Case (legal case/studies)

2011
CEDAW. Case of V.K. v. Bulgaria. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CEDAW/Pages/Jurisprudence.aspx

CEDAW/C/49/D/20/2008

The author of the complaint, VK, alleged that she had been a persistent victim of domestic abuse at the hands of her husband, and petitioned the Bulgarian courts to issue a protection order against him. VK was issued an interim order, but at the full hearing, the court refused to make a permanent order in accordance with its interpretation of national law on the basis that no domestic violence had taken place in the month prior to the initial hearing. The ruling was upheld on appeal. VK specifically alleged that the State had neglected its positive obligation under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women to protect her from domestic violence, and that it had not acted to ensure the necessary protection to avoid irreparable damage to her and her two children.

CEDAW. Case of V.P.P. v. Bulgaria. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CEDAW/Pages/JurisprudenceSession53.aspx

CEDAW/C/53/D/31/2011

In 2011, the Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women considered V.P.P v. Bulgaria (C/53/D/31/2011). V.P.P., a minor, was sexually assaulted by B.G., an adult man who lived in a neighbouring apartment building.  Bulgarian authorities waited two years before indicting B.G. for “sexual molestation of a minor”.  The District Court approved a plea bargain agreement that B.G. receive a three-year suspended sentence for pleading guilty.  B.G. continued to live next door to V.P.P. following the assault and no action was taken to ensure the ongoing safety of V.P.P.

The District Court rejected a request to file a civil claim for moral damages and a separate successful tort suit for 15,000 euros could not be executed with the mechanisms available under Bulgarian law.

 S.V.P. submitted a communication under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Optional Protocol) on behalf of her daughter claiming that Bulgaria had violated articles 1, 2(a)-2(c), 2(e)-2(g), 3, 5, 12 and 15 of CEDAW.  She claimed that Bulgaria had failed to:

  • act with due diligence to protect V.P.P. against sexual assault;
  • provide an effective remedy and address the health, rehabilitative and other needs of V.P.P.;
  • provide V.P.P. ongoing protection from B.G.; and
  • introduce specific legal and policy measures and health services to address violence against women and girls.
  • S.V.P. also claimed that Bulgaria’s response to her daughter’s assault reflected gender stereotypes related to violence against women and girls. 

 

CEDAW. Case of Abramova v. Belarus. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/jurisprudence.htm

CEDAW/C/49/D/23/2009

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has found in Abramova v. Belarus (C/49/D/23/2009) that Belarus’ treatment of a woman detained under administrative arrest violated articles 2(a)-2(b), 2(e)-2(f), 3 and 5(a) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), read in conjunction with article 1 and the Committee’s General Recommendation No. 19 on violence against women.

CEDAW. Case of L. C. v. Peru. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/jurisprudence.htm

CEDAW/C/50/D/22/2009

L.C. was 13 years old when she was repeatedly raped by a 34-year-old man who lived in her neighborhood in an impoverished region near Peru’s capital city of Lima.  Her ordeal started in 2006, and by 2007 she learned that she was pregnant.  Desperate, L.C. attempted to commit suicide by jumping off the roof of a building next door to her house.  Neighbors discovered her and rushed her to the hospital.  But even though doctors concluded that her spine needed to be realigned immediately—and even though abortion in Peru is legal where the mother’s health and life are at risk--they refused to operate on L.C. because she was pregnant. L.C. eventually suffered a miscarriage because of the severity of her injuries. Several weeks after the miscarriage, four months after she was told she needed surgery, L.C. underwent the spinal procedure. She was told shortly thereafter, however, that the surgery would have little to no effect and that she would remain paralyzed. On June 18, 2009, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Center for the Promotion and Defense of Sexual and Reproductive Rights filed a human rights petition on behalf of L.C. against Peru before the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. The petition charges that Peru’s failure to implement measures that guarantee a woman’s ability to obtain essential reproductive health services in a timely manner, particularly legal abortion, not only violates the Peruvian Constitution, but international treaty obligations. Among other remedies, L.C. is asking that the Peruvian government acknowledge the human rights violation; provide L.C. with reparations, including physical and mental rehabilitation; and issue necessary measures so that no other woman is denied her right to comprehensive healthcare and therapeutic abortion.

