The practice of Forced Marriage, where one or both persons involved are coerced through pressure or abuse to consent to a marriage against their will, has been widely addressed in places such as the United Kingdom, but it has only recently begun to enter the framework of women’s rights advocacy work here in the United States. I am an Advocate at Manavi, a New Jersey-based South Asian1 women’s rights organization (SAWO) who has been trained on the issue of forced marriage in the UK. In this position, I have observed that in the US we are only beginning to understand what this practice is, what populations it affects, how prevalent it is and how we can effectively respond to this form of violence against women and girls so as to ensure the safety and well-being of those subjected to it. In June 2010, for the purposes of this paper, I conducted a 10-question web-based survey amongst frontline advocates at 25 SAWOs across the US. The responses I received from the survey, in addition to the cases emerging through Manavi’s advocacy work, con rms that forced marriages are happening in South Asian communities in the US. As frontline, grassroots advocates and activists in the South Asian community, we have witnessed a recent increase in reported cases even though this harmful traditional practice has been happening for many years.
This report tracks the progress made by women in South Asia in areas such as violence against women, and economic empowerment. This was the base document for the Seventh South Asia Regional Ministerial Conference in October 2010.
The word rape is Latin term ratio, which means seize i.e. forcible seizure which constitutes the main ingredient of the offence of rape. Law of rape in India however further widens the definition and means intercourse with a woman without her consent by force, fear or fraud. Several explanations of force fear and fraud has been incorporated to make the law of rape in India more comprehensive and stringent. Law of rape in India is contained in Indian Penal Code; Section 375 defines rape which can be reproduced as under:
2011 was a mixed bag for human rights. There certainly were some positives; some things remained unchanged; and then there were the aggravations. Ratification of a key child rights instrument, extension of Political Parties Act to FATA, introduction of laws to promote women's rights, religious minorities getting representation in the Senate, and a right to statutory bail for detainees in prisons are all steps that ought to be welcomed.
Unfortunately, the inability to introduce implementation mechanisms for international human rights treaties ratified by Pakistan remained unchanged, as did the indifference to or complicity with banning women from voting, and curbing disappearances and extrajudicial killings. The moratorium on executions stayed informal. The prisons remained at breaking point. Nothing was done to revive elected student unions in educational institutions or end the glut of weapons across the country. The public education system remained a scandal, the budgetary allocations to public healthcare fell even further, the government ceded ground to extremists and was utterly unprepared at the framework level to cope with internal displacement and its impact.
This report is based on research carried out by UNAMA/OHCHR human rights officers in Kabul and in eight UNAMA regional offices between March 2010 and September 2011. UNAMA/OHCHR officers gathered detailed statistical and substantive information on implementation of the EVAW law by prosecutors, judges and police officers, and on the status of operations of provincial Commissions for Prevention of Violence against Women.
A ‘child victim of trafficking’ is any person under the age of 18 who is recruited, transported, transferred, harboured or received for the purpose of exploitation, either within or outside a country. Child trafficking affects children throughout the world, in both industrialized and developing countries. Trafficked children are often subjected to prostitution, forced into marriage or illegally adopted; they provide cheap or unpaid labour, work as house servants or beggars, are recruited into armed groups and are used for sports. Trafficking exposes children to violence, sexual abuse and HIV infection and violates their rights to be protected, grow up in a family environment and have access to education.
Ratification by Pakistan of all core international human rights treaties was among the positive highlights of the year, although the benefits were not immediately visible to the people. Two new laws were enacted to deal with sexual harassment. The Commission of Enquiry on Missing Persons cited the intelligence agenciesí role in enforced disappearances and for the first time the Supreme Court issued notices to these agenciesí heads. In the conflict-ravaged Swat region, the Taliban could no longer patrol the roads or flog citizens. The activities of non-governmental organisations grew, although many of the threats they faced also increased.
Pursuant to the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the AICHR, this five-year Work Plan for the period of 2010 – 2015 includes programmes and activities of the AICHR with indicative budget to be approved by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting, upon the recommendation of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN.
AICHR is guided by the ASEAN Charter, the TOR of AICHR and the purposes and principles contained therein. AICHR desires that the ASEAN community shall be free from fear, war, aggression and poverty. The peoples of ASEAN shall enjoy the right to live in peace, dignity and prosperity. There shall be a balance between rights, duties and responsibilities of individuals in the context of the ASEAN Community. The Member States of ASEAN and all sectors of their respective societies have the shared responsibility to ensure the promotion and protection of these rights and duties.
