Dying for the Bonds of Marriage: Forced Marriages as a Weapon of Genocide

Dying for the Bonds of Marriage: Forced Marriages as a Weapon of Genocide

By: Carmel O'Sullivan

Carmel O'Sullivan  is a Ph.D. Candidate at Queensland University of Technology.

Excerpt


I. INTRODUCTION
 
Many thought, no doubt, that the horrors of the Second World War - the camps, the cruelty, the extermination, the Holocaust - could never happen again ... . Our time - this decade even - has shown us that man's capacity for evil knows no limits. Genocide - the destruction of an entire people on the basis of ethnic or national origins - is now a word of our times. It is also a heinous reality that calls for a historic response.

- Kofi Annan 1
 
For centuries, women were regarded as the "spoils of war." Rape and sexual violence against women were seen as inevitable consequences of armed conflict and their occurrence was not effectively regulated or prevented. However, the last few decades have witnessed huge advances in the field of gender rights and the protection of women in war. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) have successfully prosecuted sexual violence as war crimes, crimes against humanity, methods of torture, and forms of enslavement and persecution. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute) also recognises and prosecutes sexual violations. According to the Rome Statute, the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction over four categories of crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. 2 These crimes are separate and distinct from one another because they each have different requisite elements for establishing guilt, different purposes and different ...

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