IRRC No. 894
Sexual violence in armed conflicts: A violation of international humanitarian law and human rights law
Reading time 14 min read
Sexual violence is prevalent in contemporary armed conflicts. International humanitarian law and human rights law absolutely prohibit all forms of sexual violence at all times and against anyone; international criminal law moreover provides for the individual criminal responsibility of sexual crimes’ perpetrators. These three bodies of law importantly reinforce each other in this field. The discrepancy between the facts on the ground and the law is a matter of concern that cannot be explained by potential legal gaps or uncertainties. What is needed is to find new ways of improving implementation for existing laws at the domestic and international levels.