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oa De Jure - A critical analysis of article 16 of the UN refugee convention in relation to victims of sexual violence in refugee camps in Africa - research

Volume 52 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2225-7160

 

Abstract

This article analysed article 16 of the United Nation convention relating to the status of refugees 1951, which provides free access to courts in the contracting states for all refugees, in relation to victims of sexual violence in refugee camps. However, it was found that with the current state of affairs in the domestic criminal justice system, a victim of crime has no legal standing to have direct access to a court for the enforcement of his or her rights. Instead, the crime is considered as against the state and not against the individual victims, and this has caused severe hardships for victims of sexual violence in refugee camps. Thus, for a victim to benefit maximally and enjoy the requisite free access to court, we argue that victims of sexual violence in a refugee camp should be accorded the locus standi and made a co-party to the prosecution of their perpetrators, as a paradigm shift from the current domestic and international criminal justice system that uses victims as a witness for the state prosecution, so that victims can assert their rights and plead for the required remedy and reparation that will ameliorate their plight. In order to achieve this, the authors are advocating for law reform of both the domestic and international criminal justice system to reflect victims’ rights as coprosecutor of their assailant.

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/content/journal/10520/EJC-17a6070869
2019-04-01
2020-02-20

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