- The RINJ Foundation has adopted a mission to gather detailed information on parties to armed conflict that are credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for acts of rape or other forms of sexual violence.
- The RINJ Foundation vows to be especially vigilant and to aggressively gather evidence where a pattern of sexually violent conduct appears to prove the crime of genocide.
- Rapes committed by combatants during armed conflict or war, or during military occupation often as spoils of war, are war crimes.
- Sometimes, particularly in ethnic conflict, the phenomenon has broader sociological motives.
- It is distinguished from rape committed amongst troops in military service.
- It also covers the situation where girls and women are forced into prostitution or sexual slavery by an occupying power.
- During war and armed conflict, rape is frequently used as a means of psychological warfare in order to humiliate the enemy.
- War rape is often systematic and thorough.
- War rape may occur in a variety of situations, including institutionalised sexual slavery, war rapes associated with specific battles or massacres, and individual or isolated acts of sexual violence. War rape may also include gang rape and rape with objects.
- Rape is also now recognized as an element of the crime of genocide when committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a targeted group; however, rape remains widespread in conflict zones.
- There are other international legal instruments to prosecute perpetrators but this has occurred as late as the 1990s. However, these legal instruments have so far only been used for international conflicts, thus putting the burden of proof in citing the international nature of conflict in order for prosecution to proceed. The side-shows of the past have paved the road for a better way of future prosecution.
The recent rape crimes committed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have drawn global interest and the focus of The RINJ Foundation. The same is true of The Congo and elsewhere in Africa.
The RINJ Foundation is seeking volunteers who are journalists; retired police officers; students; and anyone else trained in taking statements and writing comprehensive reports on actual eyeball witness evidence, documentary evidence, victim-witness testimony, family and neighborhood photographs etceteras.
Rape: Weapon of war
Is rape really a matter for the United Nations? The Security Council has answered that question with a resounding yes by voting unanimously for a resolution describing rape as a tactic of war and a threat to international security. But perhaps the more important question is: Will the resolution give teeth to efforts to stem sexual violence against women in conflict situations?
Note: The International Criminal Court (ICC) has been created to prosecute crimes noted in the resolution.
As of 1 September 2014, 122 states have ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute. The Rome Statute is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court, an international court that has jurisdiction over certain international crimes, including genocide,crimes against humanity, and war crimes that are committed by nationals of states parties or within the territory of states parties.
In the resolution, passed 19 June, the Security Council noted that “women and girls are particularly targeted by the use of sexual violence, including as a tactic of war to humiliate, dominate, instil fear in, disperse and/or forcibly relocate civilian members of a community or ethnic group.”
The resolution demanded the “immediate and complete cessation by all parties to armed conflict of all acts of sexual violence against civilians.”
Read: UN Resolution 1820