Sexual slavery is slavery by means of sexual exploitation. The incidence of sexual slavery by country has been studied and tabulated by UNESCO, with the cooperation of various international agencies. Sexual slavery may include single-owner sexual slavery, ritual slavery sometimes associated with certain religious practices, such as trokosi in Ghana/Togo/Benin, slavery for primarily non-sexual purposes but where non-consensual sex is common, or forced prostitution. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action calls for an international response in order to attempt to eradicate sexual slavery on the basis that it is a human rights issue.
The Rome Statute (1998) (that defines the crimes over which the International Criminal Court may have jurisdiction) encompass crimes against humanity (Article 7) which includes "enslavement" (Article 7.1.c) and "sexual enslavement" (Article 7.1.g) "when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population". It also defines sexual enslavement as a war crime and a breach of the Geneva Conventions when committed during an international armed conflict (Article 8.b.xxii) and indirectly in an internal armed conflict under Article(8.c.ii), but the courts jurisdiction over war crimes is explicitly excluded from including crimes committed during "situations of internal disturbances and tensions, such as riots, isolated and sporadic acts of violence or other acts of a similar nature" (Article 8.d).
The text of the Rome Statute does not explicitly define sexual enslavement, but does define enslavement as "the exercise of any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership over a person and includes the exercise of such power in the course of trafficking in persons, in particular women and children" (Article 7.2.c).