Georgetown University Releases First Review of United Nations’ Use of Sanctions to Address Sexual Violence in Conflict
UN approach is characterized by inconsistency, delay, and weak implementation
March 26, 2018 – Washington, DC – Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) today released the first ever review of the United Nations Security Council’s use of targeted sanctions to address sexual violence in conflict. Read the full report or policy brief.
The United Nations (UN) has recognized that sexual violence, when used as a tactic of war or as a widespread practice, can exacerbate armed conflict and hinder peace.
The UN can use targeted sanctions to prevent and curb sexual violence. But GIWPS’ review of 8 sanctions regimes reveals the UN’s current approach is ineffective, characterized by inconsistency across sanctions regimes, delayed focus on sexual violence, and weak implementation of sanctions.
The study, authored by Sophie Huvé, offers recommendations about how to properly use sanctions to hold leaders accountable and protect the lives of millions of women and girls living in conflict settings.
Recommendations for the UN Security Council include the systematic and immediate incorporation of sexual violence as a stand-alone criterion when adopting a new sanctions regime, and not hesitating to list perpetrators when there is repeated evidence of their conduct.
Particular member states, including the United States, should impose unilateral coercive measures on individuals renowned for massive human rights violations when the Security Council is unable to reach an agreement. Congress should lift these coercive measures only to reward efforts made and behavioral changes.
Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace andSecurity examines and highlights the roles and experiences of women in peace and security efforts worldwide through cutting edge research, global convening and strategic partnerships. It is led by Melanne Verveer, Former US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.