Evolution of Rape As a War Crime and a Crime Against Humanity

20 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2016

Date Written: July 25, 2016

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Njoroge, Fraciah Muringi, Evolution of Rape As a War Crime and a Crime Against Humanity (July 25, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2813970 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2813970

Fraciah Muringi Njoroge (Contact Author)

Harvard University, Law School, Students ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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