Sexual violence has been a perpetual calamity since time immemorial and particularly so during armed conflicts and other situations of violence. Although in most cases the victims are women, sexual violence has never been limited to one gender. Rules and laws existing in the treaties and conventions of international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law, in addition to domestic legal regimes, are not however sufficient for addressing this crime – a sincere will to implement those laws is needed as well.

To help shape this will, one path is to highlight the severity of this heinous crime in religious teachings. The ICRC in Pakistan together with the Shariah Academy, International Islamic University Islamabad, decided that it would take this subject to a select group of Islamic scholars in order to highlight Islamic perspectives on this issue. An invitation to write papers was extended to the selected scholars and in a two-day round table conference on “Addressing Sexual Violence During War and Other Situations of Violence: An Islamic Response”, held from the 30th to the 31st of August 2022, those papers were presented and discussed among a group of 30 scholars.

The themes chosen and discussed in the conference included: Islamic Teachings on Sexual Violence, Measures to Prevent Sexual Violence During Armed Conflict and Other Situations of Violence, Sexual Violence in the Light of Classical and Contemporary Islamic Legal Verdicts, Islamic Social Viewpoint for Cure and Assistance of the Victims of Sexual Violence, Psychological Reasons of Sexual Violence and Islamic Teachings, Islamic Perspective on Slavery: A Critical Appraisal, and Sexual Violence in Historical Perspective.

The papers and the discussion were then compiled in the form of an Urdu-language book by ICRC Regional Advisor Dr Ziaullah Rahmani and Ahmad Waqas, Research Associate at Shariah Academy.

Please find the book here.