Review of the Sexual Violence Elements of the Judgements of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone in the Light Of Security Council Resolution 1

Friday, January 1, 2010

The aim of this document is to identify the sexual violence elements of the jurisprudence of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL).

It offers a comprehensive overview of the various ways that sexual violence in armed conflict can be interpreted and addressed under international law. It further provides easy reference to the conclusions that the ICTY, ICTR and SCSL reached with regard to sexual violence in armed conflict. It was prepared in light of Security Council Resolution 1820 (SCR 1820) which requests, inter alia, information on situations of armed conflict in which sexual violence has been widely or systematically employed against civilians, and analysis of the prevalence and trends of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict. The annexed Toolkit offers key readings, reference, and training materials on sexual violence, assembled to support the request in SCR 1820 for appropriate training programs for personnel deployed by the United Nations in the context of Security Council mandated missions to help them better prevent, recognize and respond to sexual violence in conflict.

The Study and Toolkit together are intended to serve as a resource for the United Nations System in its efforts to prevent and respond to sexual violence, including by combating impunity for sexual crimes. It is of particular relevance to UN entities working on human rights and the rule of law, particularly human rights and justice components of peacekeeping missions. It will be an exceptional resource to the Team of Experts – mandated by SCR 1888 – to assist national authorities to strengthen the rule of law and address sexual violence in armed conflict, including by enhancing criminal accountability and responsiveness to victims. The analyses herein will also be of assistance to legal and judicial actors and civil society organizations dealing with cases of a similar nature at the national level.