United Nations

A/RES/49/205


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

23 December 1994

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                 A/RES/49/205
                                                 94th plenary meeting
                                                 23 December 1994
 
            49/205. 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 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 human rights and 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 1994/77 of 9 March
1994, entitled "Rape and abuse of women in the territory of the former
Yugoslavia", and recalling General Assembly resolution 48/143 of 20 December
1993, entitled "Rape and abuse of women in the areas of armed conflict in the
former Yugoslavia",
 
      Appalled at the continuing 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 use by Serbian forces against Muslim women and
children in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other non-Serbs,
 
      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,
 
      Welcoming the reports and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur of
the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the
territory of the former Yugoslavia,
 
      Taking note with deep concern of the reports on the findings of the
Special Rapporteur regarding rape and abuse of women in the territory of the
former Yugoslavia, particularly in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
 
      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 its resolution 47/121 of 18 December
1992, in which it stated, inter alia, that the abhorrent policy of ethnic
cleansing was a form of genocide,
 
      Welcoming the fact that the proceedings 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 have now begun, and, in this context, encouraging the
provision of all resources necessary, including full funding as well as
voluntary contributions from States and intergovernmental and non-governmental
organizations, so that the Tribunal can conduct, without any interference and
further delay, its stipulated functions of trying those accused of and
punishing those responsible for the perpetration of violations of
international law,
 
      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 and without further delay,
 
      Underlining, in this context, the need for the protection of the rape
victims and the provision to them of effective guarantees of privacy and
confidentiality, and desirous of facilitating their participation in the
proceedings of the International Tribunal and ensuring that further
traumatization will be prevented,
 
      Stressing the need for further development and strengthening of a
programme for protection of witnesses and survivors of sexual abuse and rape
as a war crime who provide testimonies, in order to provide effective
protection against retribution, and in this context expressing its support for
the Victims and Witnesses Unit of the International Tribunal,
 
      Deeply alarmed at the situation facing victims of rape in the conflicts
in different parts of the world, in particular in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
the continuing use of rape as a weapon of war,
 
      Noting with appreciation the work of the Office of the United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees, humanitarian organizations and
non-governmental organizations aimed at supporting the victims of rape and
abuse and alleviating their suffering,
 
      Taking into account Commission on the Status of Women resolution 38/9 of
18 March 1994,
 
      Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted pursuant to
resolution 48/143,
 
      1.    Strongly condemns the continuing 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 continuing and systematic practice
of rape is being used as a weapon of war and an instrument of ethnic cleansing
against 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.    Condemns the continuous and persistent denial of access by the
Bosnian Serb forces to the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human
Rights, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, the Office of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the United Nations
Protection Force, as well as other relevant humanitarian and human rights
organizations, in the Serb-held areas, in particular Banja Luka, Bijeljina and
other areas of concern, and demands that immediate and unimpeded access be
granted, and in this context welcomes Security Council resolution 941 (1994)
of 23 September 1994;
 
      6.    Reaffirms that all persons who perpetrate or authorize crimes
against humanity or other violations of international humanitarian law are
individually responsible for those violations and that those in positions of
authority who have failed to ensure that persons under their control comply
with the relevant international instruments are accountable, together with the
perpetrators;
 
      7.    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;
 
      8.    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;
 
      9.    Urges the Chief Prosecutor of the International Tribunal to
consider the appointment to his office of experts in the prosecution of crimes
of sexual violence, as recommended in its resolution 48/153 of 20 December
1993;
 
      10.   Calls upon States to put experts, including experts in the
prosecution of crimes of sexual violence, at the disposal of the Chief
Prosecutor and the International Tribunal;
 
      11.   Encourages the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human
Rights on the situation of human rights in the territory of the former
Yugoslavia to continue to pay particular attention to the widespread
occurrence of rape, particularly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and acknowledges
the work done by his team of female experts;
 
      12.   Urges all States and relevant organizations to give immediate and
serious consideration to the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur in his
reports, in particular the recommendation for the provision of the
continuation of necessary medical and psychological care of victims of rape
within the framework of programmes to rehabilitate women and children
traumatized by war;
 
      13.   Calls upon all States to cooperate with the International Tribunal
and the Office of the Prosecutor in the investigation and prosecution of
persons accused of using rape as a weapon of war and in the provision of
protection, counselling and support to victims and witnesses;
 
      14.   Recognizes the extraordinary suffering of the victims of rape and
sexual violence and the necessity for an appropriate response to provide
assistance to those victims, and expresses its concern, in particular, for the
welfare of those victims who are at present among the internally displaced or
otherwise affected by the war, and who have experienced severe trauma and
require psychosocial and other assistance;
 
      15.   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 continue to provide to the victims of such rape and
abuse appropriate assistance for their physical and mental rehabilitation and
to extend their support to the community- based assistance programmes;
 
      16.   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;
 
      17.   Also requests the Secretary-General to submit an updated and
substantive report no later than 1 March 1995 on the issue of rape and abuse
of women in the areas of armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in
particular in those areas where access is being denied to the Special
Rapporteur, and on the measures taken towards implementation of the present
resolution;
 
      18.   Decides to continue the consideration of this question at its
fiftieth session.