Legal briefs

The legal history of rape is an interesting topic that will be explored in later posts. For now, I want to note down some important milestones that have been reached since the Bosnian war in the early 1990s, in which an estimated 20 – 50,000 women were raped (taken from p. 9 of MSF’s report Shattered Lives, released on 5 March, 2009):

  • the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, established in the Hague in 1993, recognized sexual violence as a crime against humanity for the first time in legal history
  • 1998: the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court determined that rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, and forced sterilization, among other forms of sexual violence, were crimes against humanity, a war crime, and could constitute an element of genocide.
  • June 2008: the UN adopted Resolution 1820 that states that sexual violence, when used as a tactic of war or to target civilians, “demands the immediate and complete cessation by all parties to armed conflict of all acts of sexual violence against civilians”
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