Second Hemispheric Report on on the Implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI, 2012)
The Second Hemispheric Report reviews the progress made by the States Party in their implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention, as well as the significant challenges that remain in the region in terms of a timely, appropriate and effective response to acts of violence against women, from a perspective of human rights.
The Report consolidates the results and recommendations from the 28 national reports presented to the MESECVI during the Second Multilaterial Evaluation Round, and offers a comparative overview of the progress made between the First and Second Rounds.
WHO and PAHO have developed a series of information sheets on violence against women that summarizes what is known about the prevalence, patterns, consequences, risk factors and strategies to address the different forms of VAW. This series is for programme managers, practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and others working in a wide range of sectors and in every country.
WE, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (hereinafter referred to as "ASEAN"), namely Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, on the occasion of the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
REAFFIRMING our adherence to the purposes and principles of ASEAN as enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, in particular the respect for and promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance;
REAFFIRMING FURTHER our commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of the United Nations, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and other international human rights instruments to which ASEAN Member States are parties;
REAFFIRMING ALSO the importance of ASEAN’s efforts in promoting human rights, including the Declaration of the Advancement of Women in the ASEAN Region and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the ASEAN Region;
CONVINCED that this Declaration will help establish a framework for human rights cooperation in the region and contribute to the ASEAN community building process.
The Parliamentary Assembly has consistently, repeatedly and forcefully condemned violence against women as one of the most serious violations of human rights in Europe, finding its roots in unequal power relations between women and men and discrimination against women. The Assembly, therefore, warmly welcomes the draft Council of Europe convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, as the first international binding instrument specifically devoted to this issue and as an important step forward in the promotion of substantive equality between women and men.
The Parliamentary Assembly has consistently, repeatedly and forcefully condemned violence against women as one of the most serious violations of human rights in Europe, finding its roots in unequal power relations between women and men and discrimination against women.
The Assembly, therefore, warmly welcomes the draft Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, as the first international binding instrument specifically devoted to this issue and as an important step forward in the promotion of substantive equality between women and men.
While supporting this draft convention, the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men wishes to propose amendments, with a view to further strengthening the standards set out in the text.
On International Women’s Day 2011, Amnesty International expressed its profound concerns at last minute efforts by some Council of Europe member states to unravel key provisions in a new European treaty on violence against women. This treaty is known as the Council of Europe’s Draft Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. Amnesty International is therefore urging all states in the Council of Europe to oppose any attempts to re-open and undermine the existing draft treaty.
Can be found under 2011-- PR: May 6, 2011:WAVE welcomes landmark European Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence
The European Network Women against Violence Europe (WAVE) welcomes the newly adopted Council of Europe Convention which is the first legally binding European human rights instrument for the prevention, investigation and prosecution of violence against women. It is a success for women’s activists across Europe who have been active in combating violence against women for many years.
This series of technical briefs presents a brief summary of the achievements, challenges and opportunities in the implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention, both in general terms and in specific areas.
Recent developments in Africa have witnessed the establishment of African Court of Human Rights and African Court of Justice; and the eventual merger of the two Courts as the African Court of Justice and Human Rights. The Courts were established to compliment the protective mandate of African Commission on Human Rights. The establishment of African Human Rights Courts has catapulted scholars into considering whether the option is better for African human rights system or whether it was taken impetuously. The question is imperative in view of the problems that besiege the African Commission. This article considers the foreseeable hurdles that the African Court of Human Rights and the merged Court are likely to face. It points out that the African human rights system was built on a shaky foundation and suggests ways for revamping the system.
Remarks from Hillary Clinton on the release of the report: Every year, we come together to release this report, to take stock of our progress, to make suggestions, and to refine our methods. Today, we are releasing a new report that ranks 184 countries, including our own. One of the innovations when I became Secretary was we were going to also analyze and rank ourselves, because I don’t think it’s fair for us to rank others if we don’t look hard at who we are and what we’re doing. This report is the product of a collaborative process that involves ambassadors and embassies and NGOs as well as our team here in Washington. And it really does give us a snapshot about what’s happening. It shows us where political will and political leadership are making a difference.
