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Since the mid-1990s, increasing international attention has been paid to the issue of violence against women; however, there is still no explicit international human rights treaty prohibition on violence against women and the issue remains poorly defined and understood under international human rights law. Drawing on feminist theories of international law and human rights, this critical examination of the United Nations' legal approaches to violence against women analyses the merits of strategies which incorporate women's concerns of violence within existing human rights norms such as equality norms, the right to life, and the prohibition against torture. Although feminist strategies of inclusion have been necessary as well as symbolically powerful for women, the book argues that they also carry their own problems and limitations, prevent a more radical transformation of the human rights system and ultimately reinforce the unequal position of women under international law.
This document identifies how the crimes of rape and sexual violence must, as a requirement of its own statute and a matter of international human rights law, be interpreted and applied with equality between men and women by the International Criminal Court (the Court). The Court has yet to rule on this matter in its jurisprudence.
Such incorporation of human rights law and standards in the prosecution of rape and sexual violence should be undertaken by other international courts, as well as national courts, in order to discharge states’ duties under treaty and customary law.
In order to incorporate human rights law and standards in its practice, the Court’s interpretation of the definition of the crimes should address the behaviour and actions of the perpetrator, and how this affects the victim’s ability to exercise free and genuine choice, that is, to enjoy his or her human right to physical and mental integrity and sexual autonomy, without discrimination. The Court’s deliberation should not just address the victim’s purported ‘consent’ in isolation.
Human rights law and standards requires that investigations and prosecutions of the crimes of rape and sexual violence must be undertaken with careful attention given to the task of challenging stereotypes, which tend to undermine women’s equality before the law. The integrity of investigations and prosecutions should not be tainted by stereotypical assumptions, including assumptions about sexual violence towards men and boys, as well as towards women and girls.
This Annex includes both the general and specific protection afforded to women under international humanitarian law, meaning that some of the legal provisions apply equally to men and women without adverse distinction, while others apply exclusively to women. Although this table only refers to international humanitarian law, other bodies of law, such as human rights law, refugee law and domestic law also protect women in situations of armed conflict.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (often referred to as the International Criminal Court Statute or the Rome Statute) is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC). It was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on 17 July 1998 and it entered into force on 1 July 2002. As of 6 January 2015, 123 states are party to the statute. Among other things, the statute establishes the court's functions, jurisdiction and structure.