January 16, 2003

"We'll Kill You If You Cry"

 Sexual Violence in the Sierra Leone Conflict

GLOSSARY OF ACRONYMS
DEFINITION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE, RAPE AND SEXUAL SLAVERY..
I.  SUMMARY..
II.  RECOMMENDATIONS
To the Government of Sierra Leone
To Members of the African Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
To Members of the International Community
To the Special Court for Sierra Leone
To the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
To the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL)
III.  METHODOLOGY..
IV.  BACKGROUND..
The Civil War
Women and Girls under Sierra Leonean Law..
The Sierra Leonean Legal system..
Constitutional Status of Women
Marriage
Divorce and Death of Husband
Domestic Violence
Rape as a Crime under General Law..
Prosecution of Sexual Violence under Customary Law..
Discrimination against Women and Girls in Practice
Education
The Workplace
In the Political Arena
Harmful Traditional Practices and Their Impact on Women's and Girls' Health
Societal Attitudes to Sexual Violence against Women and Girls
V.  SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS DURING THE CIVIL WAR..
Prevalence of Sexual Violence during the War
Perpetrators
Rebel Forces
Pro-Government Forces
Peacekeeping Forces
Sexual Violence Committed by the Rebel Forces
"Virgination"-Targeting Young Girls
Rape Victims Subjected to Multiple Human Rights Abuses
Rape with Objects and Other Sexual Torture, including Sexual Mutilation
Sexual Violence with the Added Element of Violating Cultural Norms
Forced Pregnancies
Forced Abortion by West Side Boys
Rape by Female Combatant
Rape and Other Sexual Violence against Boys and Men by Male and Female Rebels
Abduction, Sexual Slavery, Forced Labor, and Conscription
RUF Officers' Responsibility for Sexual Violence
Sexual Violence Committed by the CDF
Sexual Violence Committed by International Peacekeeping Forces
VI.  EFFECTS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE
Health
Stigmatization and Shame of Survivors
VII.  INTERNATIONAL LEGAL PROTECTIONS AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
Introduction
International Humanitarian Law..
Sexual Violence as a Crime against Humanity
Human Rights Law..
Gender Jurisprudence for Crimes of Sexual Violence
Command Responsibility
VIII.  TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE MECHANISMS FOR SIERRA LEONE
The Lomé Amnesty
Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Special Court for Sierra Leone
Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
IX.  THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
National Response
Climate of Impunity
Corrupt and Ineffective Judiciary
Need for Law Reform..
The Sierra Leone Police
The International Response
The Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration program..
United Kingdom..
United States
European Union
United Nations
World Bank
X.  CONCLUSION..
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS