Sexual Slavery

Sexual Violence against Women and Girls in War and Its Aftermath: Realities, Responses, and Required Resources

Citation:

Ward, Jeanne, and Mendy Marsh. 2006. “Sexual Violence against Women and Girls in War and Its Aftermath: Realities, Responses, and Required Resources.” Paper presented at the Symposium on Sexual Violence in Conflict and BeyondBrussels, June 21-23.

Authors: Jeanne Ward, Mendy Marsh

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Mental Health, Trauma, International Organizations, Justice, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security Sector Reform, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women

Year: 2006

The Shame of Hwang v. Japan: How the International Community Has Failed Asia's 'Comfort Women'

Citation:

Ahmed, Afreen R. 2004. “The Shame of Hwang v. Japan: How the International Community Has Failed Asia's 'Comfort Women.'” Texas Journal of Women & the Law 14 (1): 1-121.

Author: Afreen R. Ahmed

Abstract:

In 1897, the Japanese intellectual Uchimura Kanzo wrote in an essay entitled "National Repentance," but it was not until 1937 that Japan began greatly expanding its officially sanctioned and closely regulated "comfort system" for the sexual gratification of the Japanese soldiers as they waged war throughout East Asia and the Pacific. The states parties to the treaty included some whose nationals had been enslaved as "comfort women" - Indonesia, the Netherlands, and the Philippines - but the treaty contained no mention of the victims of rape, forced prostitution, or sexual slavery. Japan has argued that during the war, neither slavery nor wartime rape was proscribed by conventional or customary international law. The sexual enslavement of the "comfort women" during World War II was, without a doubt, a violation of the customary international law regarding slavery and slavery-like practices. Documents subsequent to Hague IV confirm that rape and forced prostitution were considered violations of the customary international law of war. On the one hand, both Japanese and Allied military cultures regarded rape as an acceptable side effect of war; on the other hand, the post-war Asian cultures regarded the rape victim as socially unacceptable, partly to blame for her victimization, and nothing more than a source of shame.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, International Law, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2004

Girl Soldiers and Participation in Hostilities

Citation:

Quénivet, Noëlle. 2008. “Girl Soldiers and Participation in Hostilities.” African Journal of International and Comparative Law 16 (2): 219–35.

Author: Noëlle Quénivet

Abstract:

Recently, organisations working with former child soldiers have observed the growing number of girls involved in armed conflicts. While their fate as sexual slaves is well documented, their participation in hostilities is less acknowledged. Girls, like boys, spy, loot, and kill, but they also cook, clean, and run camps. International humanitarian law, human rights law and international criminal law ban the participation of children in armed conflicts. However, the interpretation of the expression ‘participation in hostilities’ leaves open the possibility that the activities carried out by girls do not fall within the purview of this prohibition, and that, hence, their recruiters are not breaching the aforementioned legal norms.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, Gender, Girls, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery

Year: 2008

Sexual Slavery and the International Criminal Court: Advancing International Law

Citation:

Oosterveld, Valerie. 2003. “Sexual Slavery and the International Criminal Court: Advancing International Law.” Michigan Journal of International Law 25: 605-51.

Author: Valerie Oosterveld

Abstract:

Sexual slavery is an unfortunate fact of armed conflicts around the world. For example, during World War II, more than 200,000 girls and women were enslaved in so-called "comfort stations" associated with the Japanese Imperial Army located throughout Asia. In more recent armed conflicts, girls and women have been forced into sexual slavery in East and West Timor, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and other countries. Sexual slavery is also prevalent during peacetime, in the form of trafficking for sexual purposes. 700,000 human beings - mostly women and girls - are trafficked into sexual exploitation and forced labour every year. They are bought and sold, kidnapped, deceived and coerced into being trafficked within and across borders in all regions. While clearly a global problem, sexual slavery was not recognized under international law as a crime against humanity, nor as a war crime, until 1998, when it was explicitly included in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The finalization of the ICC's Elements of Crimes in 2000 resulted in another important step forward in international law, as the specific elements of the crime of sexual slavery were enumerated for the first time.

Topics: International Law, International Criminal Law, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking

Year: 2003

In/fertility among Korea’s "Comfort Women" Survivors: A Comparative Perspective

Citation:

Soh, C. Sarah. 2006. “In/fertility among Korea’s ‘Comfort Women’ Survivors: A Comparative Perspective.” Women’s Studies International Forum 29 (1): 67–80. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2005.10.007.