Addressing violence against women is central to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 3 on women's empowerment and gender equality, as well as MDGs 4, 5 and 6. It is also a peace and security issue. In spite of this recognition, investment in prevention and in services for survivors remains woefully inadequate.
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.
This document identifies how the crimes of rape and sexual violence must, as a requirement of its own statute and a matter of international human rights law, be interpreted and applied with equality between men and women by the International Criminal Court (the Court). The Court has yet to rule on this matter in its jurisprudence.
Such incorporation of human rights law and standards in the prosecution of rape and sexual violence should be undertaken by other international courts, as well as national courts, in order to discharge states’ duties under treaty and customary law.
In order to incorporate human rights law and standards in its practice, the Court’s interpretation of the definition of the crimes should address the behaviour and actions of the perpetrator, and how this affects the victim’s ability to exercise free and genuine choice, that is, to enjoy his or her human right to physical and mental integrity and sexual autonomy, without discrimination. The Court’s deliberation should not just address the victim’s purported ‘consent’ in isolation.
Human rights law and standards requires that investigations and prosecutions of the crimes of rape and sexual violence must be undertaken with careful attention given to the task of challenging stereotypes, which tend to undermine women’s equality before the law. The integrity of investigations and prosecutions should not be tainted by stereotypical assumptions, including assumptions about sexual violence towards men and boys, as well as towards women and girls.
The Applicants were a mother and two daughters who arrived in Ireland in January 2005. Mrs. Izevbekhai applied for declarations of refugee status on her own behalf and on behalf of her daughters. The basis of her claim for refugee status was that she was in fear for her own life and the lives of her daughters if they were returned to Nigeria, as a result of threats from the family of her husband to carry out female genital mutilation on her daughters. She claimed that an elder daughter had died in Nigeria as a result of complications arising from female genital mutilation. The Applicants’ applications for refugee status in Ireland were refused, and they made representations to the Minister for leave to remain temporarily in the State. These representations were rejected and the Minister made deportation orders in respect of all three Applicants in November 2005. Mrs. Izevbekhai went into hiding and her children were taken into care by the HSE. She was later apprehended by Gardaí and placed in detention. The Applicants obtained the leave of the High Court (McKechnie J.) to challenge the deportation orders by way of judicial review but the substantive applications were refused by the High Court (Feeney J.) in January 2008. In March 2008, the Applicants made applications to the Minister for subsidiary protection pursuant to the European Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations (S.I. No. 518) 2006. The Minister refused to consider their applications for subsidiary protection because the deportation orders had been made before the coming into force of the Regulations. In an earlier case (N.H and T.D. v. Minister for Justice and Law Reform  IEHC 277) the courts had identified a discretion on the part of the Minister to accept such late applications, but the Minister refused to exercise this discretion in favour of the Applicants. In March 2008 the High Court (Edwards J.) granted to the Applicants leave to apply for judicial review of the Minister's decision. In January 2009, the High Court (McGovern J.) delivered judgment on the substantive application for judicial review, and held that the Minister had acted properly. The Applicants appealed this decision to the Supreme Court.
In the meantime, the Minister’s officials reopened their investigations into Ms Izevbekhai’s claims about the death of her eldest daughter in Nigeria. The Minister concluded that the documents relied upon by Ms Izevbekhai in support of her claim were forgeries and that no such child had ever existed. Affidavits to this effect were filed in the Supreme Court.
Following the hearing on the preliminary issue of whether the Minister had jurisdiction to entertain the application for subsidiary protection, the Supreme Court found that he had no discretion to do so. Consequently, the substantive appeal did not proceed and thus no findings were made by the Supreme Court as regards the Minister’s allegations of forgery.
