The international criminal justice and violence against women during crisis in Africa: the cases of Guinea and Cote d'Ivore

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Balde, Saidou
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The objective of this thesis is to examine the link between international criminal justice and violence against women during conflicts in Africa, more particularly in Guinea and Cote d‟Ivoire. The first chapter enlightens the situations and tries to describe the events. In Guinea, I focus mainly on the demonstration organised by political and civil societies on September 28, 2009; while, in Cote d‟Ivoire, I talk about the armed conflict occurred between 2002 and 2007. In both States, rapes, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, harassment…etc. were perpetrated by security forces and by rebel groups. The second chapter analyses the International instruments that are protecting women in Guinea and Cote d‟Ivoire. It examines also the national instruments, such as the constitutional laws and penal codes of both States. The chapter shows that women in Guinea and Cote d‟Ivoire are well protected by laws, although the lack of implementation of these laws increases their vulnerability. The third chapter explains how the acts of sexual violence committed against Guinean and Ivorian women became international crimes, under international human rights laws and international humanitarian law. According to these laws, the crimes of rape, sexual slavery and forced prostitution committed in a country should be prosecuted by a domestic court or by an international court. The chapter shows, also, the efforts made by the national authorities and the international community to fight against impunity of sexual violence and the difficulties affecting their willingness to investigate and prosecute the crimes. The last chapter aims to identify the challenges Guinea and Cote d‟Ivoire should face, in order to fight against impunity of sexual violence towards women. In this context, the States should make some legal reforms and, in the meantime, enhance the position and role of women in their society.
Second semester University: Lund University.
international criminal law, violence against women, Africa, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau