IRRC No. 894

Conflict-related sexual violence and the policy implications of recent research

Reading time 9 min read
This Article is also available in

Scholars increasingly document different forms of conflict-related sexual violence, their distinct causes, and their sharply varying deployment by armed organizations. In this paper, I first summarize recent research on this variation, emphasizing findings that contradict or complicate popular beliefs. I then discuss distinct interpretations of the claim that such violence is part of a continuum of violence between peace and war. After analyzing recent research on the internal dynamics of armed organizations, I suggest that widespread rape often occurs as a practice rather than as a strategy. Finally, I advance some principles to guide policy in light of recent research.

Continue reading #IRRC No. 894

More about Addressing sexual violence, International Review of the Red Cross, Respect for IHL, Law and policy platform, Generating respect for the law, Women, Building respect for the law