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Gender-Based Crimes Against Humanity

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Book Chapter

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Cambridge University Press

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Gender-based crimes against humanity are prevalent in situations of insecurity, such as armed conflict. Several gender-based crimes against humanity have been recognized in the statutes of international criminal tribunals, such as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and in the case law of these tribunals. This recognition has largely focused on crimes against humanity of sexual violence, especially rape and sexual slavery. Less developed is the recognition of the crime against humanity of gender-based persecution and other crimes that are gendered but may not contain sexual aspects. This chapter begins by examining what is meant by the term “gender” when referring to gender-based crimes against humanity. Next, the chapter explores the ways in which gender-based crimes have been reflected in current international criminal law. This section first describes legal developments related to sexual violence crimes: rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, and other forms of sexual violence. Then, current international law on other gender-based crimes against humanity is considered, such as the Rome Statute's definition of gender-based persecution and the Special Court for Sierra Leone's definition of forced marriage. This paper then discusses other prohibited acts with gendered aspects, such as enslavement and torture. It concludes with recommendations for gender-based prohibited acts that should be reflected in any future crimes against humanity codification. It also raises questions that will need to be considered by drafters of a treaty codifying crimes against humanity.


Chapter 5 from Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity, edited by Leila Nadya Sadat

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