Practice Relating to Rule 93. Rape and Other Forms of Sexual Violence
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
I. Grave violations
They are enumerated by the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols, as well as by the Ivorian Penal Code.
In Book II (Instruction of non-commissioned officers and officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
I.1.1. War crimes
They are grave violations of IHL mentioned in the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, committed during armed conflict.
Examples: rape, forced prostitution …
In Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
III. Prisoners of war
Women have full and complete combatant status in numerous armed forces worldwide, whether at the front or as support personnel or personnel charged with logistical tasks. As combatants, they must respect exactly the same rules as their male counterparts, and are protected by these same provisions. In case of capture, they must be treated with respect and must not be made the object of violence of any form, including violence or ill-treatment of a sexual character. In case of detention in a prisoner-of-war camp, they must be detained in places separate from those of men.
Rape and indecent assaults are prohibited, and in the majority of cases constitute a form of torture repressed by provisions of the law. Rape, which represents a form of torture or “inhuman” treatment, is a grave violation of the law and can give rise to prosecutions before the courts of any State. This type of violence is only too frequent in situations of conflict. Moreover, in recent conflicts, like in ex-Yugoslavia, systematic and organized rape seems to have become a common practice. Such behaviour demeans the profession of the soldier, and must, just like torture, be regarded as unworthy by all soldiers.
In Book III, Volume 2 (Instruction of second-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
I.1. Protection of the civilian population
Women must be treated with special respect. Any attack against the physical or psychological integrity of women – in particular rape, forced prostitution or any form of indecent assault – is prohibited. Rape and indecent assault against men is also prohibited. …
I.2. Protection of combatants and associated personnel
A person hors de combat must be collected and protected in conformity with the provisions of Geneva Convention I for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick. In this respect, they must not be the object:
- of outrages against personal dignity or of humiliating treatment,
A case of rape is a clear indication that discipline has completely disappeared and that military leaders no longer have any control over their subordinates.
In 2010, in its combined initial to third periodic reports to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Côte d’Ivoire stated:
Acts of discrimination occurring as a result of social and political crises
72. Social and political crises, in particular the one in 2002, have exacerbated violence against women, in particular sexual violence. This violence is perpetrated by armed groups, who use it as [a] weapon of war.
Situation of displaced, migrant or refugee women
548. The war has led to numerous acts of sexual violence, psychological trauma and lasting physical injuries.
Côte d’Ivoire also stated: “Regarding violence against women, there are general provisions in the … [Penal] Code [as amended (1981)] that punish … rape”.
In 2013, in its initial report to the Human Rights Committee, Côte d’Ivoire stated:
211. The National Commission of Inquiry created by Decree No. 2011-176 of 20 July 2011 to investigate violations of human rights and public freedoms in the aftermath of the presidential election held on 31 October and 28 November 2010 was given the task of conducting non-judicial investigations into breaches of human rights and international humanitarian law in the period from 31 October 2010 to 15 May 2011.
212. The Commission submitted its report to the country’s President in August 2012. …
213. … The report also identifies 3,248 cases of “violations of the right to life”, 8,141 cases of “violence to the person”, 345 cases of “torture”, 194 cases of “rape”, 265 “forced disappearances” and 260 cases of “arbitrary detention”.