Justice for the Yazidi woman: prosecuting forced contraception at the international criminal court

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Strathmore University
It has been over six years since Da’esh attacked the Yazidi community in Iraq, yet reproductive harms such as forced contraception inflicted on Yazidi women remain unaddressed and unpunished. Da’esh has used forced contraception as a method to ensure the continued rape and sexual enslavement of Yazidi women and girls. This dissertation investigates whether forced contraception can be prosecuted at the ICC under the Rome Statute, in line with its three objectives: to examine whether ICL’s historical treatment of SGBV demonstrates “gender-bias” flaws in the ICL framework; to assess whether forced contraception can be sufficiently addressed within the current ICL framework and lastly, to evaluate the effects of criminalizing forced contraception by making it a specific crime under the Rome Statute.
War and atrocities are intricately linked, whereby sexual and reproductive violence against women and girls is particularly rampant in armed conflicts, committed both opportunistically and strategically. 2 Historically, women have been deemed as rightful “spoils of war” and rape as an inevitable consequence of armed conflict. Several forms of sexual and reproductive violence are employed as calculated weapons of warfare, constituting strategic methods used to terrorize, demoralize, and annihilate the families and communities of victims.