemnifying their losses. This paper proposes restitution or compensation for victims while creating constructive roles for victims in the criminal justice process.

Keywords: women, Niger Delta, post-conflict mechanisms, amnesty, restorative justice

Topics: Age, Youth, Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Economies, Poverty, Conflict, Resource Conflict, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Governance, Justice, Torture, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2019

Response to and Reparations for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Iraq: The Case of Shi'a Turkmen Survivors in Tel Afar

Citation:

Bor, Güley. 2019. Response to and Reparations for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Iraq: The Case of Shi'a Turkmen Survivors in Tel Afar. London: London School of Economics Middle East Centre.

Author: Güley Bor

Abstract:

Conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) has been widespread in Iraq during the most recent Islamic State conflict. Thousands of Yazidi and hundreds of Shiʿa Turkmen women and girls were subjected to various forms of CRSV, including sexual slavery and forced marriages. Survivors need, demand and have a right to emergency responses as well as reparations. However, an overview of the situation of Shiʿa Turkmen survivors who returned to Tel Afar demonstrates how the Government of Iraq’s inaction, together with its discriminatory laws and practices, continue to fail women, and survivors in particular. Shiʿa Turkmen survivors must be provided with timely, comprehensive and survivor-centric medical, legal, economic services and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), while community-oriented programmes must address the high levels of stigma to which survivors are subjected. To address the medical, psychological and social harms arising from CRSV, complex reparation programmes (both urgent and comprehensive) should be designed and implemented through effective survivor consultation, by ensuring that all survivors are included in their scope. While the recent reparations bill is a step in the right direction, Iraq is in urgent need for wider reform in addressing sexual violence and ensuring its non-repetition.

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, Governance, Health, Mental Health, Justice, Reparations, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2019

Female Combatants and the Post-Conflict Process in Sierra Leone

Citation:

Cullen, Laura C. 2020. "Female Combatants and the Post-Conflict Process in Sierra Leone." Journal of International Women's Studies 21 (2): 114-25.

Author: Laura C. Cullen

Abstract:

Women and girls had a specific and gendered experience of the civil war in Sierra Leone. They filled the role of combatants, ‘bush wives’, child soldiers, and sexual slaves. As a result of these roles, women are often described as having dual identities of both perpetrators and victims of violence. This duality resulted in the complex question of how to help these women both reintegrate into society and also address the crimes which they are alleged to have committed during the war. In this paper, I argue that these women and girls should be treated as victims due to the fact that their crimes were committed under coercion. I investigate the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process, performing a critique of its gendered assumptions and its inability to provide adequate assistance to females coerced into combat. I perform a critical analysis of the formation and efficacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). I investigate the Special Court’s treatment of the women and girls who were victims coerced into war and potentially held responsible as if they were perpetrators. In doing so, critical deconstruction of the treatment of these women highlights both the hybrid court’s successes and failures in advocating for these women. Throughout the paper, I explore the question of how the post-conflict reconstruction process should treat women and girls, who are victims but who have discursively been positioned also as perpetrators.

Keywords: female combatants, women combatants, Special Court for Sierra Leone, bush wives, DDR, child soldiers, post-conflict resolutions, international criminal justice, hybrid courts, gendered assumptions in the post-conflict process

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Girls, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2020

To Genuine Reconciliation on Comfort Women

Citation:

Zhewei, Li. 2019. "To Genuine Reconciliation on Comfort Women." International Journal of Rule of Law, Transitional Justice and Human Rights, no. 10, 91-102.

Author: Li Zhewei

Abstract:

The comfort women, which was a brutal crime in the Second World War, has been a historical dilemma in the international legal practice in the East Asia. It is an impasse made up of gender, decolonisation and nationalism elements. This article tries to propose a possible way to reach a genuine reconciliation on the comfort women issue from a perspective of transitional justice. Firstly, an introduction about the comfort women issue will be introduced, which will establish the whole theoretical analysis framework. The Second Part will try to analyze the obstacles and difficulties to ultimately settle down the comfort women dilemma. In the Third Part, this essay will conduct cases study by retrospecting the currently existing practice that has tried to address the comfort women problem, namely inter-governmental cases and individual-claim cases. The Conclusion will coincide the rationale of the First Part and put forward the possible solution with a threefold structure.

