United Nations

A/RES/51/115


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

7 March 1997

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



Fifty-first session
Agenda item 110 (c)


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

      [on the report of the Third Committee (A/51/619/Add.3 and Corr.1)]


            51/115.     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, 1/ the
International Covenants on Human Rights, 2/ the Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 3/ the Convention
against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment, 4/ the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women, 5/ the Convention on the Rights of
the Child 6/ and other instruments of human rights and
international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions of
12 August 1949 7/ and the Additional Protocols thereto, of 1977, 8/

      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", as well as Commission on Human Rights
resolution 1994/77 of 9 March 1994, 9/ General Assembly resolutions
48/143 of 20 December 1993, 49/205 of 23 December 1994 and 50/192 of
22 December 1995, and relevant resolutions of the Commission on the
Status of Women,

      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 General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, signed in Paris on 14 December 1995, 10/ as a key
mechanism for achieving a durable and just peace in Bosnia and
Herzegovina,

      Taking note of the previous report of the Special Rapporteur of
the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the
territory of the former Yugoslavia, regarding rape and abuse of women
in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, particularly in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, which, inter alia, states that only sporadic cases of
rape and sexual violence have occurred since the previous report of
the Secretary-General, 11/

      Convinced that the heinous practice of rape, in fulfilling the
policy of ethnic cleansing, constitutes a deliberate weapon of war,
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,

      Desirous of ensuring that persons accused of authorizing, aiding
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 without further delay by 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, where appropriate,

      Underlining, in this context, the need for the protection of the
rape victims and the provision of effective guarantees of privacy and
confidentiality of the rape victims, and desirous of facilitating
their participation in the proceedings of the International Tribunal
and ensuring that further traumatization will be prevented,

      Deeply alarmed at the situation facing victims of rape in armed
conflicts in different parts of the world and any use of rape as a
weapon of war, in particular in Bosnia and Herzegovina,

      Noting with appreciation the efforts of Governments and the work
of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the World Health
Organization, humanitarian organizations and non-governmental
organizations aimed at supporting the victims of rape and abuse and
alleviating their suffering,

      Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of
25 October 1996, 12/ submitted pursuant to resolution 50/192,

      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 deliberate and systematic
practice of rape has been used as a weapon of war and an instrument of
ethnic cleansing against women and children in Bosnia and Herzegovina;

      3.    Reaffirms that rape in the conduct of armed conflict
constitutes a war crime and that under certain circumstances it
constitutes a crime against humanity and an act of genocide as defined
in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
Genocide, and calls upon States to take all measures required for the
protection of women and children from such acts and to strengthen
mechanisms to investigate and punish all those responsible and bring
the perpetrators to justice;

      4.    Also 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;

      5.    Reminds all States of their obligation to cooperate with 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 the investigation and
prosecution of persons accused of using rape as a weapon of war;

      6.    Calls upon States to put experts, including experts in the
prosecution of crimes of sexual violence, as well as adequate
resources and services, at the disposal of the International Tribunal;

      7.    Urges all States and relevant organizations to continue to
give serious consideration to the recommendations in the reports of
the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the
situation of human rights in the former Yugoslavia, in particular the
recommendation concerning provision for the continuation of necessary
medical and psychological care to victims of rape within the framework
of programmes to rehabilitate women and children traumatized by war,
as well as the provision of protection, counselling and support to
victims and witnesses;

      8.    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 currently among
the internally displaced or otherwise affected by the war and who have
experienced severe trauma and require psychosocial and other
assistance;

      9.    Also urges all States and all relevant intergovernmental and
non-governmental organizations, as well as the United Nations
Children's Fund, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
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;

      10.   Demands that the parties cooperate fully with the
International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur of the
Commission on Human Rights and her staff, as well as other mechanisms
of the Commission on Human Rights, the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees, the monitoring and other missions of the
European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe, including by providing full access;

      11.   Encourages the Special Rapporteur to continue to pay
particular attention to this question, particularly in Bosnia and
Herzegovina;

      12.   Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the
General Assembly at its fifty-second session on the implementation of
the present resolution.


                                                          82nd plenary meeting
                                                              12 December 1996


                                     Notes

1/    Resolution 217 A (III).

2/    Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

3/    Resolution 260 A (III).

4/    Resolution 39/46, annex.

5/    Resolution 34/180, annex.

6/    Resolution 44/25, annex.

7/    United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, Nos. 970-973.

8/    Ibid., vol. 1125, Nos. 17512 and 17513.

9/    Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1994,
Supplement No. 4 and corrigendum (E/1994/24 and Corr.1), chap. II,
sect. A.

10/   See A/50/790-S/1995/999; see Official Records of the Security
Council, Fiftieth Year, Supplement for October, November and December
1995, document S/1995/999.

11/   A/50/329.

12/   A/51/557.

 

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