FRIDE Releases Publication on Accountability for Sexual Crimes in Post-conflict Situations
Tuesday, September 2, 2008 11:54 AM

Justice for Women: Seeking Accountability for Sexual Crimes in Post-conflict Situations discusses the key points of debate discussed at a  meeting held to explore justice for women. It also highlights proposals relating to the pending challenges of the issue.

The debate highlights that the systematic use of extreme violence, in particular sexual violence, in conflict and post-conflict situations raises the pressing question of how to end the cycle of impunity. Post-conflict reconstruction requires a combined effort by the international community and local actors to tackle issues such as military support, disarmament, and the creation of stable judicial frameworks. Daunting challenges are faced by women survivors of sexual violence - social rejection, impunity of the perpetrators, difficulties in access to justice, severe health problems, children born of rape and economic precariousness. Justice, in the widest sense, is a priority and some progress has been made regarding access to justice for women.

Key points include:

  • economic and social justice is an integral part of the process to restore women’s rights and dignity and the underlying gender bias in societies needs to be urgently addressed in order to prevent sexual violence
  • only through the broad involvement of all levels of society will there be a wide-ranging commitment to justice for women
  • local and international actors need to work hand-in-hand to ensure continued support for women victims of sexual violence before, during and after armed conflict 
  • sexual crimes and the impunity of perpetrators continue to pose a major challenge that must be urgently addressed by the international community.

Summary published in: Justice for women: seeking accountability for sexual crimes in post-conflict situations, ELDIS.