This working paper explores specific articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR), European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), and African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR). The following chart examines which articles in these international instruments protect different human rights.
The European Court of Human Rights is an international court based in Strasbourg. It consists of a number of judges equal to the number of member States of the Council of Europe that have ratified the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms – currently forty-five. The Court’s judges sit in their individual capacity and do not represent any State. In dealing with applications, the Court is assisted by a Registry consisting mainly of lawyers from all the member States (who are also known as legal secretaries). They are entirely independent of their country of origin and do not represent either applicants or States.
The European Court is a judicial body, established by the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The Court is based in Strasbourg, France and is a full time permanent body.
The Court is composed of forty-five judges, one judge for each state party to the ECHR. Article 20 ECHR establishes that ‘The Court shall consist of a number of judges equal to that of the High Contracting Parties.’
‘The judges shall be of high moral character and must either possess the qualifications required for appointment to high judicial office or be jurisconsults of recognised competence’ (Article 21(1) ECHR).
The judges shall sit on the Court in their individual capacity (Article 21(2) ECHR).
Ad hoc judges: Rule 29(1) Rules of Court. ‘1.(a) If the judge elected in respect of a Contracting Party concerned is unable to sit in the Chamber, withdraws, or is exempted, the President of the Chamber shall invite that Party to indicate whether it wishes to appoint to sit as judge either another elected judge or an ad hoc judge and, if so, to state at the same time the name of the person appointed.’
This practical guide to the conditions of admissibility of individual applications is to be seen in the same context. It is designed to present a clearer and more detailed picture of the conditions of admissibility with a view, firstly, to reducing as far as possible the number of applications which have no prospect of resulting in a ruling on the merits and, secondly, to ensuring that those applications which warrant examination on the merits pass the admissibility test. At present, in most cases which pass that test, the admissibility and merits are examined at the same time, which simplifies and speeds up the procedure.
This document is aimed principally at legal practitioners and in particular at lawyers who may be called upon to represent applicants before the Court. All the admissibility criteria set forth in Articles 34 (individual applications) and 35 (admissibility criteria) of the Convention have been examined in the light of the Court’s case- law. Naturally, some concepts, such as the six-month time-limit and, to a lesser extent, the exhaustion of domestic remedies, are more easily defined than others such as the concept of “manifestly ill-founded”, which can be broken down almost ad infinitum, or the Court’s jurisdiction ratione materiae or ratione personae. Furthermore, some Articles are relied on much more frequently than others by applicants, and some States have not ratified all the additional Protocols to the Convention, while others have issued reservations with regard to the scope of certain provisions. The rare instances of inter-State applications have not been taken into account as they call for a very different kind of approach. This guide does not therefore claim to be exhaustive and will concentrate on the most commonly occurring scenarios.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day (8th of March), the Euro Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) published today its regional report “Violence against women in the context of political transformations and economic crisis in the Euro-Mediterranean region; trends and recommendations towards equality and justice”.
This report alerts that violence against women has dramatically increased in the Euro-Mediterranean region during the recent years, showcasing key patterns of violence against women, through case studies from Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Libya, France, Cyprus and Spain.
The report also underlines the alarming increase and severity of sexual violence in countries such as Libya, Syria and Egypt mounting to sexual terrorism. In Egypt, women protestors were subjected to systematic and seemingly planned harassment and gang rapes in Tahrir Square. In Syria, women and are subjected to trafficking and sexual exploitation girls in refugee camps.
In order to better assist practitioners and authorities in the Member States to deliver the assistance and protection to victims, the European Commission publishes the document 'The EU rights of victims of trafficking' in all official EU languages.
The EU approach places the victim and its human rights at the centre of its coordinated, multidisciplinary action to work towards eradication of trafficking in human beings.
This document provides a practical and comprehensive overview of victims' rights based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, EU directives, framework decisions and European Court of Human Rights case law.
The overview will be used by victims and practitioners working in the field of trafficking in human beings and will contribute to the effective realisation of these rights by helping authorities in the Member States to deliver the assistance and protection that victims need and deserve. It does in no way constitute a binding interpretation of EU legislation. All rights need to be read within the context of the full legal provision and appropriate legislation.
The European Women’s Lobby is pleased to unveil its 2013 Barometer on Rape in Europe.
Thanks to the work and expertise of the experts to the EWL Observatory on violence against women, the EWL has produced a strong policy document analysing the incidence of Rape in Europe.
The Barometer is a very important tool to get a European overview of national actions on violence against women and compare European countries with regards to their commitment to eradicate such violence.
Domestic violence against women remains one of the most pervasive human rights violations of our time, and one of the biggest global problems. In the EU, 9 out of 10 victims of intimate partner violence are women. It harms women, families, communities and society.
The EU is committed to combatting violence against women. This commitment is affirmed in the Women’s Charter (2010), the European Commission’s Strategy for Equality between Women and Men 2010−15 and the Stockholm Programme for 2010−14. However, domestic violence against women still remains widespread and under-reported.
The current report aims to support policymakers and all relevant institutions in their efforts to combat and prevent domestic violence, by providing them with reliable and comparable data and information for effective, evidence-based decisions and policy improvement.
1.The case originated in an application (no. 74839/10) against the Republic of Moldova lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a Moldovan national, Ms Lidia Mudric (“the applicant”), on 21 December 2010.
2.The applicant, who had been granted legal aid, was represented by MsD. Străisteanu, a lawyer practising in Chişinău. The Moldovan Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, MrV.Grosu.
