A Feminist Critique on the Charging of Male Sexual Violence in International Law


The legal implications of the prohibition on sexual assault in international law of crime have increased exponentially since the inclusion of sexual rape as a crime against humanity under the article. 5(g) of the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (“ICTY”). Yet, sexual violence in the form of assault on boys and men has been largely ignored by international criminal prosecutors, as is evident by the inconsistent prosecution of the crimes. This paper aims to present an assessment of the charging procedure used by international prosecutors regarding the sexual assault of men in a feminist context. It will provide a global framework of law that governs prosecuting sexual assault, an analysis of prosecutor’s charges about this framework, and lastly, offer feminist criticism of these methods.

Legal Framework

The Statute of the ICTY penalizes the crime against humanity committed by rape under the art. 5(g). 5(g). Kunarac case 5(g), the ICTY classified the term rape as “the intimate penetration no matter how slight: (a) of the vagina or anus of a victim through the penis of the perpetrator or another object that is used by the perpetrator, or (b) in the lips of the person being raped through that penis used by the victim in the event that sexual penetration takes place with or without consent from the victim”[15(g). by the penis of the perpetrator or any other object used by the perpetrator.

Specifically, the Statutes of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (“ICTR”) punish the rape offense as an offense against humanity under art. 3(g) and also as a violation of the art. 3 that is common to 3(g), and as a breach of art. Geneva Conventions in Art. 4(e). In the Akayesu decision, the ICTR identified rape as a ” physical invasion of a sexual nature, committed on a person under circumstances which are coercive.” 

Lastly, in the final analysis, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) criminalizes rape and other forms that involve sexual assault, including sexual slavery and enforced prostitution and other forms of slavery, in the context of crimes against humanity under art. 7(g) and as war crimes within the context of non-international and international conflict in art. 8(2)(b)(xxii) as well as art. 8(2)(e)(vi) respectively.

The Prosecutorial Practice Relative to Sexual Violence Against Men

Despite this, none of these instruments differentiate according to the gender or gender of the perpetrator; sexual assault against males has been convicted under various treaty provisions that do not recognize the sexual aspect of the offense. While forty percent of the cases of sexual violence handled by the ICTY were sexual assaults against males, the ICTY has charged with rape six times the case of men and 21 times for females. 

The rape of men that was forced by force has convicted the crime against humanity of the rape crime in Cesic as a brutal and cruel treatment that is an infraction of the law and rules for war at Mucic, and torture and inhuman treatment as part of the crimes against humanity is persecution in Simic[4The case was referred to as the crime against humanity of persecution in Simic[4]. A rape forced between males is charged as a component of the human rights violations committed by the persecution and torture of Simic and also as a cause of Krajisnik’s persecution.

In addition, about this decision by the ICTY prosecutor to charge for forced fellatio between males as inhumane and cruel as in Mucic, The Trial Chamber has noted that the “act could be a rape offense and a liability for the crime could have been averted should it been pleaded in the proper manner”[6[6]. The inconsistencies in charge indicate that there is a pattern that ” men appear to testify to conflict and women testify to rape.” 

A Feminist Critique on the Charging of Male Sexual Violence in International Law

The fact that the relevant Statutes don’t make any distinctions in the text regarding the gender of the victim of sexual assault reflects the legal equality of victims under international law of crimes. However, a study of the fundamental instruments of international human rights, which have had a significant impact on the evolution and application of the international criminal code, is proof of the importance of “regulatory ideas” in the knowledge about how “sexual” entails [88.

The earliest international human rights law that prohibits the rape of women is the act of rape, art. 3 of the Geneva Convention of 1929 stipulates that “[w]omen shall have to be treated with all regard due to their sex,” which demonstrates an understanding that the drafters had of the concept that wartime sexual violence is pertinent only as an act that targets females [99. Since its inception, it has been claimed that international humanitarian law remained in the dual interpretation of men as victims of “public” manifestations of war, including torture, and women as the victims of those who suffer from the “private” images of war, including rape [1010. The argument is further supported by the assertion that the law of international humanitarian is guided by men’s perceptions about the role of war victims. 

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