Jus cogens is defined as “peremptory norms of general international law from which no derogation is permissible.” Among the human rights issues that fall into this category, such as slavery and genocide, there is one that has yet to be elevated to this level of importance that unequivocally should be: rape in conflict areas.
This paper first overviews the history of rape in conflict, the reasons for its prevalence, and the affects it has on women and communities. Second, it discusses the legal tools currently available in the international legal field. Third, it establishes genocide as a jus cogens human right issue. Fourth, it explains that rape has been prosecuted as a form of genocide. Fifth, this paper argues that protection from rape in conflict should be considered a jus cogens human right separate from the crime of genocide, but regarded with the same importance. Finally, this paper makes recommendations on national and international strategies that will allow the recognition of protection from rape as a jus cogens human right.
- rape as a weapon of war,
- gender based violence,
- women's international rights,
- human rights,
- jus cogens human rights
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michelle_seyler/1/