International Law and Sexual Violence Against Men

23 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011

See all articles by Solange Mouthaan

Solange Mouthaan

University of Warwick - School of Law

Date Written: February 18, 2011


This article will discuss the manner in which international law deals with crimes of sexual violence committed against men during armed conflict generally and specifically in situations of detention. Recently, public allegations have been made against the UK government that they have endorsed certain prohibited techniques of torture, including sexual abuse, but crimes of sexual violence against men occur in the wider context of armed conflict. International Law still has some way to go to determine the legal framework prohibiting and punishing sexual violence against women in armed conflict; it does not expressly prohibit such acts when committed against men. A slightly more developed area of law is that of crimes of sexual violence taking place within the wider context of torture or degrading/humiliating treatment. However, torture is not necessarily the sole framework in which these types of crimes should be considered for fear that torture and sexual abuse become synonymous. These crimes should also be viewed within the context of gender-based violence. Once allegations of torture, including sexual abuse, have been made, the State has a duty to investigate the allegations and pursue criminal procedures against those responsible for the torture. Failure to do so may result in the State being held responsible for its failure to implement its duties with regards the protection from and prevention of torture and for failure to investigate properly allegations of torture.

Keywords: sexual crimes, torture, international crimes

Suggested Citation

Mouthaan, Solange, International Law and Sexual Violence Against Men (February 18, 2011). Warwick School of Law Research Paper No. 2011-02, Available at SSRN: or

Solange Mouthaan (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - School of Law ( email )

Gibbet Hill Road
Coventry CV4 7AL, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
+44(0)24 7652 3074 (Phone)
+44(0)24 7652 4105 (Fax)


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics