How is it possible to discuss contemporary views for and against the sex industry without taking into consideration situations that are without consent, without parameters, without morals, ethics or laws?
The question of how to define feminism with respect to sexuality is an issue that has created some of the most heated debate for women over the last thirty years.
This overall deterioration in the conditions of women in armed conflict situations is due not only to the collapse of social restraints and the general mayhem that armed conflict causes, but also in many cases is a deliberate and strategic decision on the part of combatants to intimidate and destroy “the enemy” as a whole by raping and enslaving women who are identified as members of the opposition group.
In the spring of 2002 students at Goddard College were invited to attend a video screening of “Breaking the History of Silence”, from the Women’s International War Tribunal for the Trial of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery, held in Tokyo, December 2000..
I am not saying that conditions in the American sex industry are without aspects that must be bettered, but they most often are not synonymous with true oppression and violence against women.“Point 9: The first purpose of this report is to reiterate the call for response to the use of sexual violence and sexual slavery during armed conflict.
It is imperative to acknowledge the immeasurable injury to body, mind and spirit is inflicted by these acts.
The Japanese government flatly denied any knowledge or involvement, and argued that the so-called comfort women were privately organized camp followers. ”“Point 6: One significant impetus for the Sub-commissions decision to commission this study was the increasing international recognition of the true scope and character of the harms perpetrated against the more then 200,000 women enslaved by the Japanese military in “comfort stations” during the Second World War.
Although a wide range of responses is needed, this final report focuses primarily on the development of international criminal law as a fruitful area for effective action at the national and international levels to end the cycle of impunity for slavery, including sexual slavery, and for sexual violence, including rape.It is through acceptance of the reality of certain events that we can hopefully begin to contemplate how to work towards prevention and resolve of heinous crimes against women.There is a definite difference between consensual and non-consensual acts of prostitution, and women in either situation should have basic rights of protection.“Point 5.However, it is clear that women do experience a significantly increased risk of violence and slavery of a sexual nature during armed conflict situations - a risk that must not be accepted or tolerated.In addition, at the same time that abuse directed at women increase during armed conflicts, the degree of impunity with which such violence is committed may also increase.
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After explaining the history of the comfort women, I will discuss the tribunals that have begun, and how the Special Rapporteur on systematic rape connects the past with the present in an effort to change international laws to prevent sexual slavery and torture from continuing, and going unpunished.