International Journal of Law, Policy and Social Review
2019, Vol. 1, Issue 3
The protection of women during armed conflict: crossing legal borders in the application of international humanitarian law, human right law and international criminal Law
Nana Charles Nguindip
Women as a minority group are understandably and predictably strongly affected by armed conflict. This negative experience becomes very precarious for these women in situations where they are highly affected from the abuse and traumas emanating from the outcome of war especially those countries plague by the disaster of armed conflict. As a preliminary remark, it should be acknowledged that while the effects of armed conflict are not always discernible and quantifiable in women, they remain present and multi-dimensional to such an extent that it would be extremely ambitious for any legal or normative framework to pretend to tackle them holistically. For these women affected by armed conflicts, the risk of abuse and exploitation almost mathematically increases. In that sense, the quality of the experiences does not differ from other persons involved in armed conflict. This suffering experienced by women has saw the need of some legal framework protection and laws ranging from international humanitarian law, human righ, and to an extend the necessity of international criminal law in ensuring that these special group of persons should be given maximum protection in aspect of crises and turbulence. The objective of this paper is in examining the the role and place of international humanitarian law, human right law and even criminal law in the protection and treatment of women in armed conflict. That the absent of one does not automatically mean the failure of the other since both laws has to complement each other for a better protection. In order in arriving at a safe and effective protection of these women who suffered from the adverse effect of armed conflict, it is worthy in noting that though these laws varies from each other depending on the circumstances of protection, human right law is applicable at all times whether during armed or non-armed conflict. The continuous increase of abuses, rape, exploitation and even violations of women rights during armed conflict creates a vivid image in the mind of the international community and even the legal field as a whole as to the efficiency and effective protection of women in armed conflict. The main question addressed, through the comparative study of the three legal frameworks, will concern the compatibility and complementarities of the three regimes but also their responsiveness and adequacy for current humanitarian crises. Do the three regimes award similar or contradictory rights? Do they result in the creation of legal gaps? Or do they simply follow radically different orientations?