York colleague and IFLS member Annie Bunting, along with York’s Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples, and various international partners, has put together a great conference on Forced Marriage in Conflict Situations – if you will be in Freetown, Sierra Leone Feb 24-26.
Click here for the Conference Website.
Bringing together historians of slavery and women’s human rights scholars, survivor groups, local NGOs, officials and leading academics and activists working on the issue, the conference explores the phenomenon of forced marriage and enslavement from comparative and historical perspectives. During conflicts in Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Uganda and Rwanda, women were kidnapped, raped and forced into “marriages” with combatants. The Special Court for Sierra Leone recently found such gender violations to constitute a new crime against humanity of “forced marriage” as opposed to “sexual slavery”. The international expert group will explore the merits of prosecuting those responsible for forced marriage under the headings of “sexual slavery”, “forced marriage” or “enslavement”. It will also focus on the historical antecedents of servile marriage and enslavement of women.
More reading on the subject? You can find Prof. Bunting’s brief note “Sexual Slavery or “Forced Marriage” in Conflict Zones – A Legal Distinction with Ramifications” here. You might also be interested in these posts from the amazing intlawgrrls blog:
- Forced Marriage: The Facts don’t fit the Crime (Beth Van Schaak)
You might also like the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice: “The Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice is an international women’s human rights organization advocating for gender-inclusive justice and working towards an effective and independent International Criminal Court (ICC).” They have a great set of updates and newsletters that you can sign up to receive, e.g. this. They also publish a gender report card which includes some reporting about charges of/testimony about sexual slavery (see pp58, 73, 88, etc).