Term

Sexual violence

Sexual violence is defined as a violent act of a sexual nature, carried out without consent or the capacity to consent. Such acts are not limited to physical violence, and may not involve any physical contact. It is the deliberate exertion of power over another person, not an act of lust. Sexual violence is often used as a tool to systematically humiliate individuals or groups.

Sexual violence results from social inequality and oppressive patriarchal power structures. It constitutes a political crime, employed to pursue political or military goals.  Sexual crimes include rape, sexual assault, forced pregnancy, forced sterilization, forced abortion, forced prostitution, sexual slavery, forced circumcision, genital mutilation or forced nudity.

Argentina

Argentine court follows international jurisdiction on sexual violence

Military dictatorship

In October 2010, ECCHR, along with Theo van Boven filed two amicus curiae briefs before Argentinean courts. The briefs support four different cases in the trials regarding sexualviolence in detention centers during the military dictatorship.

Democratic Republic Congo

Groundbreaking trial in Germany

Armed conflict

The Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart handed down convictions in the trial of two Rwandan leaders of the Hutu militia group FDLR, Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni. The FDLR are alleged to have utilized sexualized violence against the Congolese civilian population and to have in numerous cases plundered, killed and inflicted grievous bodily injuries.

Colombia

Sexual violence in the Colombian conflict

Armed conflict

The Colombian state is denying women the protection against sexual crimes and access to justice that it is obliged to guarantee under national and international law. In response, ECCHR has submitted a criminal complaint against Colombia to the International Criminal Court.

Philippines

Philippines: Sexual slavery during Second World War

Sexual and gender-based violence

On behalf of 28 survivors of sexual slavery during Second World War in the Philippines, ECCHR and CenterLaw submitted a communication to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. They call for the acknowledgement of the crimes and reparations.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan civil war: Government officials still unpunished

Armed conflict

Since the final stage of the Sri Lankan civil war, ECCHR has been working to ensure that high-ranking military personnel and (former) members of the Sri Lankan government and security forces are prosecuted for their role in war crimes, crimes against humanity and sexual violence.

Sri Lanka

Sexual Violence in Sri Lanka

Armed conflict

Sri Lanka must comply with its international obligations in the fight against gender-based discrimination. The country should bring its law in line with the UN Convention on Women.

Syria

First criminal trial worldwide on torture in Syria before a German court

Torture

The first trial worldwide on state torture in Syria started in Germany, in April 2020. The main defendant is Anwar R, a former official at the General Intelligence Directorate in Syrian President Assad’s government. ECCHR supports 16 Syrian torture survivors in the proceedings.

Syria

Trial updates: First trial worldwide on torture in Syria

Torture

On 23 April 2020, the first criminal trial worldwide on state torture in Syria started in Germany. The main defendant in front of the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz is Anwar R, a former General Intelligence Directorate official in Bashar al-Assad’s government. ECCHR supports 17 Syrian women and men in the al-Khatib proceedings, seven of whom are joint plaintiffs. Here you will find regular updates on the proceedings.

Syria

Survivors: Sexual violence by Syrian intelligence services are crimes against humanity

Sexual violence

German authorities must finally prosecute sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Syrian detention centers for what it is: a crime against humanity. This is the aim of a criminal complaint that seven survivors of Bashar al-Assad’s torture system submitted in June 2020 to the German Federal Public Prosecutor in Karlsruhe.

United Kingdom

War crimes by UK forces in Iraq

Iraq

ECCHR demands investigations into the role and responsibility of British military officials in Iraq. A communication to the ICC documents 2000 cases of grave mistreatment during the five years in which UK forces operated in Iraq.