Rape as a Weapon of War against Bosnian Muslim Women and Children
U.N. Commission says rape is a war crime
Bangor Daily News
24 February 1993
GENEVA (AP) – Geraldine Ferraro, the U.S. delegate to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, and representatives from the 53-nation panel on Tuesday singled out rape by Serb forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a war crime.
In a resolution passed by consensus, the U.N. panel voiced outrage “that the systematic practice of rape is being used as a weapon of war against Muslim women and children” as part of “ethnic cleansing” by Serbian forces in Bosnia.
The commission is the most vocal U.N. human rights body.
On Monday, the U.N. Security Council voted to set up an international tribunal to prosecute people accused of war atrocities in Yugoslavia and its former republics, which would include rape.
Many legal experts believe rape is already covered by the Geneva Conventions, which set down minimum standards of humanity in warfare.
Ferraro, a former U.S. representative and Democratic vice presidential candidate, introduced the draft at the commission’s annual meeting. She said confirming rape as a war crime was important.
“I speak for all the children and women in the former Yugoslavia that cannot speak for themselves,” she said.
“Rape as a weapon of war is barbaric,” Ferraro said. “It is no by-product.”