Sexual violence against own armed force qualifies as a war crime, holds ICC

Trial Chamber VI of the International Criminal Court (ICC), in the case of The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda, found that it has jurisdiction over counts 6 and 9 (alleged war crimes of rape and sexual slavery of child soldiers). Rejecting the Defence argument that war crimes do not include crimes committed by members of an armed force against members of the same armed force, the ICC Trial Chamber VI found that limiting the scope of protection is contrary to the rationale of international humanitarian law, which aims to mitigate the suffering resulting from armed conflict.  The Chamber concluded that “there is never a justification to engage in sexual violence against any person.”