Keywords: comfort women issue, transitional justice, gender-based crimes, international law

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, International Law, Justice, Transitional Justice, Nationalism, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery Regions: Asia, East Asia

Year: 2019

Reparations for "Comfort Women": Feminist Geopolitics and Changing Gender Ideologies in South Korea

Citation:

Kim, Min Ji. 2019. "Reparations for "Comfort Women": Feminist Geopolitics and Changing Gender Ideologies in South Korea." Cornell International Affairs Review 12 (2): 5-43.

Author: Min Ji Kim

Abstract:

This paper studies feminist geopolitical practices in South Korea in the context of “comfort women” forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese military around the Second World War. Although there has been a considerable amount of literature penned on the comfort women issue, existing discussions focus largely on the conflict between nationalist and feminist paradigms, while largely minimizing feminist activism and changing gender narratives within Korean society. Therefore, this research aims to expand the field by considering the struggles that comfort women have endured through the lens of feminist geopolitical scholarship. I argue that comfort women activism constitutes a form of feminist geopolitical practice in a way that challenges masculine gender narratives. It has opened up new spaces where comfort women survivors can produce a sense of “survivorhood” and move beyond passivity throughout their lives. The rise of their active voices signals the overturning of traditional patriarchal structures; consequently, along with other forms of activism, these narratives have eventually led to a shift in public attitudes. Unlike how nationalist accounts were dominant in the early 1990s, the increased public attention towards the feminist accounts in the mid-2010s has subsequently increased media coverage of survivors and feminist practices.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Nationalism, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: South Korea

Year: 2019

Violence against Women in Armed Conflicts: Pre, During and Post

Citation:

Sklavou, Konstantina. 2019. "Violence against Women in Armed Conflicts: Pre, During and Post." Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience and Mental Health 2 (4): 254-8. 

Author: Konstantina Sklavou

Abstract:

The article will briefly present the problem of violence against women in armed conflict. Violence during war varies in extent and takes distinct forms, sometimes is widespread and yet in other conflicts is quite limited. In conflicts violence takes different forms, sexual slavery, torture in detention, rape, humiliation, discriminations etc.  However sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflicts lacks visibility and is not fully understood as it is often labeled as a woman›s only issue and normalizing rape and sexual assault contains the risk of permitting sexual violence and legitimizing its use as a weapon of war.

Keywords: gender, violence, ethnicity, armed conflicts, human rights, immigrants, refugees

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women, Torture, Violence

Year: 2019

Murad vs. ISIS: Rape as a Weapon of Genocide

Citation:

Cooke, Miriam. 2019. "Murad vs. ISIS: Rape as a Weapon of Genocide." Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 15 (3): 261-85.

Author: Miriam Cooke

Abstract:

This article analyzes recent Iraqi texts, some authorizing and others condemning rape as a weapon of war. The focus is on Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) perpetrators of sexual violence, their Yazidi victims, and two women’s demands for reparative, restorative justice. Held in sexual slavery between 2014 and 2015, Farida Khalaf and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad published testimonials that detail their experiences. Determined to bring ISIS rapists to justice, they narrate the formerly unspeakable crimes that ISIS militants committed against them. Adjudicated as a crime against humanity at the end of the twentieth century, rape as a weapon of war, and especially genocide, no longer slips under the radar of international attention. This study argues that the Yazidi women’s brave decision to speak out may help break the millennial silence of rape survivors.

Keywords: ISIS, Yazidis, rape as a weapon of war, fatwa, Crimes against Humanity

Topics: Genocide, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, Reparations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2019

Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Guatemala: The Sepur Zarco Sexual Violence and Sexual Slavery Trial

Citation:

Burt, Jo-Marie. 2019. "Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Guatemala: The Sepur Zarco Sexual Violence and Sexual Slavery Trial." Social Science Research Network. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.3444514.

