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IHL-based rights of women and children in occupied territories

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the rights of women and children in occupied territories, which are specifically derived from international humanitarian law (IHL) treaty-based rules. The bulk of their rights relates to economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights) and hence entails specific positive duties incumbent on occupying powers. While some of their rights deal with conduct of hostilities, they remain of marked significance in occupied territories. The chapter briefly appraises the rights of women under IHL, which have evolved from a paternalistic concept of family honour to rights based on the individual dignity of women. It presents a preliminary discussion on the current gendered rubrics of IHL to highlight the inadequacy of the existing legal framework to meet the special needs of women in occupied territories. In relation to rights of children, progress remains unsatisfactory with regard to the war crimes of using children to take active part in hostilities.

Keywords: children's rights; economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights); international humanitarian law (IHL) treaty-based rules; occupied territories; womens rights



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