When there is no justice: gendered violence and harm in post-conflict Sri Lanka

Journal article

Davies, Sara & Jacqui True (2017) When there is no justice: gendered violence and harm in post-conflict Sri Lanka, The International Journal of Human Rights. DOI: 10.1080/13642987.2017.1360025.

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Reparative measures for conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) attend to the practical needs of victims while alsoaddressing the long-term structural conditions that led to the violence and often endure after conflict. Over the last decade,transitional justice has sought to address high levels of impunity for SGBV, while also addressing the long-term structuralconditions causing and exacerbating it. In this article we study the case of Sri Lanka, where crimes have been committed during and after the civil war (1983–2009) but a transitional justice mechanism to redress them is unlikely to be established. The article considers whether in such a situation of impunity gendersensitive approaches to SGBV prevention can still be promoted to ensure its non-recurrence. We closely examine post-conflict Sri Lanka and women’s ongoing experiences of multiple forms of insecurity and violence to highlight the relationship between enduring structural gender inequalities and reparative justice. Bridging human rights and political economy approaches, we argue that addressing gender inequalities in access to resources and public space is essential to prevent further gender-based violence and structural harms in conflict-affected countries like Sri Lanka.

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