Dinkel C, Haile HA, Sarr A, Wiatrowski C, Biller D. Analysis of International Jurisprudence Involving Sexual and Other Gender-Based Violence During Conflict. Ithaca: Cornell Law School International Human Rights Clinic and Avon Global Center for Women and Justice; 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/womenandjustice/Legal-and-Other-Resourc...

The analysis that follows is the product of a project undertaken by the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, in collaboration with the Cornell Law School International Human Rights Clinic. The research team analyzed jurisprudence involving sexual and other gender-based violence in cases before the following international war crimes tribunals and special courts: the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY); the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR); the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). The purpose of this review is to highlight the development in each tribunal of jurisprudence involving the redress of gender crimes during conflict. The charts that follow present information relevant for further comparison and analysis of progress and persistent gaps in international law, with an aim towards contributing to the furtherance of effective prosecution and prevention of sexual and other gender-based violence. 

2010
Case of A, B, and C v. Ireland. European Court of Human Rights; 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-102332

A., B. and C. v. Ireland concerned three Irish applicants who, in their first trimester of pregnancy, had travelled to England to have an abortion because they believed they would not be allowed to have one in Ireland.

The Irish Constitution, unlike the European Convention on Human Rights, explicitly extends the right to life to the unborn foetus. Abortion is moreover prohibited under the criminal law by section 58 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (“the 1861 Act”) providing as penalty “penal servitude for life”. However, this does not mean that abortion constitutes a criminal act in all circumstances in Ireland. The 1861 legislation needs to be read in light of the amended Irish Constitution, which states in Article 40.3.3: “3° The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right; This subsection shall not limit freedom to travel between the State and another state; This subsection shall not limit freedom to obtain or make available, in the State, subject to such conditions as may be laid down by law, information relating to services lawfully available in another state.”

However, no legislation or other regulatory measures have been adopted to clarify what is meant by the “equal right to life of the mother” and in which situations there is a real and substantial risk to that right to life such as to outweigh the right to life of the unborn foetus.

In A., B. and C. v. Ireland the Grand Chamber of the Court first distinguished between the circumstances of the first and the second applicant on the one hand and the third applicant on the other. It found that the first and second applicant travelled for an abortion for reasons of health and/or well-being, while the third applicant travelled for an abortion as she mainly feared her pregnancy constituted a risk to her life. Moreover, the third applicant complained that she required a regulatory framework by which any risk to her life and her entitlement to a lawful abortion in Ireland could be established, so that any information provided outside such a framework was insufficient. The Court consequently treated the complaint of the third applicant separately.

 

Case of Hajduova v. Slovakia. European Court of Human Rights; 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/Pages/search.aspx#{"fulltext":["Hajduova%20v.%20Slovakia"],"documentcollectionid2":["GRANDCHAMBER","CHAMBER"]}

The husband repeatedly attacked and threatened his wife. She moved to a refuge with the children. The husband was diagnosed as suffering from a serious personality disorder and recommended treatment as in-patient in a psychiatric hospital. On conviction, the court held that he should undergo psychiatric treatment instead of a prison sentence. The husband was released from the hospital and immediately verbally threatened the wife and her lawyer. The wife alleged a violation of her Convention rights for the failure to detain and treat the husband following the first conviction.

Held that the state's failure to order the husband's detention enabled him to make further threats against the wife and was a breach of the state's positive obligations under Article 8 to secure respect for the wife's private life.

