United Nations Security Council resolution on rape as a war tactic: an analysis by Rights & Democracy
On June 19, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution classifying rape as a weapon of war and a threat to international security. The crucial issue now is whether this resolution will actually contribute to international efforts to end sexual violence committed against women in the context of war.
Rights & Democracy, which has been at the forefront of international efforts to see sexual violence recognized as a weapon of war, believes the Security Council resolution is an important step toward this goal for the following reasons:
Acts of sexual violence committed before and after a war are now part of peace and security issues that could be brought before the Security Council;
The resolution allows the Security Council to intervene in situations where the extent or level of sexual violence requires such intervention;
The resolution excludes crimes of sexual violence from amnesty accords as part of peace negotiations and underlines the importance of ending impunity for such crimes;
Requests that the United Nations Secretary-General submit a report to the Security Council by June 30, 2009, on the application of the resolution in conjunction with situations of war brought before the Security Council.
Rights & Democracy will be monitoring the implementation of this resolution closely, especially in the context of its ongoing work on sexual violence in Burma and the Rights & Democracy-coordinated Coalition for Women’s Human Rights in Conflict Situation’s work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Established in 1996, the Coalition works to:
(…) ensure that crimes committed against women in conflict situations are adequately examined and prosecuted. The main focus of the Coalition’s work is to promote the adequate prosecution of perpetrators of crimes of gender violence in transitional justice systems based in Africa, in order to create precedents that recognise violence against women in conflict situations and help find ways to obtain justice for women survivors of sexual violence.