Armed Conflict and Sexual Violence: A Look at Victims and Perpetrators

Maria Concepcion Badiola

Women are said to be more vulnerable and therefore are more likely to suffer sexual violence. For that reason, the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols specifically safeguards the rights and safety of them and this measure constitutes a positive way to protect those rights and avoid the perpetration of sexual crimes. However, and despite the legislation is clear on prohibiting sexual violence, a big problem related is the misconception on gender roles as well as the male protection within the law. Continue reading

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End Conversion Therapy for Minors

Author: Regina Paulose

Conversion therapy (also known as “reparative,” “re-orientation,” or “cure” therapy) is a type of psychotherapy which professionals or ex-gay ministries use to allegedly “cure” or “help” a person who is gay eliminate or suppress feelings towards the same sex. Continue reading

Environmental Injustice in Taiwan

Taiwan is home to 16 aboriginal tribes; among these tribes are the Tao (also known as the Yami) peoples who inhabit Orchid Island, some 65 miles off the coast of Taiwan. In the 1980’s, unbeknownst to the Tao people, the tip of Orchid Island was turned into a nuclear waste dump. Continue reading

Rape as a Crime versus Rape as a Punishment: What is going on in India?

Written By Garima Tiwari

Indian village council orders sisters to be raped and paraded naked after their brother elopes with married woman.[i]

This recent news and few other similar incidents evoke a number of sentiments. Of course, it is an illegal order with no statutory backing, yet it is an order of the “members of the society” or as are called “Kangaroo Courts” . And it raises pertinent issues about the perception of women in India within a complex web of Caste, Culture, Religion and a family –community system still very patriarchal. While the Nirbhaya Delhi Gang rape case is still sore and the Government’s “security regime” -in place, headlines of “sentencing to rape”, create a mismatch in legal and societal standards. This post loosely  puts forth ideas on how the simple formula of merely punishing the offender does not even look like a step forward in acknowledging the deep seated problem in a complex society like India. Continue reading

What about the Men? The Silence on Male Victims of Sexual Violence in Conflict

By: Ebba Lekvall[1]

 

In June this year, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office hosted a ‘Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict’, co-chaired by Foreign Secretary William Hague and UN Special Envoy Angelia Jolie. The event brought together Government representatives from over 120 countries, over 1,000 experts, faith leaders, youth organizations and representatives of civil society and international organizations. Continue reading

Prosecuting Gender-Based Crimes: An Interview with Dr. Hilmi M. Zawati

A conversation with: Regina Paulose

In a virtual interview, accompanying the release of Dr. Zawati’s new book, Fair Labelling and the Dilemma of Prosecuting Gender-Based Crimes at the International Criminal Tribunals by Oxford University Press (2014), we discuss the prosecution of gender based crimes in the international legal system. Dr. Zawati explains below that the lack of accurate description of gender-based crimes in the statutory laws of the international criminal tribunals and courts infringes the principle of “fair labelling,” lead to inconsistent verdicts and punishments, and constitutes a barrier to justice. As a result, sexual violence in wartime settings should be prosecuted separately as crimes in themselves, not as a subsection of war crimes or crimes against humanity. Continue reading

Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Syria

Written by: Regina Paulose

As various parties in and out of Syria prepare for the January 22, 2014 “Geneva II” talks, it is important for the international community to remember that a successful long term peace and transition plan in Syria will require the genuine participation of minority groups in Syria of all backgrounds. While these ideas have been communicated to the parties that will be in attendance, it is important that legitimate mechanisms are in place to ensure the participation of all in the transition and that the participation of all people remains a non-negotiable item during the talks. Continue reading