Case of Neulinger and Shuruk v. Switzerland.; 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract

hudoc.echr.coe.int/

Facts – The first applicant, a Swiss national, settled in Israel, where she got married and the couple had a son. When she feared that the child (the second applicant) would be taken by his father to an ultra-orthodox community abroad, known for its zealous proselytising, the Family Court imposed a ban on the child’s removal from Israel until he attained his majority. The first applicant was awarded temporary custody, and parental authority was to be exercised by both parents jointly. The father’s access rights were subsequently restricted on account of his threatening behaviour. The parents divorced and the first applicant secretly left Israel for Switzerland with her son. At last instance, the Swiss Federal Court ordered the first applicant to return the child to Israel.

In a Chamber judgment of 8 January 2009, the European Court held, by four votes to three, that there had been no violation of Article 8 of the Convention (see Information Note no. 120).

Law – Article 8: In the opinion of the national courts and experts, the child’s return to Israel could be envisaged only if he was accompanied by his mother. The measure in question remained within the margin of appreciation afforded to national authorities in such matters. Nevertheless, in order to assess compliance with Article 8, it was also necessary to take into account any developments since the Federal Court’s judgment ordering the child’s return. The Court took the view that it could be guided on this point, mutatis mutandis, by its case-law on the expulsion of aliens and the criteria on which to assess the proportionality of an expulsion order against a minor who had settled in the host State. In the present case, the child was a Swiss national and had settled very well in the country where he had been living continuously for about four years. Even though he was at an age (seven years old) where he still had a significant capacity for adaptation, the fact of being uprooted again would probably have serious consequences for him and had to be weighed against any benefit that he was likely to gain from it. In this connection, it was noteworthy that restrictions had been imposed on the father’s right of access before the child’s abduction. Moreover, the father had remarried twice since then and was now a father again but had failed to pay maintenance for his daughter. The Court doubted that such circumstances would be conducive to the child’s well-being and development. As to the mother, her return to Israel could expose her to a risk of criminal sanctions, such as a prison sentence. It was clear that such a situation would not be in the child’s best interests, his mother probably being the only person to whom he related. The mother’s refusal to return to Israel was not therefore totally unjustified. Even supposing that she agreed to return to Israel, the father’s capacity to take care of the child in the event of criminal proceedings against her and of her subsequent imprisonment could be called into question, in view of his past conduct and limited means. Moreover, the father had never lived alone with the child and had not seen him since the child’s departure at the age of two. The Court was thus not convinced that it would be in the child’s best interests for him to return to Israel. As to the mother, she would sustain a disproportionate interference with her right to respect for her family life. Consequently, there would be a violation of Article 8 in respect of both applicants if the decision ordering the second applicant’s return to Israel were to be enforced.

Conclusion: violation (sixteen votes to one).

Article 41: Finding of a violation constituted sufficient just satisfaction in respect of any non-pecuniary damage.

Case of Neulinger and Shuruk v. Switzerland. European Court of Human Rights; 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/Pages/search.aspx#{"fulltext":["Neulinger%20and%20Shuruk%20v.%20Switzerland"],"documentcollectionid2":["GRANDCHAMBER","CHAMBER"]}

Facts – The first applicant, a Swiss national, settled in Israel, where she got married and the couple had a son. When she feared that the child (the second applicant) would be taken by his father to an ultra-orthodox community abroad, known for its zealous proselytising, the Family Court imposed a ban on the child’s removal from Israel until he attained his majority. The first applicant was awarded temporary custody, and parental authority was to be exercised by both parents jointly. The father’s access rights were subsequently restricted on account of his threatening behaviour. The parents divorced and the first applicant secretly left Israel for Switzerland with her son. At last instance, the Swiss Federal Court ordered the first applicant to return the child to Israel.

In a Chamber judgment of 8 January 2009, the European Court held, by four votes to three, that there had been no violation of Article 8 of the Convention (see Information Note no. 120).

