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Trafficking Terror and Sexual Violence: Accountability for Human Trafficking and Sexual and Gender-B

Authors: Cóman Kenny and Nikita Malik


Terrorist groups are increasingly involved in human trafficking, specifically targeting women and girls of ideologically opposed groups or religions. Frequently, this phenomenon involves the perpetration of various forms of sexual violence against those trafficked. The commission of the interlinked crimes of human trafficking, sexual violence, and terrorism is relatively new, encompassing a vicious cycle in which each crime effectively flows from the commission of the others: sexual violence is facilitated by human trafficking, human trafficking is motivated, in part, by sexual violence, and both crimes spread terror among civilian populations. In light of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court signaling the possibility of investigating crimes of human trafficking committed in Libya, this Article argues that the link between human trafficking, sexual and gender-based violence, and terrorism needs to be judicially addressed. The authors argue that prosecuting these interlinked crimes would break new ground in the development of international criminal law and that doing so would also recognize and punish the full extent of the criminality suffered by victims.


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