Twenty years after the United Nations (UN) Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security and twenty-five years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the prevalence of sexual violence by parties to armed conflicts continues unabated. Despite the responsibility of every State to address such crimes, conflict-related sexual violence has not been met with corresponding accountability. At the same time, national prosecutions of terrorist activities have largely focused on membership and financing of terrorist groups. Even though the majority of States have endorsed the historic 2013 Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict which provides that ‘sexual violence committed in conflict must not be viewed as a lesser crime,’ accountability for ‘sexual terrorism’ – defined in the article as conflict-related sexual violence and human trafficking utilized as a tactic of terrorism – has not garnered the same response as other terrorism crimes especially in Security Council resolutions.
With the focus on Boko Haram, this article addresses the practicalities of national investigations and prosecutions in Nigeria of conflict-related sexual violence and human trafficking as acts of terrorism using Nigeria’s 2011 Terrorism Prevention Act (TPA) and its 2013 amendment. Although these pieces of legislation make no express provision for accountability for sexual terrorism, the article proposes interpretations of provisions in the TPA that could be utilized to investigate and prosecute sexual terrorism by Boko Haram. The article also addresses some practical challenges faced by federal prosecutors in bringing such charges to court such as evidentiary practices requiring medical corroboration and it explores possible solutions to ensure accountability. Finally, the article juxtaposes Security Council resolutions on terrorist financing with resolutions on the nexus between terrorism, human trafficking, and conflict-related sexual violence. It observes that, adopting resolutions pursuant to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council gave terrorist financing a platform on which accountability was mandated. A similar platform has not been afforded to sexual terrorism and the article explores possible reasons. In the author’s view, until sexual terrorism is given the same platform as terrorist financing, the push for domestic accountability for sexual terrorism remains a battle on an uphill road paved with good intentions.
Om toegang te krijgen tot het gehele artikel heeft u een abonnement nodig. Meer informatie over de abonnementsvormen en prijzen kunt u hier vinden.Abonneren op dit tijdschrift