Journal of Social and Political


ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)

ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)

Published: 24 June 2018

Sexual Savagery in Armed Conflicts: A Critique of the United Nations Response

James E. Archibong, Ph.D., Miebaka Nabiebu

University of Calabar, Nigeria

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One of the consequences of the Second World War was the formation of the United Nations (UN) in 1945. The horrendous crimes committed in that war, including sexual violence against women and girls, necessitated the elevation of issues of human rights to the top of the UN agenda. The UN over the years evolved various mechanisms to end sexual violence against women during armed conflict. These measures have achieved minimal results. The problem is even worse as sexual violence is now employed as a tactic of war, while the UN appears unable to help the victims. This article examines UN measures to end wartime sexual assault on women, among them, adoption of resolutions, advocacy, the imposition of sanctions and prosecution of offenders. There are also challenges such as the non-binding character of its resolutions, lack of intervention force, the absence of data and paralysis in the Security Council. The work finds that the UN has not done enough to protect women in conflict zones, and recommends the training of peacekeepers on gender issues, prosecution of offenders and inclusion of women in peace-building.


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