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Between rhetoric and reality: exploring the impact of military humanitarian intervention upon sexual violence – post-conflict sex trafficking in Kosovo

31-03-2010 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 877, by Samantha T. Godec

By analysing the phenomenon of post-conflict trafficking in Kosovo following the NATO intervention, the author presents a challenge to the ‘feminist hawks’ who have called for military intervention in situations of systematic sexual violence.

 

Samantha Godec currently works for a charity providing legal assistance to prisoners facing execution. She previously worked in the International Law Program at Amnesty International, and was formerly a project manager at an NGO working with female victims of sex trafficking in the UK. She holds a Masters in Human Rights Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and a degree in International Relations and Development Studies from the University of Sussex. 
 
Abstract 
Adopting a feminist perspective, this paper analyses the doctrine of humanitarian intervention and its impact on women in recipient states, particularly with regard to sexual violence. By analysing the phenomenon of post-conflict trafficking in Kosovo following the NATO intervention, the author presents a challenge to the ‘feminist hawks’ who have called for military intervention in situations of systematic sexual violence. It is the author’s contention that such intervention would be counterproductive for women’s rights and thus constitute a disproportionate response to sexual violence in terms of the international law governing the use of force.  


 
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