Law – Article 8: In the opinion of the national courts and experts, the child’s return to Israel could be envisaged only if he was accompanied by his mother. The measure in question remained within the margin of appreciation afforded to national authorities in such matters. Nevertheless, in order to assess compliance with Article 8, it was also necessary to take into account any developments since the Federal Court’s judgment ordering the child’s return. The Court took the view that it could be guided on this point, mutatis mutandis, by its case-law on the expulsion of aliens and the criteria on which to assess the proportionality of an expulsion order against a minor who had settled in the host State. In the present case, the child was a Swiss national and had settled very well in the country where he had been living continuously for about four years. Even though he was at an age (seven years old) where he still had a significant capacity for adaptation, the fact of being uprooted again would probably have serious consequences for him and had to be weighed against any benefit that he was likely to gain from it. In this connection, it was noteworthy that restrictions had been imposed on the father’s right of access before the child’s abduction. Moreover, the father had remarried twice since then and was now a father again but had failed to pay maintenance for his daughter. The Court doubted that such circumstances would be conducive to the child’s well-being and development. As to the mother, her return to Israel could expose her to a risk of criminal sanctions, such as a prison sentence. It was clear that such a situation would not be in the child’s best interests, his mother probably being the only person to whom he related. The mother’s refusal to return to Israel was not therefore totally unjustified. Even supposing that she agreed to return to Israel, the father’s capacity to take care of the child in the event of criminal proceedings against her and of her subsequent imprisonment could be called into question, in view of his past conduct and limited means. Moreover, the father had never lived alone with the child and had not seen him since the child’s departure at the age of two. The Court was thus not convinced that it would be in the child’s best interests for him to return to Israel. As to the mother, she would sustain a disproportionate interference with her right to respect for her family life. Consequently, there would be a violation of Article 8 in respect of both applicants if the decision ordering the second applicant’s return to Israel were to be enforced.

Conclusion: violation (sixteen votes to one).

Article 41: Finding of a violation constituted sufficient just satisfaction in respect of any non-pecuniary damage.

CEDAW. Case of Vertido v. Philippines. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/jurisprudence.htm

CEDAW/C/46/D/18/2008

In 1996, Karen Tayag Vertido worked as Executive Director of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines.  She filed a complaint against the then President of the Chamber, Jose B. Custodio, accusing him of raping her.  She alleged that the accused offered her a lift home following a business meeting one evening and that, instead, raped her in a nearby hotel.

Ms Vertido subsequently submitted a communication to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee).  She alleged that the acquittal of Mr Custodio breached the right to non-discrimination, the right to an effective remedy, and the freedom from wrongful gender stereotyping, in violation of articles 2(c), 2(d), 2(f) and 5(a) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

 

2009
ILO. Forced Labour and Human Trafficking. Casebook of Court Decisions. Geneva: International Labour Organization (ILO); 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www.ilo.org/global/publications/ilo-bookstore/order-online/books/...

The present casebook fills an important gap. It covers a range of national experience, from judicial decisions on forced and bonded labour in a number of developing countries, through to the more recent decisions on forced labour and trafficking in industrialized countries. In particular, it seeks to illustrate how national court decisions have taken into account the provisions of the ILO's own Conventions on forced labour, and how this may provide useful guidance for future court decisions.

Inter-American Court of Human Rights Case of González et al. (“Cotton Field”) v. Mexico.; 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/women/decisions/ia_court_hr.asp

In its 2009 judgment in the Case of González et al. (“Cotton Field”) v. Mexico, the Court held Mexico to be responsible for human rights violations based on the handling of investigations into disappearances and deaths of women and girls in Ciudad Juárez. The state's actions, the court opined, contributed to the atmosphere of impunity surrounding the maltreatment of women in the city.

CEDAW. Case of Dayras, et al. v. France. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/jurisprudence.htm

CEDAW/C/44/D/13/2007

The parties to Dayras, et al. v. France (C/44/D/13/2007) are Michèle Dayras, Nelly Campo-Trumel, Sylvie Delange, Frédérique Remy-Cremieu, Micheline Zeghouani, Hélène Muzard-Fekkar and Adèle Daufrene-Levrard, seven French nationals who are represented by SOS Sexisme, an organization based in Issy-les- Moulineaux, France. They claim to be victims of a violation by France of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The Convention and its Optional Protocol entered into force for the State party on 13 January 1984 and 9 September 2000, respectively. A reservation was entered by France on ratification to article 16, paragraph 1 (g), of the Convention. 

