Gender crimes, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual slavery, and forced prostitution, have always been perpetrated during war, yet the laws of war have been slow to acknowledge these crimes and to bring their perpetrators to justice. This article examines the response of the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda to this lacuna in international law, and analyzes the mainly positive developments they have made in this area in relation to the definition of rape and to the prosecution of gender crimes as crimes against humanity, war crimes, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and genocide. It also traces the procedural safeguards instituted to facilitate the prosecution of gender crimes. The authors consider the way in which these advances have been taken forward in the Statute of the International Criminal Court, and the usefulness of other responses, such as the truth commissions in Bosnia and Yugoslavia, and the gacaca courts in Rwanda.



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