Home / Publications / One Billion Rising: GJC Rises Against Rape as a Weapon of War

One Billion Rising: GJC Rises Against Rape as a Weapon of War

On February 14, The Global Justice Center is rising. We support V-Day and its One Billion Rising campaign to end violence against girls and women. One in three women will experience gender-based violence in their lifetime. That’s roughly one billion women on this planet subject to some form of abuse. The time to end this culture of rape and violence is now. Rise in solidarity with V-Day and the Global Justice Center.

Global Justice Center’s Work to End Rape as a Weapon of War

A primary focus of the GJC’s work against sexualized violence is our Rape as a Weapon of War Project. Raping girls and women to accomplish military objectives, including genocide, is used more than any other unlawful weapon of war. Yet, it is routinely ignored and overlooked, despite the staggering number of girls and women subject to this brutality daily in conflict zones around the world. Although rape is the most powerful and cost effective weapon being used in armed conflict today, no state has been held accountable for use of rape as an illegal weapon of war. Our Weapons Discrimination Project to have rape treated as an unlawful weapon of war in order to end impunity for culpable states and give rape victims better avenues for redress has recently been met with great support in the UK. As UK Foreign Minister William Hague said in October 2012:

“We now know that rape and sexual violence is used as a deliberate weapon of war in the same way that guns and tanks are, to terrorise civilian populations, to humiliate, scar and destroy whole ethnic groups or religious or political opponents, cheaply, silently and devastatingly…I believe that the time has come for a concerted international effort to challenge the use of rape as a weapon of war and to shatter the culture of impunity.”

In addition, the Socialist International Women passed a Resolution on the need to treat rape as a weapon, based on a resolution that the GJC drafted for the Norwegian Labour Party, who in turn had the resolution passed in early 2012 by the International Congress of Socialist Youth.  This step is particularly important because the Socialist International Women is composed of 149 member groups for a range of countries and three of the four action items in the resolution relate to treating rape used as a weapon of war as an illegal weapon.

Why is it important to have rape classified as an illegal weapon of war?

Victims of war rape should have the same rights to justice as war victims injured by other unlawful weapons. GJC works to hold states accountable for tactical mass rapes, advocates for classifying rape as an illegal weapon of war under international law, and pressures international monitoring bodies to report the impact of rape on weapons-related morbidity and mortality.

It is imperative that rape is classified as an illegal weapon of war for the following reasons:

  1. Treating rape as an unlawful weapon will open up new access to justice for rape victims and monitoring mechanisms by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
  2. The GJC argues that the non-discrimination mandates of international humanitarian law (IHL) are violated by the failure of states to prosecute the transmission of HIV by any means during armed conflict, a clear violation of the international prohibition on “biological” weapons. Enforcing existing biological weapons prohibitions, including by Security Council sanctions on such use and by international prosecutions, will have an enormous deterrent effect on rape in armed conflict.
  3. Just as the classification of landmines as an illegal weapon of war led to a dramatic decrease in its use in armed conflict, classifying rape as an illegal weapon of war can also have a great deterrence impact on the use of mass tactical rape as a weapon in war.

Support us in the movement to end mass rapes in armed conflict.

Learn more at www.globaljusticecenter.net