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This chapter examines the doctrinal avenues for the recognition and prosecution of ‘sexualized slavery’. The Hissène Habré trial and appellate judgments represent watershed legal decisions rendering long-denied justice to victims of the brutal Chadian regime. Delayed charges of credible sexual violence inflicted upon both males and females challenged the judges of the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC) in Senegal. Legal characterizations of sexual assaults ultimately attributed to Habré represent significant jurisprudential advancements on rape, sexual slavery, and torture as international crimes. The EAC's observations acknowledge that sexual slavery constitutes part of the actus reus of enslavement as crime against humanity and of slavery as a war crime. While agreeing with the Chambers that sexual slavery is anchored in customary international law, the chapter deepens the inquiry into the international legal prohibition of sexual slavery. It posits that, in fact, the 1926 Convention to Suppress the Slave Trade and Slavery (1926 Slavery Convention) proscribed what is identified as ‘sexual slavery’ because sexualized violence is and always has been part and parcel of both de jure (legal) and de facto (customary) forms of slavery.
Sharon Weill, Kim Thuy Seelinger, & Kerstin Bree Carlson
Oxford University Press
international criminal law, customary international law, gender-based crimes, conflict-related sexual violence, Hissène Habré, Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC), sexual slavery, slavery, enslavement
Criminal Law | Human Rights Law | International Humanitarian Law | International Law
Sellers, Patricia Viseur and Kestenbaum, Jocelyn Getgen, "‘Sexualized Slavery’ and Customary International Law" (2020). Book Chapters. 90.