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2006 | Great Lakes Pact - Protocol on the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual Violence against Women and Children

This Protocol begins by acknowledging the commitments expressed in the Dar-es-Salaam Declaration Articles 6 and 67 (see elsewhere in this section). The Protocol recognizes as punishable all forms of sexual violence identified in recent international law definitions of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes, while under Art 3(2) ‘Member States guarantee that sexual violence shall be punishable in times of peace and in situations of armed conflict. The Pact and its protocols came into force in 2008.

 Of particular interest in relation to reparations for crimes of sexual violence are Articles 2 and 6. Art 2(4) lists as an objective of the Protocol to ‘make provision for the establishment of a regional mechanism for providing legal, medical, material and social assistance, including counseling and compensation, to women and children who are victims and survivors of sexual violence in the Great Lakes Region’.

Under Art 6(6) ‘Member States accept that no statutory limitations shall apply to sexual violence crimes in the Great Lakes Region and hence assume responsibility for ensuring that the victims and survivors of sexual violence are compensated, by the perpetrators.

Art 6(8) provides for the creation of a special facility - under the fund for reconstruction and development - the purpose of which shall be to provide social and legal assistance, medical treatment, counseling, training, rehabilitation and reintegration of the survivors and victims of sexual violence, including those who may not be able to identify the perpetrators of sexual violence’.