The objective of the AICHR Work Plan 2010-2015 is to give reality to the Terms of Reference of AICHR. To that end, the Work Plan is aimed at realizing the aspiration of the people of ASEAN on human rights, strengthening AICHR, promoting awareness on human rights in ASEAN and enhancing cooperation with external partners, as well as to implement AICHR’s overarching mandate on human rights, thereby contributing to the successful building of an ASEAN Community by 2015.
Violence against women (VAW), in its various forms – physical, psychological and sexual – continues to be pervasive in the Philippines. Violence against women by State actors was highlighted at the time of martial rule when detained women suffered sexual abuse, torture and other ill-treatment. The human rights issue was largely viewed as State violence, and minimal attention was given to VAW by non-State actors or private individuals, particularly in inter-relational contexts.
"Harmful practices against women in India: An examination of selected legislative responses"
Violence against women, of which harmful practices against women is a part, has been acknowledged as “one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men” equality rights. Women face violence due to their position of inequality; their vulnerability to violence being exacerbated due to their positions of dependency as well as prevailing patriarchal attitudes. The Indian Constitution guarantees women equality before the law and the equal protection of laws under Article 14 and prohibits discrimination on grounds of sex under Article 15. A unique feature of the Indian Constitution is Article 15(3), which empowers the State to take special measures for women and children. Despite these guarantees, the position of women in India remains unequal.
Media coverage of trafficking of women and children, migration and sex work is confused and inaccurate. Media wrongly uses the terms ‘sex work’ and ‘trafficking’ synonymously, perpetuating stereotypes and stigmatisation and contributing to the violation of women’s right to free movement and livelihood options, say these authors. If media reports were to be believed, there would be no young girls left in Nepal. Oftquoted figures such as 5,000-7,000 Nepali girls being trafficked across the border to India every year and 150,000-200,000 Nepali women and girls being trapped in brothels in various Indian cities, were first disseminated in 1986 and have remained unaltered over the next two decades. The report that first quoted these statistics was written by Dr I S Gilada of the Indian Health Association, Mumbai, and presented in a workshop in 1986. Subsequently, a version of this report was published as an article in the Times of India on January 2, 1989. The source of this figure remains a mystery to date. Unfortunately, such a lack of clarity is more the norm than the exception when it comes to reporting on trafficking in women and girls.
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Domestic Violence Network (DVN) is a Chinese women's NGO that has emerged in response to the transnational women's human rights movement against violence against women. This article discusses and analyzes the socio-political processes of DVN's “translation” of the transnational issue frame of “violence against women” in its local programs. It reviews DVN's gender and human rights advocacy across three of its major areas of activism—research, gender training and legal advocacy. Moreover, it examines how DVN collaborates with state agencies, especially the governmental women's organization, to transform its advocacy into policy action. In particular, the article raises questions about the potential costs of this “politics of engagement,” arguing that this relationship with the state may dilute DVN's gender and human rights advocacy as well as curb its political autonomy in future activities.
Afghanistan is widely known and appreciated for its rich history, culture, literature and arts as well as its magnificent landscape. It is also widely known that large numbers of Afghans die, or live wretched lives, because violence is an everyday fact of life. Such violence is not openly condoned but neither is it challenged nor condemned by society at large or by state institutions. It is primarily human rights activists that make an issue of violence including, in particular, its impact on, and ramifications for, women and girls in Afghanistan. It is also left to a handful of stakeholders to challenge the way in which a culture of impunity, and the cycle of violence it generates, undermines democratization, the establishment of the rule of law and other efforts geared to building an environment conducive to respect for human rights.
The report seeks to put back on the agenda some of the issues pertaining to the enjoyment of all human rights by all Afghan women that are being increasingly ignored. The problems identified in this report require further discussion and public debate, with a view to informing appropriate legal, policy and awareness-raising measures.
Since 1995, violence against women (VAW) has captured the attention of the government and legislators in the Philippines as a result of the demand of a growing women’s human rights movement and the State Obligation of the Philippine Government under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, its Optional Protocol as well as other international conventions. The Beijing Conference on Women in 1995 heightened the demand of women’s rights advocates for laws protecting women from violence all over the world.
Progressive reforms in laws protecting women were brought about by several factors beginning with the democratization process that started in the 1986 People Power Revolution after the fall of the Marcos dictatorship, the 1987 Constitution that has specific provisions on the rights of women and fundamental equality before the law of men and women, the increasing number of women’s organizations in the provinces with links to Metro Manila based women’s human rights organizations, and the participation of women legislations who are becoming increasingly aware of the need for gender equality and the elimination of VAW. This period marks the contribution of women legislators who were elected in the 1992 elections and thereafter.