Many international treaties and courts have characterized various forms of sexualized violence during conflicts as grave crimes. The extent of such violence is not, however, reflected in the number of court convictions. There are many different reasons for this, related to legislation and procedural rules as well as the treatment of survivors of sexualized violence.
ECCHR aims to tackle this issue by using international and national laws to combat impunity for sexual crimes. International criminal law, the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and UN Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security all provide for a range of measures which can be used to ensure effective criminal prosecution in national as well as international courts. We aim to boost the profile of these options. ECCHR pursues a non-discriminatory approach to our work using legal measures to combat sexualized violence.
Colonia Dignidad, founded by a German named Paul Schäfer in 1961, was a fortress-like German settlement in central Chile where grave human rights violations were committed over several decades. The former doctor of the Colonia Dignidad, Hartmut Hopp, may face prison in Germany.
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.
The Colombian state is denying women the protection against sexualized 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.
In 2013, ECCHR submitted a petition to the Philippine Supreme Court. ECCHR calls for individual compensation to be provided to Philippine survivors of sexual violence (so-called 'comfort women') during the Second World War.
Ever since the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009, issues of the criminal accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity and the ongoing sexualized violence against women have been part of ECCHR's work.
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.
The Russian Federation fails to investigate, prosecute and punish serious violations of women's human rights, particularly in response of allegations of violence regarding adherence to a campaign to enforce an Islamic dress code.