United Nations

A/RES/48/143


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

20 December 1993

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                  A/RES/48/143
                                                  85th plenary meeting
                                                  20 December 1993
 
            Rape and abuse of women in the areas of armed conflict
                          in the former Yugoslavia
 
      The General Assembly,
 
      Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United
Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International
Covenants on Human Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Prevention and
Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the Convention against Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on
the Rights of the Child and other instruments of international humanitarian
law, including the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the Additional
Protocols thereto, of 1977,
 
      Recalling its resolution 3074 (XXVIII) of 3 December 1973, entitled
"Principles of international cooperation in the detection, arrest, extradition
and punishment of persons guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity",
 
      Taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1993/8 of 23
February 1993, entitled "Rape and abuse of women in the territory of the
former Yugoslavia",
 
      Appalled at the recurring and substantiated reports of widespread rape
and abuse of women and children in the areas of armed conflict in the former
Yugoslavia, in particular its systematic use against the Muslim women and
children in Bosnia and Herzegovina by Serbian forces,
 
      Reaffirming the relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular
resolution 798 (1992) of 18 December 1992 in which, inter alia, the Council
strongly condemned those acts of unspeakable brutality,
 
      Convinced that this heinous practice constitutes a deliberate weapon of
war in fulfilling the policy of "ethnic cleansing" carried out by Serbian
forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and recalling General Assembly resolution
47/121 of 18 December 1992, in which the Assembly stated, inter alia, that the
abhorrent policy of "ethnic cleansing" was a form of genocide,
 
      Welcoming the initiatives taken by the Special Rapporteur on the
situation of human rights in the former Yugoslavia, particularly his prompt
dispatch of a team of experts to the former Yugoslavia to investigate the
allegations of rape and abuse of women,
 
      Welcoming also the initiative of the European Council in the rapid
dispatch of a mission to investigate the treatment of Muslim women in the
former Yugoslavia, and the report of the mission,
 
      Taking note with deep concern of the findings of the team of experts
dispatched by the Special Rapporteur, and those of the mission dispatched by
the European Council,
 
      Welcoming the establishment of the International Tribunal for the
Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International
Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since
1991, in pursuance of Security Council resolutions 808 (1993) of 22 February
1993 and 827 (1993) of 25 May 1993,
 
      Noting with deep concern the reports on the findings of the Special
Rapporteur and the Secretary-General, assisted by the staff of the Special
Rapporteur, regarding rape and abuse of women in the territory of the former
Yugoslavia, particularly Bosnia and Herzegovina,
 
      Deeply alarmed at the situation facing victims of rape in the conflicts
in different parts of the world, in particular in the Republic of Bosnia and
Herzegovina, and the continuing use of rape as a weapon of war,
 
      Desirous of ensuring that persons accused of upholding and perpetrating
rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war in the areas of armed conflict in
the former Yugoslavia will be brought to justice by the International Tribunal
where appropriate,
 
      Recognizing the extraordinary suffering of the victims of rape and
sexual violence and the necessity for an appropriate response to provide
assistance to those victims,
 
      Taking into account resolution 37/3 of 24 March 1993 of the Commission
on the Status of Women,
 
      Noting with appreciation the work of humanitarian organizations aimed at
supporting the victims of rape and abuse and alleviating their suffering,
 
      1.    Strongly condemns the abhorrent practice of rape and abuse of
women and children in the areas of armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia,
which constitutes a war crime;
 
      2.    Expresses its outrage that the systematic practice of rape is
being used as a weapon of war and an instrument of "ethnic cleansing" against
the women and children in the areas of armed conflict in the former
Yugoslavia, in particular against Muslim women and children in Bosnia and
Herzegovina;
 
      3.    Demands that those involved immediately cease those outrageous
acts, which are in gross violation of international humanitarian law,
including the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the Additional
Protocols thereto, of 1977, and take immediate action to ensure the enjoyment
of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with their obligations
under those instruments and other applicable international human rights
instruments;
 
      4.    Urges all  Member States to take joint and separate action, in
cooperation with the United Nations, to bring about an end to that despicable
practice;
 
      5.    Reaffirms that all persons who perpetrate or authorize crimes
against humanity and other violations of international humanitarian law are
individually responsible for those violations, and that those in positions of
authority who have failed adequately to ensure that persons under their
control comply with the relevant international instruments are accountable
together with the perpetrators;
 
      6.    Urges Member States to exert every effort to bring to justice, in
accordance with internationally recognized principles of due process, all
those individuals directly or indirectly involved in those outrageous
international crimes;
 
      7.    Commends the Special Rapporteur for his report on the situation of
human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia;
 
      8.    Urges all States and all relevant intergovernmental and
non-governmental organizations, including the United Nations Children's Fund,
the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World
Health Organization, to provide to the victims of such rape and abuse
appropriate assistance for their physical and mental rehabilitation;
 
      9.    Invites the Commission on Human Rights to request the Special
Rapporteur to continue investigation into the rape and abuse of women and
children in the areas of armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia, in
particular in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
 
      10.   Declares that rape is a heinous crime and encourages the
International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious
Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the
Former Yugoslavia since 1991 to give due priority to the cases of the victims
of rape in the areas of armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia, in particular
in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
 
      11.   Requests the Secretary-General to provide such necessary means as
are available to him in the area to enable any future missions to have free
and secure access to places of detention;
 
      12.   Also requests the Secretary-General to submit a report on the
implementation of the present resolution to the General Assembly not later
than 31 January 1994;
 
      13.   Decides to continue the consideration of this question at its
forty-ninth session.