Latin America

Encuesta de salud y derechos de las mujeres indigenas - ENSADEMI. México : Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública - México; 2008 pp. 124. Publisher's VersionAbstract

La ENSADEMI intenta por primera vez evaluar las condiciones de salud y violencia doméstica de las mujeres indígenas de México. Para ello se realizó una cuidada encuesta dirigida a las mujeres usuarias de los servicios de salud en comunidades rurales de seis estados.

No more!: the right of women to live a life free of violence in Latin America and the Caribbean. Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC) - CEPAL; 2007 pp. 143. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The report No more! The right of women to live a life free of violence in Latin America and the Caribbean is the result of a joint effort by specialist United Nations organizations and entities in Latin America and the Caribbean. To fulfill this mission inspired by resolution 58/185 of the United Nations General Assembly of December 2003, the organizations represented in the thirteenth meeting of specialist bodies and other organizations of the United Nations system on the advancement of women in Latin America and the Caribbean (Mar del Plata, Argentina, September 6, 2005) agreed to implement an inter-institutional study on violence against women in all its forms under the coordination of ECLAC. In the same manner as the Secretary General's report relating to the in-depth study of all forms of violence against women, the eradication is sought of one of the most widespread crimes along with an end to the accompanying impunity. Its dissemination and debate throughout all levels of society will help to raise social awareness providing authorities with the resources and instruments needed for its elimination. Just like the Secretary General's report, the regional report will make it clear that to eradicate violence it must unequivocally become a central objective of public agendas: as a human rights issue in the first place, and as an obstacle to development in the second. 

Business as Usual: Violence against Women in the Globalized Economy of the Americas. Amnesty International Canada; 2006 pp. 44. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Serious and widespread violations of the basic rights of women, including violence, are longstanding and commonplace throughout the Americas.

In 1979 the United Nations adopted a treaty which aims to end the discrimination at the heart of the human rights abuses that are the daily reality for women around the world.  The UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women optimistically notes that “the establishment of the new international economic order based on equity and justice will contribute significantly towards the promotion of equality between men and women.”  The UN has gone on to finalize a Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women.  The Organization of American States has adopted the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women.  But serious human rights violations and pervasive violence against women continue in every corner of the Americas.

A complex web of factors fuels violence against women, including gender discrimination, impunity, poverty and racism.  Amnesty International is concerned that inadequate attention has been paid to the degree to which trade and investment policies can contribute to increasing economic inequality and vulnerability of women to violence.  Far from realizing the UN’s hope of an economic order based on equity and justice, new economic policies are a backdrop to ongoing, serious human rights violations and violence for women throughout the Americas.

Pimentel S, Pandjiarjian V, Belloque J. “Legitimate Defense of Honor” - Illegitimate Impunity of Murders - A Critical Study of the Legislation and the Case Law in Latin America. In: Vida em família: uma perspectiva comparativa sobre "crimes de honra". Núcleo de Estudos de Gênero Pagu Universidade Estadual de Campinas ; 2006. pp. 135-208. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The theme of this article concerns “crimes of honor” – from a feminist, socio-legal perspective of gender and human rights point of view – involving different aspects relating to how the national legislation treats discrimination, especially crimes of violence against women, and, specifically, the way the national courts apply this legislation to concrete cases. Although there were international, regional and national advances in relation to the subject, especially during the nineties, there are still legislation and legal decisions, even in the twenty first century, violating women’s human rights, being marked by the impunity of the offenders and by the incorporation of stereotypes, prejudices and discriminations against women who are victims of violence.
Women: for a life without violence. Latinamerica press [Internet]. 2006;38 (7). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Violence against women is the cruelest manifestation of gender-based discrimination and inequality, and despite numerous international agreements to eradicate it, the trend has continued, ever more bloodily, fueled by a patriarchal society in which women are the undervalued sex.

“The continuation of violence against women in the 21st century is inconceivable and unacceptable,” says Célia Leão, a state deputy from São Paulo, Brazil, and a key member of the first Parliamentary Investigation Commission on violence against women in that state in the mid-1990s.

One of society’s greatest challenges is for violence against women to be considered a human rights violation. 

