Due Diligence

Jabiri A, Aziz ZA, Moussa J. Due Diligence and State Responsibility to Eliminate Violence Against Women - Region: Middle East & North Africa. Due Diligence Project; 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract


The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional consultative meeting brought together 18 regional experts from MENA. The objective of regional consultative meetings was to consult and discuss with experts and stakeholders from the region on project and to have a focused discussion on systemic regional patterns and thematic issues of importance to the region.

This included identifying key issues that posed challenges in MENA including cultural perception and stereotyping as well as political priority placed on and budget allocated for ending violence against women as well as verifying data from the Project survey conducted in 8 countries in the MENA region.

The meeting also provided a forum for experts to discuss the issues, challenges, state actions and their implementation as well as good practices with regard to eliminating violence against women. In particular, the meeting focused on the 5 areas where states are obligated to exercise due diligence to end violence against women, namely prevention of violence against women, protection of victims/survivors, prosecution and investigations of VAW cases, punishment of perpetrators and the provision of redress and reparation for victims/survivors of VAW.

The discussions will be incorporated into the MENA regional report on State compliance with their due diligence obligations to end violence against women and will input into the development of indicators and standards on due diligence and State responsibility.

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault in the United States: A Human Rights Based Approach & Practice Guide. Columbia Law Human Rights Institute, Miami Law School Human Rights Clinic & The ACLU Women's Rights Project; 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract


This Guide provides an overview of human rights law’s approach to addressing gender-based violence. 

Section I distills the core human rights principles related to gender-based violence, focusing on the “due diligence” standard: a comprehensive framework to address human rights violations in a systemic and proactive manner, whether committed by private or governmental actors.

Section II discusses the value added of human rights principles in the U.S. context, and identifies concrete ways to integrate core human rights principles into domestic policy.

Section III describes seminal international law cases related to gender-based violence.

Section IV concludes by offering several resources on human rights and gender-based violence, including U.S. government and NGO reports and recommendations related to eradicating gender-based violence, reviews of other countries’ approaches to these issues and a list of U.S.-based NGOs working on gender-based violence as a human rights issue.

The Appendix is a chart of the key provisions of international and regional human rights agreements that relate to gender-based violence.

Win TL. Myanmar Activists Demand Law to Ban Violence Against Women Pearce T. The New York Times. 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Myanmar Activists Demand Law to Ban Violence Against Women

This article from The New York Times explores Myanmar's lack of infrastructure to combat violence against women and children. 

Manjoo R. Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo - 14 May 2013. United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract


Report located in the second row of the fourth page - A/HRC/23/49

The present report addresses the topic of State responsibility for eliminating violence against women. As a general rule, State responsibility is based on acts or omissions committed either by State actors or by actors whose actions are attributable to the State. A longstanding exception to this rule is that a State may incur responsibility where there is a failure to exercise due diligence to prevent or respond to certain acts or omissions of non-State actors. The due diligence standard serves as a tool for rights holders to hold States accountable, by providing an assessment framework for ascertaining what constitutes effective fulfilment of a State’s obligations, and for analysing its actions or omissions. For due diligence to be satisfied, the formal framework established by the State must also be effective in practice.

Qureshi S. The Emergence/Extention of Due Diligence Standard to Assess the State Response towards Violence against Women/Domestic Violence. An International Journal of South Asian Studies. 2013;28 (1) :55-66. Publisher's VersionAbstract


This article begins by providing a brief summary of emergence of due diligence principle in the International human rights law. The article then explores the role of International/regional human rights mechanisms/instruments in clarifying and specifying the content of due diligence obligations and its application in the context of violence against women. It illuminates, in particular, the contribution of the reports prepared by the mandate holders of United Nations Special Rapporteurs on violence against women, its causes and consequences. The article argues that the criterion has been useful in dealing with gender based violence within a human rights framework since it provides a yardstick to determine what constitutes effective fulfilment of the obligation (Manjoo, 2001). It concludes by taking note of Pakistan’s level of compliance with due diligence obligation particularly in the area of ‘prevention’ of violence against women. 

