Chair: Mangai Natarajan
Violence Against Women and Children: International Perspective
Author: Hilker Raymond, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Title: Child Soldiers in Asia: a Criminological Inquiry
According to Human Rights Watch, of the fourteen countries known to actively use child soldiers, seven of them are in Asia. Aside from signing various conventions agreeing to end the use of children for military ventures, no orchestrated action of the international community has been undertaken yet. Any act of systematic abuse against children, the most vulnerable population, should be met with a swift international response. However, in both media and academia, there is little documentation of child soldiers in Asia compared to other regions of the world. This disparity in research lends to the misconception that child soldiers are not an endemic issue in Asia. Using secondary data sources including academic and grey literature, the purpose of this research elucidates the reasoning behind the use of children for military purposes in Asia: how they are used, why they are used and the impact of existing international policies and practices including the International Criminal Court. Exhaustive review of research on the rationale of why child soldiers may be used in Asia can be divided into three areas: vulnerability and manipulation, socialization of ideologies, and family dynamics. Further, factors including socio-economic status of certain provinces, cultural expectations and perceptions, and other demographics of the children themselves and the society at large are discussed for implications for theory, policy and research.
Keywords: Child Soldiers, Armed Conflict, Asia, Military Recruitment, Child Labor, Child Abuse, War, Militias, Childrens Rights, Child Psychology, Violence, Weapons, Treaties
Author: Majeed Amina, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Title: Ending Honor Based Violence in Immigrant Communities: a Comparative Analysis of Criminal Justice Polices in the Us, Uk and Canada
While the phenomenon of Honor Based Violence (HBV) is a major concern mostly associated with South Asian, Middle Eastern and some African nations, there has been an increased reporting of HBV in US, UK, and Canada, especially among the immigrant communities. Honor based violence is a form of gender-based violence and can be construed as a crime against humanity. While HBV is considered as a form of domestic violence, a high majority of victims are young women and girls. The main purpose of this paper is to examine the nature and extent of honor based violence that are documented within immigrant communities and the measures these three countries have taken to stop them from occurring. In the UK, many initiatives have been undertaken to end this form of violence. An examination of the polices developed in the UK might be useful for the US and Canada. Hence this paper examines various criminal justice policies in the US, UK, and Canada and identifies the best practices to deal with honor based violence. These findings are discussed for implications of theory, research and policies.
Keywords: Honor Based Violence, Gender Based Violence, Immigration, Immigrant Population
Author: Shaban Aline, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Title: Gender-Based Violence in Refugee Camps
Although armed conflict affects entire communities, women and girls suffer its consequences disproportionately. This is especially true in refugee camps, supposed to be safe havens for people fleeing violence and natural disasters. Across the world, female refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP’s) living in camps find themselves victims of rape and sexual abuse committed by male residents but also by the security forces and humanitarian staff. Women refugees and IDP’s are also particularly prone to prostitution because of the economic and social disruption that forced displacement entails. The lack of social structure in the camps, gender inequalities, poverty, insufficient food rations, lack of opportunities, poor protection mechanisms, and inadequate justice systems are among the main factors contributing to the abuses refugees and IDP’s face. Despite the efforts of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to prevent Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), the problem continues to persist because of harmful socio-cultural norms and deficient policy implementation. This paper (1) examines the problem of SGBV perpetrated by various actors against women and girls in refugee camps, (2) analyzes the factors contributing to SGBV, and (3) assesses the obstacles to effective policy implementation and provide recommendations to address the discrimination that women and girls face during forced displacement.
Keywords: Forced Migration, Violence Against Women, Sexual Violence, International Law, Human Rights, International Cooperation, Refugee Camps, Gender Discrimination