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Rape in Syria – Recipe to End The Sexual Violence


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Why are women and children devalued in the 21st century?

  • Authoritarianism replacing democracy;
  • Misogyny;
  • Antifeminism;
  • Overpopulation;
  • Religions’ discrimination against women;
  • Disparity between the rich and the poor; and
  • The psychological aberrations of elite societies ruling the economically disadvantaged.

What has been the impact of Sexually Violent Syria thus far?

In Syria,  sexual and gender-based violence against women, girls, men, and boys has been a persistent issue since the uprising in 2011. Parties to the conflict resort to sexual violence as a tool to instil fear, humiliate and punish or, in the case of terrorist groups, as part of their enforced social order. While the immense suffering induced by these practices impacts Syrians from all backgrounds, women and girls have been disproportionately impacted, victimised on multiple grounds, irrespective of perpetrator or geographical area. ~ UN-report-on-sexual-violence-in-Syria


How can this be repaired?


All parties to the Syrian conflict:

(a) Immediately cease the perpetration of sexual and gender-based violence against women, girls, men, and boys;
(b) Proactively accept and reintegrate survivors of sexual and gender-based violence back into their communities;
(c) Proactively facilitate the meaningful participation of women in all relevant peace processes and peace negotiations and any future truth and reconciliation mechanisms; and
(d) Immediately cease the arbitrary and unlawful detention of women and children and release those being held in detention, particularly any who have been subjected to sexual abuse of any form.

Government of the Syrian Arab Republic:

(a) Becomes a State party to the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II);
(b) Implements recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), including General Commentary 30;
(c) Ratifies the Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages (1962);
(d) Recognises its obligations under Security Council resolutions 1325 and 2122 reaffirming the role of all parties in conflict to protect women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence;
(e) Investigates and prosecutes members of its State security forces that bear individual criminal responsibility for committing acts of rape and sexual violence; and
(f) Implement protocols for searching of prisoners on admission to custody for internal reporting of incidents of sexual violence, which applies to all personnel, locations and establishments operating under the command or in conjunction with the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Members of armed groups:

(a) Immediately desist from perpetrating rape of women and girls including based on their religious, ethnic, or tribal affiliations;
(b) Cease the practice of using their positions of authority to exploit women and girls, including by pressuring families to acquiesce to the marriage of their daughters to fighters; and
(c) Take urgent measures to discipline or dismiss individuals under their command responsible for such acts.

United Nations Security Council

(a) As a matter of urgency, and in line with each State’s individual obligations under the Geneva Conventions, refer the situation to justice, possibly to the International Criminal Court or an ad hoc tribunal, bearing in mind that, in the context of the Syrian Arab Republic, only the Security Council is competent to refer the situation;
(b) Include regular briefings by the Commission of Inquiry as part of the formal agenda of the Security Council, including on the use of sexual violence; and
(c) Support the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry.

The international community:

(a) Recognise the perpetration of war crimes, as well as crimes against humanity including rape and other forms of sexual violence committed by Syrian Government forces and associated militias;
(b) Recognise the commission of war crimes, including rape, by members of armed groups;
(c) Recognise the commission of war crimes, as well as crimes against humanity committed by ISIL, including the use of forced marriage;
(d) Provide expertise to assist in the preservation and documentation of evidence relating to sexual violence;
(e) Provide funding for psychosocial support programmes, with increased emphasis on trauma therapy, for survivors of sexual violence;
(f) Where jurisdiction exists, utilise such accountability mechanisms to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of sexual violence within the Syrian conflict;
(g) Wherever possible, demand that parties to the conflict, over whom they have influence, release women and children held in detention, captivity, or as hostages as a confidence building measure and ensure that any women or children who have been subjected to sexual violence or abuse of any form be prioritised for specialised medical treatment, especially psychosocial care and support;
(h) Encourage efforts to promote accountability, including by actively supporting the mandate of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 71/248;
(i) Call upon the Independent Mechanism to collect, as a matter of priority, further evidence and information on those responsible on the crimes documented by the Commission in the present report; and
(j) Proactively facilitate the meaningful participation of women in all relevant peace processes and peace negotiations.

The RINJ Foundation Offers To Provide

(a) Training syllabus for in-country law enforcement training.
(b) Training for jurists to enhance victim impact comprehension and eliminate both victim blaming and rape explaining.
(c) Victim counseling and assistance in returning to active, productive life.

Additional Reading:

  1. The-RINJ-Foundation-UN-report-on-sexual-violence-in-Syria
  2. The-RINJ-Foundation-UN-Sexual-Violence-Against-Men-and-Boys-Syria
  3. April-18-2018-Armed-Conflict-in-Syria-USA-Congressional-Research
  4. Report-of-the-Independent-International-Commission-Syria-2013
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