Violence Against Women in the United States and the State's Obligation to Protect. Center for Reproductive Rights; 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract


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Despite legal and policy measures designed to protect victims, domestic violence remains a pervasive rights violation in the United States. Legal and policy developments in the criminal justice system over the past few decades have improved the protection scheme for victims of domestic violence, including the availability of civil protection orders, mandatory arrest laws for abusers and mandatory prosecution policies. However, these measures are not uniformly applied and can create additional problems for victims from marginalized populations. Domestic violence is greatly influenced by contextual factors such as poverty, legal status or residence.

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


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. 

Hasselbacher L. State Obligations Regarding Domestic Violence: The European Court of Human Rights, Due Diligence, And International Legal Minimums of Protection. Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights. 2010;8 (2). Publisher's VersionAbstract


Over the last two decades, international human rights instruments, decisions, and dedicated advocates have advanced the understanding of domestic violence. Once considered a private act committed with widespread impunity, domestic violence is now viewed as a human rights violation that states have a responsibility to address. This article will trace the history of this progression and the emergence of a "due diligence" standard to assess a state's response to domestic violence. The first half of the article will examine the recognition of the due diligence standard as a rule of customary international law with increasingly defined state obligations. The second half of the article will analyze the evolution of the due diligence standard within the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the application of the standard in two landmark cases, and both cases held national governments responsible for failing to exercise due diligence to adequately protect individuals from domestic violence. The decisions in these cases not only affirm the use of the due diligence standard as a tool for assessment, but also they begin to clarify the practical obligations of protecting victims from domestic violence as well as preventing, investigating, and prosecuting such violence. In particular, the ECHR highlights the need for enforceable measures of protection and a legislative framework that enables criminal prosecutions of domestic violence in the public interest. Furthermore, the article will analyze the decision in, and the Court's recognition that, a State's obligation to exercise due diligence to protect women against domestic violence is gender-based discrimination, violating women's right to equal protection of the law.

Manjoo R. Promotion and Protection of all Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, Including the Right to Development: Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo - 23 April 2. United Nations Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract


Report located in the third row of the second page - A/HRC/14/22

This is the first thematic report submitted to the Human Rights Council by Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, since her appointment in June 2009. In addition to providing an overview of the main activities carried out by the Special Rapporteur, the report focuses on the topic of reparations to women who have been subjected to violence in contexts of both peace and post-conflict.

Manjoo R. Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo, Addendum, Communications to and from Governments - 2 June 2010. United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract


Report located in the fourth row of the second page - A/HRC/14/22/Add.1

This addendum to the Special Rapporteur’s annual report contains, on a country by country basis, summaries of communications (allegations letters and urgent appeals) sent to Governments on individual cases and general situations of concern to her mandate. This report includes summaries of the communications sent from 1 March 2009 to 20 March 2010 (with respect to allegation letters), and from 3 April 2009 to 15 April 2010 (with respect to urgent appeals). The report also contains summaries of government replies received until 17 May 2010.

15 years of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences (1994-2009): A critical review. United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract


This review aims to take stock of the achievements of 15 years of work on the Violence against Women (VAW) mandate, which has produced an impressive collection of 14 annual reports, 32 country mission reports, 11 communication reports comprising many communications to and from governments, and several other pieces of research. 

Ending violence against women: From words to action. Study of the Secretary-General. United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women; 2006. Publisher's VersionAbstract


The UN Secretary-General's in-depth study on all forms of violence against women, mandated by General Assembly resolution 58/185, aims to highlight the persistence and unacceptability of all forms of violence against women in all parts of the world. It also seeks to strengthen the political commitment and joint efforts of all stakeholders to prevent and eliminate violence against women as well as to identify ways and means to ensure more sustained and effective implementation of State obligations to address all forms of violence against women, and to increase State accountability.

The study sets out the broad context of violence against women and summarizes the knowledge base with regard to its extent and prevalence. It exposes the gaps and challenges in the availability of data, including methodologies for assessing the prevalence of such violence. It synthesizes causes and consequences, including costs. The study also discusses States' responsibilities for preventing and addressing violence against women, and identifies promising practices and effective strategies for addressing it.

Elimination of domestic violence against women (A/RES/58/147, of 22 December 2003). United Nations General Assembly; 2003. Publisher's VersionAbstract


Report located under "Domestic Violence"

Resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly for the elimination on violence against women.