Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Masters of Arts in History



Major Advisor

Nicholas Miller, Ph.D.


Lynn Lubamersky, Ph.D.


Joanne Klein, Ph.D.


The Bosnian war witnessed the organized expulsion of Bosnian Muslims by Serbian and Bosnian Serb military forces from 1992 until 1995. As a tactic aimed at creating mono-ethnic towns from multicultural populations, rape was perpetrated against all women, but particularly Muslim women, as part of a larger plan to terrorize populations into permanently abandoning their homes. The Muslims of Foča, a township close to the border with Montenegro, were one of the first multiethnic populations to be attacked and terrorized by Bosnian Serb and Serbian forces. Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovač, and Zoran Vuković were three Bosnian Serb soldiers, among thousands, to rape and sexually enslave Muslim women in multiple camps formed over the spring and summer of 1992. With the war’s conclusion, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia set a legal precedent in the trial of Kunarac, Kovač, and Vuković as one trial in a chain of cases at the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia to advance the classifications of what sexual violence constitutes and the ways in which these crimes would be tried in international courts of law. Importantly, the Kunarac case marked the first instance in which war criminals were convicted of rape as a crime against humanity, a legal classification second only to genocide, and was the first legal proceeding to define sexual slavery as a war crime and to convict defendents of this offense as a crime against humanity. This thesis will examine the precedent set by the Kunarac Case, exhibiting first the development of the international acceptance of sex crimes as serious war crimes, and second the broadening of sexual abuse classifications written to encompass the increasing number of sexual crimes perpetrated in modern war.