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June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) North Dakota Law Review 83:915ff

While the laws of warfare have, for centuries, both implicitly and explicitly prohibited rape of combatants and noncombatants,
those prohibitions were enlarged by the Rome Statute and the Tribunals to include other forms of sexual
violence, including sexual slavery, forced impregnation, forced maternity, forced abortion, forced sterilization, forced
marriage, forced nudity, sexual molestation, sexual mutilation, sexual humiliation, and sex trafficking. … As the result
of findings of widespread and systematic rape, and “ethnic cleansing,” from a commission of experts established by the
United Nations Security Council, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was created
with the mandate to prosecute “persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed
in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991.”… Progress in Prosecuting Gender Violence
The jurisdiction of the Yugoslav Tribunal includes grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, violations of the laws or
customs of war, genocide and crimes against humanity. … The Prosecutor must respect age, gender and health,
and take into account the nature of the crime, particularly where it involves sexual violence, gender violence or violence
against children. … For the many gender violence victims who will never make the trip from Darfur to The Hague, and
for their many perpetrators who will never be indicted there, the ICC can provide two great benefits with impact outside
of, and beyond the court: (1) pressure to move Sudan toward a workable, responsible, and legitimate justice system with
laws and procedures modelled on the ICC’s gender violence protections; and, (2) meaningful reparations for victims. …
Among recommendations, it: calls upon all parties to armed conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls
from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, and all other forms of violence and situations
of armed conflict; emphasizes the responsibility of all states to put an end to impunity and to prosecute those responsible
for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, including those relating to sexual and other violence
against women and girls; calls upon all parties to armed conflict to respect the civilian and humanitarian character of
refugee camps in settlements, and to take into account the particular needs of women and girls; reaffirms that consideration
must be given to potential impact on the civilian population, bearing in mind the special needs of women and girls,
when UN missions are undertaken; invites a Secretary-General study on the impact of armed conflict on women and
girls, the role of women in peace-building and the gender dimensions of peace processes and conflict resolution; calls
for incorporating women and a gender perspective in negotiating and implementing peace agreements; incorporates
gender perspectives into peacekeeping operations; expands the role and contribution of women in United Nations fieldbased
operations, and especially among military observers, civilian police, human rights and humanitarian personnel;
urges the Secretary-General to appoint more women as special representatives and envoys; calls for an increase in participation
of women at decision-making levels in conflict resolution and peace processes; urges Member States to ensure
increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional, and international institutions,
in mechanisms for the prevention, management, and resolution of conflict; calls for all parties to armed conflict to respect
fully, international law applicable to the rights and protection of women and girls, especially as civilians and recommends
training and education of all parties dealing with gender violence in war and peacekeeping.


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