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FACTBOX - Sexual slavery in war

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 15 Jan 2013 13:15 GMT
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  • Over 60,000 children and young people have been abducted over the course of the Lord’s Resistance Army’s long-running conflict in northern Uganda – one in three teenage boys and one in six teenage girls in the Acholi region.
  • Around 25 percent of abducted women were forcibly married and 50 percent of them had children.
  • The LRA leader Joseph Kony is thought to have forcibly married more than 40 women and girls and to have fathered dozens of children through rape. His commanders have an average of five forced ‘wives’ at a time.
  • Between 50,000 and 64,000 displaced Sierra Leonean women experienced war-related sexual violence, according to Physicians for Human Rights. In a survey, 33 percent reported gang rape, 15 percent reported sexual slavery and 9 percent reported forced marriage.
  • Some 50 percent of sex slaves during Sierra Leone’s 1992-2002 war were children aged 15 or under when they were abducted, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
  • In the Democratic Republic of Congo, 40 percent of women reported experiencing           sexual violence, according to a 2010 survey.
  • Africa Rights 1994 report on the Rwandan genocide found that women were kept alive, subjected to repeated rapes, sometimes referred to as wife or temporary wife, and provided with a measure of protection. Women were abducted by militiamen, “distributed” amongst Interahamwe militias, or “bought” during an ad hoc tribunal. They were kept alive and subjected to repeated rapes and sometimes referred to as ‘wife’.
  • The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda did not issue any indictments for sexual slavery although witnesses testified to their experiences of forced marriage and sexual violence.
  • Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission found that “women were kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery only to be passed around as ‘wives’ of roaming combatants. They were also forced to engage in hard labour making them both sex and labour slaves”.


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