Encuesta demográfica y de salud materna e infantil "ENDEMAIN". Quito: CEPAR - Centro de Estudios de Población y Desarrollo Social; 2005 pp. 146. Publisher's VersionAbstract

El Centro de Estudios de Población y Desarrollo Social (CEPAR), pone a disposición del país, el Informe de la Encuesta Demográfica y de Salud Materna e Infantil 2004 (ENDEMAIN 2004), correspondiente a la provincia de Pichincha y ciudad de Quito, conducida bajo la responsabilidad directa de la institución y la participación activa del Comité Técnico de la encuesta, integrado por: Ministerio de Salud Pública (MSP), Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC), Agencia para el Desarrollo Internacional de los Estados Unidos (USAID), Fondo Japonés, Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID), Fondo de Población de las Naciones Unidas (UNFPA), Programa Mundial de Alimentos (PMA), Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (UNICEF), Fundación Observatorio Social del Ecuador (OSE), Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo de la Mujer (UNIFEM), y Sistema Integrado de Indicadores Sociales del Ecuador (STFS-SIISE), algunas de ellas brindaron también el apoyo económico para realizar la investigación. En todo este proceso, como en encuestas anteriores, se contó con la asistencia técnica de la División de Salud Reproductiva de los Centros para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) de Atlanta, y por primera vez, del Proyecto MEASURE de la Universidad de Carolina del Norte.

Sagot M. The Critical Path of Women Affected by Family Violence in Latin America: Case Studies From 10 Countries. Violence Against Women [Internet]. 2005;11 :1292-1318. Publisher's VersionAbstract

*The full article is available through this link. This article may be available free of charge to those with university credentials.

This research examined the critical path followed by women from 10 Latin American countries who suffer family violence. It identified the personal and social processes women experience as a result of their help-seeking actions and the kinds of responses found at local services. The study used an action-oriented qualitative methodology with a standard research protocol that was translated and adapted for the various ethnic groups. The results provided community actors with an understanding of the barriers women face in overcoming the obstacles, humiliation, and inadequate responses they encounter along their critical paths.

Effective Implementation of the Convention of Belém do Pará. A task still to be done. Amnesty International; 2004. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Ten years after the adoption of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women, "Convention of Belém do Pará", Amnesty International presents this report that describes and analyzes the main features of the proposal put forward by the Inter-American Commission of Women for establishing a follow-up mechanism on the implementation of the Convention of Belém do Pará. The report also contains a series of recommendations addressed to the bodies and governments involved in drawing up the proposal.

Alméras D, Bravo R, Milosavljevic V, Montaño S, Nieves Rico M. Violencia contra la mujer en relación de pareja: América Latina y el Caribe. Una propuesta para medir su magnitud y evolución. Santiago de Chile: CEPAL; 2002 pp. 52. Publisher's VersionAbstract

El documento ha sido preparado por la Unidad Mujer y Desarrollo de la CEPAL como un insumo para la Reunión 'estadísticas e Indicadores de género para medir incidencia y evolución de la violencia contra la mujer en América Latina y el Caribe' que se realizó en La Paz, Bolivia, del 21 al 23 de Noviembre de 2001. El documento recoge los aportes realizados por los participantes al documento de trabajo presentado por la CEPAL durante la reunión y es una herramienta que contribuye a medir la magnitud y las principales características de la violencia contra la mujer en relación de pareja.



The American states signatory to the present Convention,

Reaffirming their intention to consolidate in this hemisphere, within the framework of democratic institutions, a system of personal liberty and social justice based on respect for the essential rights of man;

Recognizing that the essential rights of man are not derived from one's being a national of a certain state, but are based upon attributes of the human personality, and that they therefore justify international protection in the form of a convention reinforcing or complementing the protection provided by the domestic law of the American states;

Considering that these principles have been set forth in the Charter of the Organization of American States, in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and that they have been reaffirmed and refined in other international instruments, worldwide as well as regional in scope;

Reiterating that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free men enjoying freedom from fear and want can be achieved only if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his economic, social, and cultural rights, as well as his civil and political rights; and

Considering that the Third Special Inter-American Conference (Buenos Aires, 1967) approved the incorporation into the Charter of the Organization itself of broader standards with respect to economic, social, and educational rights and resolved that an inter-American convention on human rights should determine the structure, competence, and procedure of the organs responsible for these matters, Have agreed upon the following: 

Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women “Convention of Belem do Para”. Organization of American States [Internet]. 1969. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women, known as the Convention of Belém do Pará (where it was adopted in 1994), defines violence against women, establishes that women have the right to live a life free of violence and that violence against women constitutes a violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms. 

It calls for the first time for the establishment of mechanisms for protecting and defending women's rights as essential to combating the phenomenon of violence against women's physical, sexual, and psychological integrity, whether in the public or the private sphere, and for asserting those rights within society.

American Declaration of the Rights & Duties of Man. Organization of American States [Internet]. 1948. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The American Declaration is the first general international human rights instrument. Approximately eight months following its adoption, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The American Declaration establishes that "the essential rights of man are not derived from the fact that he is a national of a certain state, but are based upon attributes of his human personality."  Accordingly, the States of the Americas recognize that when the state legislates in this area, it does not create or grant rights, but rather recognizes rights that exist independent of the formation of the State. Both the Commission and the Court have established that despite having been adopted as a declaration and not as a treaty, today the American Declaration constitutes a source of international obligations for the Member States of the OAS.