SIPRI congratulates Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad on being awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.
‘This award shines light on an issue that has, for a long time, been in the shadows. Sexual violence as a weapon of armed conflict is systemic,’ says SIPRI Director Dan Smith.
‘The awarding of the prize to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad acknowledges the dignity of victims of sexual violence that was formerly stripped away from them’.
Sexual violence is commonly perpetrated in war and—in the case of women—is an extension of the violence they face in the absence of armed conflict. Two main responses have been United Nations Security Council Resolution 1820 and the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
UN Resolution 1820 acknowledges the systematic and prevalent use of rape as a war tactic. The Rome Statute is the first mechanism for holding leaders of states accountable for genocide and other serious international crimes. Notably, the statute’s promise to prosecute those most accountable for ‘unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of humanity’ includes the explicit criminalization of rape and other forms of sexual violence in international humanitarian law.
‘It’s an award to a woman who has survived atrocity, and a man who has risked his own life to help women survive atrocities’, says Smith. ‘The award calls upon us all to listen to the victims of sexual violence and seek justice for them.’