Sur - Revista Internacional de Direitos Humanos
Print version ISSN 1806-6445
This article identifies and analyses some of the theoretical implications of rape being subsumed within the international crime of genocide and argues that such an analysis is essential for creating a clearer framework to address rape. Genocide is defined as a violation committed against particular groups. In contrast, rape is conceptualised as a violation of an individual's sexual autonomy. As such, can rape understood as a violation of an individual's sexual autonomy be compatible with rape being subsumed within the category of a group violation such as genocide? A key conclusion of this article is that if conceptual space can be created within the crime of genocide to include both the individual and the group, then rape (when categorised as genocide) can operate both as a violation against the group and as a violation against the individual. However, the space allotted to each of the individual and the group can never be equal; the group will always need to occupy the majority of the space, because the central motivation for viewing genocide as a crime is the survival of human groups. When rape is subsumed within genocide, which is conceived, placed and treated as a crime against enumerated groups, its dynamic changes. Rape is no longer simply a violation of an individual. Rape becomes part of a notion developed to protect the group.
Keywords : Rape; Genocide; Group Violation; Individual's Sexual Autonomy.