Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Article 8

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Article 8. Sexual and gender-based crimes as war crimes. Through its inclusion of sexual and gender-based crimes as distinct war crimes, this provision recognises that gender-based violence is routinely committed in the context of armed conflicts. Under Article 8(2)(b)(xxii), rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, and enforced sterilization are acts amounting to war crimes. Any other form of sexual violence constituting a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions can also amount to a war crime: e.g., torture, wilfully causing great suffering, and the taking of hostages. Similarly, all types of war crimes (for instance, torture) may contain gender elements. Article 8 was interpreted by the ICC in Prosecutor v. Katanga and Ngudjolo. In that case, although the crimes could not be attributed to Katanga, the ICC found that forcible nudity constitutes an outrage upon personal dignity, which amounts to a war crime under Article 8(2)(b)(xxi).



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