The right to reparations for gross forms of sexual violence : in search of a gender-sensitive concept
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This paper explores the concept of reparations for gross sexual violence in international human rights and international criminal law. It analyses recent general comments and individual communications of international Human Rights Committees and resolutions from the broader international community as well as certain aspects of international criminal law. It specifically examines the practice of CEDAW, IACfHR and the ICC against the background of gender justice. The paper argues that international human rights law and international criminal law have broadened the concept of reparations in the last decades while still mostly neglecting reparations for social, economic and cultural rights. The specific analysis of CEDAW, the IACfHR and ICC illustrate that although the notion of gender-sensitive reparations is partially used, contributions lack more detailed information and focus on a binary approach to gender. Taking theoretical and practical gender analyses as a starting point, this paper argues that reparations must be complex. They need to include a combination of measures that offer maximum access and minimum exposure for victims while recognising the individual experienced harm simultaneously. Furthermore, the combination needs to transform the meaning of sexual violence within society, and finally strengthen the empowerment of the victim in its community.