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From Sympathy to Reparation for Female Victims of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflicts

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Abstract There is a newfound momentum in international law for reparation for the victims of gross violations of human rights. This momentum has been largely hortative in resonance than actual. The slow progress in translating that desire into tangible, effective reparation programmes is partly attributable to the absence of coherent theoretical bases – especially palatable ones – for reparation in particular cases. It is submitted, however, that in canvassing the theories of reparation, the driving consideration must always remain the interests of victims and not the intellectual satisfaction of knowledgeable and well-meaning experts. The most erudite rationalization of the idea of reparation will be of no consequence if it does not, in practice, assist in improving the lives of the victims. While, it is important always to keep in view the fault-based theories of reparation, it is also advisable to consider the utility of employing the no-fault-based rationale for achieving the aim of reparation when the party at fault is either unavailable or unable to make reparation at all or in full. Hence, guidance might be had to the gratis model of reparation employed in many domestic jurisdictions to make some compensation to victims of violent crimes.


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