UN Agencies Lament Rape Not Treated as a Crime
Friday, March 9, 2007 1:49 PM

Rape, widely used as a weapon of war, is often not treated as a criminal act. The U.N. Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) presented these concerns to the Security Council. One-hundred four countries have classified rape as a crime, but at times, these laws are difficult to enforce.

UNIFEM Executive Director Noeleen Heyzer warned that "[w]omen's and girls' bodies have become the battleground" during times of conflict.

UNICEF deputy executive director, Rima Salah, cited indictments by the International Criminal Court of a Sudanese minister and a militia commander for war crimes and crimes against humanity, including sexual violence, as an important start for prosecuting violence against women. 

Compiled from: Nichols, Michelle, World Fails to Treat Rape as Crime - UN Agencies, AlertNet.org/Reuters, March 7, 2007.