CEDAW. Case of G.D. and S.F. v. France. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/jurisprudence.htm

CEDAW/C/44/D/12/2007

The plaintiffs in G.D. and S.F. v. France (C/44/D/12/2007) who were automatically given their fathers’ last names pursuant to a customary law, despite being raised exclusively by their mothers, challenged the law as discriminating between the rights of husband and wife guaranteed under Article 16 of the Convention; the Committee held that the authors had no basis for invoking Article 16, because they themselves were not married and had no children. 

G.D. and S.F. v. France.; 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/jurisprudence.htm

The authors are two French women who are unmarried and have no children. Both authors were automatically given their father’s last name pursuant to a customary rule in force at the time of their birth.

Although the authors were abandoned by their fathers by an early age, raised exclusively by their mothers, and used their mother’s family name unofficially, they continue to be officially registered under their father’s family name. On 26 May 2006, after unsuccessfully pursuing a number of administrative procedures at the domestic level, the authors appealed to the Committee under Article 16(1), which requires non-discrimination between the rights of husband and wife, including the right to choose a family name and to transmit the family name to children.

The Committee, while acknowledging the hardship encountered by the authors, held the communication inadmissible because the authors did not qualify as victims under the meaning of Article 2 of the Optional Protocol. Since both women were unmarried, did not live in husband-and-wife relationships, and did not have children, they could not assert their rights under Article 16 of the Convention, whose beneficiaries are only married women, women living in de facto union, or mothers.

2008
CEDAW. Case of Zheng v. The Netherlands. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2008. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/jurisprudence.htm

CEDAW/C/42/D/15/2007

Zhen Zhen Zheng (ZZZ), a Chinese national, was trafficked to the Netherlands for the purposes prostitution.  In April 2003, after escaping and after being put out on the street by a woman who took her in and forced her to do heavy housework, ZZZ applied for asylum in the Netherlands.   ZZZ was pregnant at the time of her asylum application.    

In May 2003, Dutch authorities dismissed ZZZ’s asylum claim because ‘she could not give details about her trip from China to the Netherlands, did not have identity documents and waited for eight months before applying for asylum.’  Subsequent appeals proved unsuccessful.

In January 2007, ZZZ submitted a communication to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) in which she claimed that the Netherlands had violated her rights in article 6 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 

Bettinger-Lopez C. Jessica Gonzales v. United States: An Emerging Model for Domestic Violence & Human Rights Advocacy in the United States. Harvard Human Rights Journal [Internet]. 2008;21. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1095734##

In 2007, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the Commission) declared in a landmark admissibility decision that it had competence to examine the human rights claims of Jessica Gonzales, a domestic violence survivor from Colorado whose three children were killed when local police failed to enforce a restraining order against her estranged husband. Jessica Gonzales v. United States marks the first time the Commission has been asked to consider the nature and extent of the U.S.'s affirmative obligations to protect individuals from private acts of violence under the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man (American Declaration or Declaration). The Commission's admissibility decision rejects the U.S. State Department's position that the Declaration, which does not explicitly articulate state obligations vis a vis the rights contained therein, does not create positive governmental obligations. Instead, the decision holds the U.S. to well-established international standards on state responsibility to exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate, and punish human rights violations and protect and compensate victims. 

The Commission will next decide, in the merits phase of the case, whether the U.S. violated the human rights of Jessica Gonzales and her children. The merits decision, anticipated in 2008, will have profound consequences for Ms. Gonzales on a personal level. It also has the potential to expand international human rights norms and spur systemic reforms in law and policy in the U.S.