3.The applicant alleged, in particular, that the authorities had not discharged their positive obligations under Articles 3, 14 and 17 of the Convention to protect her from domestic violence and to punish her aggressor.
4.On 18 March 2011 the application was communicated to the Government. It was also decided to rule on the admissibility and merits of the application at the same time (Article 29 § 1).
5.Third-party comments were received from the Equal Rights Trust, a non-governmental organisation based in London, the United Kingdom, which had been given leave by the President to intervene in the procedure (Article 36 § 2 of the Convention and Rule 44 § 2 of the Rules of Court). The Government replied to those comments (Rule 44 § 5).
The report first summarises the policy framework on combating gender-based violence in the European Union, the United Nations and the Council of Europe.
Secondly, the findings of the study are presented organisation by organisation. Past as well as on-going activities will be discussed, after which future plans will be explored. Finally, the main findings will be discussed.
As part of The Advocates for Human Rights' work in creating the section on Developing Legislation on Violence against Women and Girls for UNIFEM’s new website, the Global Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls (http://endvawnow.org), we recently asked our colleagues from around the world to share information on projects on advocacy, monitoring and implementation of laws on violence against women and girls that have worked well in their countries. In the next several VAW Monitors, The Advocates will highlight some of the responses we received. We thank all who sent us examples of their work. The scope of the work that dedicated activists accomplish each year to end violence against women is truly inspiring!
Since 2010, when both the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers adopted far-reaching texts on how to tackle discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, important positive developments have occurred in some Council of Europe member States, including the introduction of specific legislative measures, action plans and strategies.
Despite this progress, however, prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons (LGBTs) is widespread in society. Discrimination against LGBTs remains a serious problem, as indicated by repeated infringements of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and the authorities’ failure to provide protection against homophobic and transphobic violence. The introduction of legislation or draft legislation on the prohibition of so-called homosexual propaganda in countries such as Lithuania, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine is at variance with these countries’ legal obligations. It would also legitimise the prejudice against LGBTs which all too often is fuelled by inconsiderate discourse by politicians and other authoritative figures.
Council of Europe member States should take measures to prevent discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, promote equality and tackle homophobia and transphobia. The Republic of Moldova, Poland and the Russian Federation should give full execution to the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.
The Committee of Ministers should continue to strengthen its activities in this area with a view to ensuring the full implementation of its Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5.
The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (‘‘Convention’’)1 joins a small number of treaties imposing specific obligations on member states to prevent and address violence against women. The Convention is notable both for its encapsulation of best practices in combating violence against women and for its confirmation that all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence, are human rights violations for which states are responsible.
This report contains the findings of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, following her visit to Italy from 15 to 26 January 2012. It examines the situation of violence against women in the country taking into account its causes and consequences. It also discusses the State's response to prevent such violence, protect and provide remedies to women who have been subjected to such violence, and to prosecute and punish the perpetrators.
The purpose of the current overview is to set out the case-law principles for the new admissibility criterion under Article 35 § 3 (b), as developed by the Court during the first two years of its operation. It is to be recalled that application of the criterion was reserved exclusively to Chambers and the Grand Chamber1 from 1 June 2010 until 31 May 2012. In accordance with Article 20 of Protocol No. 14, the new provision began to apply to all applications pending before the Court, except those declared admissible.
This report documents brutal and long-lasting violence against women and girls by husbands, partners, and family members and the survivors’ struggle to seek protection. Turkey has strong protection laws, setting out requirements for shelters for abused women and protection orders. However, gaps in the law and implementation failures by police, prosecutors, judges, and other officials make the protection system unpredictable at best, and at times downright dangerous.
Stalking, sexual harassment, sexual violence and rape, physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the hands of intimate partners, forced marriage, and forced sterilisation are deeply traumatising acts of violence. The overwhelming majority of victims are women. Adding female genital mutilation and forced abortion as forms of violence that only women can be subjected to, shows the shocking level of diversity in cruel and degrading behaviour that women experience. If we consider the fact that most violence is carried out by men, it is just a small step to understanding that violence against women is structural violence – violence that is used to sustain male power and control. This is even more obvious if we look at the patchy attempts of the police, courts and social services to help women victims which is seen in many countries across the world.
The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence is based on the understanding that violence against women is a form of gender-based violence that is committed against women because they are women. It is the obligation of the state to fully address it in all its forms and to take measures to prevent violence against women, protect its victims and prosecute the perpetrators. Failure to do so would make it the responsibility of the state. The convention leaves no doubt: there can be no real equality between women and men if women experience gender-based violence on a large-scale and state agencies and institutions turn a blind eye.
Because it is not only women who suffer domestic violence, parties to the convention are encouraged to apply the protective framework it creates to men, children and the elderly who are exposed to violence within the family or domestic unit. Still, it should not be overlooked that the majority of victims of domestic violence are women and that domestic violence against them is part of a wider pattern of discrimination and inequality.
It is estimated that one in five children fall victim to sexual violence – a serious human rights violation the Council of Europe has decided to combat through: 1. legislative harmonization - The Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention) is the most advanced and complete standard in this field 2. awareness-raising and political action – The Council of Europe campaign ONE in FIVE to stop sexual violence against children and its parliamentary dimension aims to raise awareness of the full extent of sexual violence against children in our societies and promote appropriate policies to stop this violence