Author: C. Sarah Soh

Abstract:

This article explores the social psychological and physiological impact of wartime military sexual slavery on postwar lives of former "comfort women" by analyzing Korean survivors’ testimonial narratives of han (long-held bitter resentment) and my multisite ethnographic research findings on the topic. Taking a comparative perspective of a "person-centered anthropology," it attempts to historicize the experiences of wartime enforced sexual labor and its impact on reproductive capacity in postwar marital lives among some Korean, Filipino, and Dutch survivors. [Soh] posit[s] the cumulative number (as well as the degree of roughness) of forced sexual intercourse–operationalized as the length of sexual servitude period–as a crucial factor in affecting the survivors’ reproductive successes in postwar marital lives. Other important intervening variables for survivors’ in/fertility that [Soh] theorize[s] include sexually transmitted diseases, reproductive disruptions, and exceptionally privileged treatment resulting in reduced sexual workload.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Health, Reproductive Health, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: North Korea, South Korea

Year: 2006

Child Soldiers: From Violence to Protection

Citation:

Wessells, Michael G. 2006. Child Soldiers: From Violence to Protection. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Author: Michael G. Wessells

Abstract:

Examines the plight of child soldiers who are used by government forces and other military groups around the world as combatants, spies, porters, human land-mine detectors, and sexual slaves; analyzes the lives of these boys and girls within armed groups; discusses the impacts of these experiences on their lives; and considers the issues of reintegration into normal society, and how to prevent the problem(WorldCat)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, DDR, Gender, Girls, Boys, Health, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery

Year: 2006

Armed Conflict, War Rape, and the Commercial Trade in Women and Children’s Labour

Citation:

Farr, Kathryn. 2009. “Armed Conflict, War Rape, and the Commercial Trade in Women and Children’s Labour.” Pakistan Journal of Women’s Studies: Alam-e-Niswan 16 (1 & 2): 1-31.

Author: Kathryn Farr

Abstract:

This research examined militarized sexual violence and the commercial trade in women and children in twenty three countries with ongoing or recently- ended civil wars. Findings indicate a progressive connection between assaultive violence against women during armed conflict and the commercial trade in women and children for sexual and other labour. Today’s armed conflicts target civilian in their homes and towns, in flight from violence, and in refugee and IDP settlements which are largely populated by women and children. In these wars, women suffer severe declines in their economic and security positions, and are at severely increased risk of sexual assaults by military combatants and numerous other war-related groups. Rebel and militia groups’ demands for sexual and other labour lead to both sexual enslavement and the trade of enslaved women and children. War-traumatized women and girls fall prey to traffickers, and trafficking across borders is carried out with relative impunity. With the expansion of supply and demand, sex industries gain a foothold in developing and transitioning civil- war-torn countries, and retain their prominence in traditional trafficking destination countries in the economic North, the Gulf states, and parts of South and Southeast Asia.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Displacement & Migration, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Militias, Non-State Armed Groups, Security, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women, Trafficking, Labor Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Violence

Year: 2009

Korean "Comfort Women": The Intersection of Colonial Power, Gender, and Class

Citation:

Min, Pyong Gap. 2003. “Korean ‘Comfort Women’: The Intersection of Colonial Power, Gender, and Class.” Gender & Society 17 (6): 938–57.

Author: Pyong Gap Min

Abstract:

During the Asian and Pacific War (1937-45), the Japanese government mobilized approximately 200,000 Asian women to military brothels to sexually serve Japanese soldiers. The majority of these victims were unmarried young women from Korea, Japan’s colony at that time. In the early 1990s, Korean feminist leaders helped more than 200 Korean survivors of Japanese military sexual slavery to come forward to tell the truth, which has further accelerated the redress movement for the women. One major issue in the redress movement and research relating to the so-called “comfort women” issue is whether Japan’s colonization of Korea or gender hierarchy was a more fundamental cause of the Korean women’s suffering. Using an intersectional perspective, this article analyzes how colonial power, gender hierarchy, and class were inseparably tied together to make the victims’ lives miserable. By doing so, it shows that a one-sided emphasis on colonization or gender hierarchy will misrepresent the feminist political issue and misinterpret the “comfort women’s” experiences.

Keywords: sexual violence against women, colonial power, gender, class

Topics: Armed Conflict, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan, North Korea, South Korea

Year: 2003

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