Author: Jo-Marie Burt

Abstract:

Guatemala is breaking new ground with a series of high-impact war crimes prosecutions. The 2016 Sepur Zarco trial was one such landmark case: it was the first time that Guatemala prosecuted wartime sexual violence, and the first time that a domestic court prosecuted sexual slavery as a crime against humanity. This case also set important precedents in legal and evidentiary practice. Based on my direct observation of the Sepur Zarco case, this paper examines the legal practices that placed the womensurvivors, not the defendants, at the forefront of the proceedings, and which proved that the state of Guatemala systematically used sexual violence as a weapon of war against women and as a strategy to control the civilian population. It also examines the evidentiary practices in this case, which allowed not only for a conviction more than 30 years after the crimes, but for a broader understanding of the historical context, including land conflict, that led to the atrocities in Sepur Zarco. By piercing the veil of impunity surrounding wartime atrocities and making visible the faces of the victims —indigenous men and women who have historically been relegated to the margins of Guatemalan society— the Sepur Zarco trial is challenging entrenched narratives of denial that have sustained the power of military officials whose influence continues to shape present-day politics in the Central American nation.

Keywords: sexual violence, sexual slavery, Guatemala, human rights, war crimes

Topics: Conflict, Resource Conflict, Gender, Indigenous, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Rights, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2019

Sexual Slavery, Enforced Prostitution, and Forced Marriage as Crimes against Humanity during the Indonesian Killings of 1965-66

Citation:

Pohlman, Annie. 2019. "Sexual Slavery, Enforced Prostitution, and Forced Marriage as Crimes against Humanity during the Indonesian Killings of 1965-66." In The International People's Tribunal for 1965 and the Indonesian Genocide, edited by Saskia E. Wieringa, Jess Melvin, and Annie Pohlman. New York: Routledge.

Author: Annie Pohlman

Abstract:

This chapter examines some of the tensions between conceptualisations of crimes against humanity in contemporary international criminal law and the prosecution of historical cases of this violence. It focuses on how there is growing recognition of the need to distinguish and separate sexual crimes by type, with particular attention paid to the separation of the three closely related but distinct crimes against humanity: sexual enslavement, enforced prostitution, and forced marriage. The chapter provides the Prosecutors of the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) for each of these sexually based crimes. It explores the dilemma of applying current-day gender jurisprudence to an historical case of mass violence. Sexual violence was pervasive during both the massacres of 1965-1966 and the mass political detentions that followed the 1 October 1965 coup in Indonesia. In the evidence brief on sexual violence prepared for the Prosecutor at the IPT 1965, a wide range of acts was listed under a group heading of ‘sexual enslavement.’

Topics: Gender, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, Violence Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2019

Gender Politics and Geopolitics of International Criminal Law in Uganda

Citation:

Bunting, Annie. 2018. "Gender Politics and Geopolitics of International Criminal Law in Uganda." Global Discourse 8 (3): 422-37.

Author: Annie Bunting

Abstract:

This paper explores the views of victim survivors – both men and women – on the current prosecution of Dominic Ongwen at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, including the crime of forced marriage. This case will be used as the central story around which the potential and limitations of international criminal law for gender justice will be explored. The Ongwen case has blurred the lines between victims and perpetrators of child soldiering and has generated much debate within and outside the continent. It has resuscitated the contestation and controversies surrounding the ICC regime in Uganda and Africa more broadly. The reflections I share in this paper come out of a collaborative research project I direct called ‘Conjugal Slavery in War: Partnerships for the study of enslavement, marriage and masculinities’ (CSiW 2015-2020). While Uganda and the Ongwen case will be central to this paper, our research project includes partners working with survivors of conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and northern Nigeria. We collected well over 250 interviews with women who were abducted for forced marriage. Using interview data from Uganda, as well as court records, this paper explores in-depth the geopolitics and gender politics of prosecuting conjugal slavery as an international crime.

Keywords: ICC, gender violence, Crimes against Humanity, transitional justice

Topics: Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, Transitional Justice, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2018

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