International Law and Sexual Violence Against Men
23 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011
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
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