Evolution of Rape As a War Crime and a Crime Against Humanity
20 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2016
Date Written: July 25, 2016
Acts of sexual violence, particularly rape, have plagued armed conflicts since time immemorial. In the early times, rape was more of a property crime committed against the man who owned the woman or an ordinary spoil of war. In recent times however, rape committed during the conduct of hostilities have been out rightly condemned and expressly codified as a war crime and a crime against humanity. Precedents emanating from ad hoc criminal tribunals have further held that it would also constitute an act of genocide and/or torture. This paper highlights the legal milestones leading to the express inclusion of rape as a war crime and a crime against humanity. It will further delve into a discussion of what amounts to rape under the statutes by analyzing the definition of rape under international law and its elements as a crime.
Keywords: rape, sexual violence, war crime, crime against humanity
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