The three-day Global Summit in June 2014 to End Sexual Violence in Conflict co-chaired by Angelina Jolie, offered visitors insight into the summit's message through cinema, art and photography in London.
Members of The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict today expressed their disappointment that the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence, hosted by the UK government, ended with few tangible results that will make an immediate impact on the ground.
The European Court of Human Rights found that the Northern Ireland authorities had not failed in their duty to respond to domestic violence perpetrated against the applicant, Ms Irene Wilson, and her complaint was deemed inadmissible.
On 20 October 2007 the applicant was assaulted by her husband, Scott Wilson. She suffered a severed artery on the right side of her head and multiple bruising.
Mr Wilson was arrested and charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent to do grievous bodily harm, contrary to section 18 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861. After considering the available evidence, the Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland (PPS) decided that there was insufficient evidence of intention to do grievous bodily harm and the charge was reduced to one of grievous bodily harm contrary to section 20 of the same Act.
Mr Wilson pleaded guilty to the section 20 charge and was sentenced to eighteen months’ imprisonment, which was suspended for three years.
The applicant alleged violations of her human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights and made several complaints regarding the criminal proceedings, including that the sentence was unduly lenient and was much lower than would have been delivered had the offence occurred outside marriage.
In 2012, the Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women considered J.S. v. the U.K. (C/53/D/38/2012 ). J.S. (“the author”) claims that he is a victim of discrimination of a continuous nature, because the revision of the 1948 British Nationality Act in 1981 and 2002 did not eliminate the discrimination against women. He claims that if he had been born of a father with United Kingdom and Colonies’ citizenship, or after 1983, he could have applied for a British passport.
The author claims that the Convention recognizes women’s autonomy and equality in the transfer and acquisition of nationality, and permits either spouse to confer nationality on their children. On the issue of nationality, the granting of equal rights to women requires having an independent nationality, regardless of the nationality of one’s husband, and granting equal rights regarding the nationality of children. States parties are also expected to uphold equal rights with regard to laws relating to the movement of persons and the freedom to choose one’s residence and domicile. They must also take measures to eliminate discrimination against women in matters relating to marriage and family relations, and ensure that overall equality between men and women exists. Any State which does not respect these provisions in practice and law fails in its duties under articles 1 and 2 of the Convention.
The author claims to be a victim of a violation of article 9 of the Convention. In substantiation, he refers to the Committee’s general recommendation No. 21 (1994) on equality in marriage and family relations (which emphasizes the importance of granting equal rights to women concerning acquisition and retention of citizenship. The author notes in particular that paragraph 6 of general recommendation No. 21 reads as follow: “Nationality is critical to full participation in society [...]. Without status as nationals or citizens, women are deprived of the right to vote or to stand for public office and may be denied access to public benefits and a choice of residence. Nationality should be capable of change by an adult woman and should not be arbitrarily removed because of marriage or dissolution of marriage or because her husband or father changes his nationality.”
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.
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.