2007
CEDAW. Case of Muñoz Vargas y Sainz de Vicuña v. Spain. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/jurisprudence.htm

CEDAW/C/39/D/7/2005

Following the death of the Count of Bulnes, Cristina Muñoz-Vargas y Sainz de Vicuña (CMV), the Count’s first-born child, instituted legal proceedings in Spain challenging the succession of her younger brother to the title of nobility.  Under the Decree on the Order of Succession to Titles of Nobility, which was then in effect in Spain, a woman was entitled to inherit a title of nobility only if she was the first-born child and did not have a younger brother.  Male children were given primacy over female children in the ordinary line of succession in all other situations. 

CMV claimed that male primacy in the order of succession to titles of nobility was discriminatory and, therefore, unconstitutional.  Domestic courts dismissed her claim on the ground that the primacy afforded to male children was compatible with the constitutional rights to non-discrimination and equality, owing to the honorary and historic nature of titles and because the brother’s succession to the title of Count of Bulnes occurred prior to the commencement of the Spanish Constitution.  

The author subsequently submitted a communication to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (Committee) in which she claimed that male primacy in the order of succession to titles of nobility constituted discrimination on the basis of sex, in violation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in general, and articles 2(c) and 2(f) in particular.  She further claimed that Spain was required by CEDAW to amend or revise its laws establishing male primacy in the order of succession to titles of nobility.

 

CEDAW. Case of N.S.F. v. the U.K. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/jurisprudence.htm

CEDAW/C/38/D/10/2005

Ms. N.S.F. was a Pakistani asylum seeker living in the UK with her two children. In 1996 she married and had two sons resulting from this union. Shortly after, her husband began subjecting her to domestic violence. She endured marital rape and eventually divorced her husband in August 2002. She subsequently fled to a nearby village with her two sons where she continued to be harassed by her ex-husband after the divorce causing her to move two more times. She reported him to the police but did not receive any protection. In January 2003, the author’s ex-husband came to her home with other men armed with knives and threatened to kill her. After this incident, the author decided to flee the country and arrived in the United Kingdom, transiting through Cairo, Egypt, on 14 January 2003 with her two children, and applied for asylum the same day. In February the Immigration and Nationality Directorate of the Home Office rejected the author’s asylum application. The author appealed, claiming that her removal would be a violation of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. She asserted that she had a well-founded fear of persecution by a non-state agent, under the 1951 Convention, due to her membership in a particular social group (women in Pakistan); that Pakistan did not offer her sufficient protection; that there was no real option of internal flight; and that article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms was violated. 

CEDAW. Case of Salgado v. the U.K. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/jurisprudence.htm

CEDAW/C/37/D/11/2006

The author of the communication, Constance Ragan Salgado, was a British citizen born who resided in Bogotá, Colombia, at the time of the communication’s submission. Her eldest son, Alvaro John Salgado, was born in Colombia in 1954 of a Colombian father. At that time, the author made an application to the UK Consulate to obtain British nationality for her son and was told that the entitlement to British nationality came through the paternal line; as his father was Colombian, her son was considered an alien.

The British Nationality Act 1981 (“the 1981 Act”), which entered into force in 1983, amended previous nationality legislation and conferred equal rights to women and men in respect of the nationality of their children under the age of 18. The author was told that her son still did not qualify for British citizenship under the 1981 Act. The author protested by letter to the British Consul and to the Home Office, claiming that, had her son claimed British nationality through a British father instead of through her, no age limit would have applied to him.

British nationality legislation again changed when the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (“the 2002 Act”) entered into force on 30 April 2003 and added s. 4C to the 1981 Act (“Acquisition by Registration: Certain persons born between 1961 and 1983”). Children — by now adults — born abroad between 7 February 1961 and 1 January 1983 of British mothers would now be eligible to register as British nationals if they satisfied certain other conditions. In early 2003, the British Consul in Bogotá contacted the author to enquire as to whether she had any children born after 7 February 1961. She replied that her youngest son was born in 1966 and had acquired British nationality, but that her eldest son still had not. She was told that he did not qualify due to the fact that he was born before the cut-off date established under the 2002 Act. 

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