Gender Imaginaries, Child Soldiering, and International Criminal Law

in The Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
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Abstract

This article analyses the ability of the ICC to recognize the sexual and gender-based elements inherent in the war crimes set out in the Rome Statute. The paper does this by suggesting that the Court needs to consider the gender imaginaries attached to the text in order to reveal these elements. In doing so, the component parts of Article 8(2)(e)(vii), which sets out the crime of child soldiering, are analysed in relation to the feminization and masculinization of the language of the text. It is argued that in addition to approaching gender as a social construction, if the ICC is to be effective in implementing its gender mandate, then the Court will need to be aware of the gender imaginaries attached to the language of these crimes.

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