The Applicants took their case to the ECHR and complained under Article 3 that there was a real risk that the minor Applicants would be exposed to FGM if they were expelled to Nigeria. They also invoked Articles 6, 13 and 14 of the Convention about the domestic remedies available to them in that respect. The ECHR found that the information presented by the Government with respect to the documents relied upon by Ms Izevbekhai gave strong reasons to question the veracity of the Applicants’ core factual submission concerning the death of a child in Nigeria as a result of FGM. The Court considered the Applicants’ response to the core issue of credibility to be unsatisfactory.
Facts – The applicant fled Nigeria in May 2003 and applied for asylum in Austria on the grounds that she was at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) in her own country. The Federal Asylum Office rejected her request after finding that, even though her statements were credible, she had the alternative of living in another province of Nigeria where FGM was prohibited by law. The applicant lodged a complaint against that decision with the asylum court, but it was ultimately rejected. The Constitutional Court declined to examine the question after finding that it did not raise any issue of constitutional law. In her application to the European Court, the applicant complained under Article3 of the Convention that she ran the risk of being subjected to FGM if expelled to Nigeria and that relying on an internal flight alternative and moving to another part of Nigeria as a single woman without her family to help her would also violate her rights under that provision.
Law – Article3: It was not in dispute that subjecting any person, child or adult, to FGM would amount to ill-treatment contrary to Article3 (see also Izevbekhai and Others v. Ireland (dec.), no.43408/08, 17May 2011). The Court noted, however, that while the domestic authorities had found that the applicant’s fear of being forced to undergo FGM in Nigeria was well-founded they considered that she disposed of an internal flight alternative within the country. The Court therefore had to assess the applicant’s personal situation in Nigeria. The applicant, who was thirty-seven years old, had obtained school education for at least thirteen years and had worked as a seamstress for eight years. While it might be difficult for her to live in Nigeria as an unmarried woman without the support of her family, the fact that her circumstances there would be less favourable than those she enjoyed in Austria could not be regarded as decisive. Owing to her education and work experience as a seamstress, there was reason to believe that she would be able to build up her life in Nigeria without having to rely on the support of family members.
*The full article is available through this link. This article may be available free of charge to those with university credentials.
This article aims to demonstrate the contributions of the Maria da Penha case and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) Report of 2001 to the debate on domestic violence against women in Brazil, with special emphasis to the adoption of the Maria da Penha Law. The IACHR was the first international human rights organ to bring to light the problem. Beside contributing to internal changes, this case has great relevance as it was the first one of domestic violence analyzed by the Inter-American Commission. It revealed the systematic pattern of violence against women in the country.
Progress of the World's Women: In Pursuit of Justice looks at how the legal system can play a positive role in women accessing their rights, citing cases that have changed women's lives both at a local and at times global level. It also looks at the important role women have played and continue to play as agents for change within the legal system, as legislators, as lawyers, as community activists; but also asks why, despite progress on legal reform, the justice system is still not delivering justice for all women.
The report focuses on four key areas: legal and constitutional frameworks, the justice chain, plural legal systems and conflict and post-conflict. Drawing on tangible examples of steps that have been taken to help women access justice, the report sets out ten key recommendations for policy and decision makers to act on in order to ensure every woman is able to obtain justice.
Article located at the bottom of the page of the given link
Taken from the intro: Building upon previous Clearinghouse Review articles and several appearing in this issue, we draw a primer on the U.N. human rights system as a means of complementing domestic advocacy efforts on behalf of low-income and poor communities and individuals. First, we give an overview of the U.N. mechanisms that monitor and promote human rights compliance in the United States. Second, we cite examples of how social justice organization have engaged these mechanisms to broaden access to justice and deter violence against women, and we suggest opportunities for future engagement on a range of issues confronting clients of legal aid programs.
*The full article is available through this link. This article may be available free of charge to those with university credentials.
Each week brings horrific new headlines stating that, somewhere around the world, a woman or girl has been killed by a male relative for allegedly bringing dishonor upon her family. According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, "In the name of preserving family 'honor,' women and girls are shot, stoned, burned, buried alive, strangled, smothered and knifed to death with horrifying regularity." Between 5,000 and 20,000 so-called honor killings are committed each year, based on long-held beliefs that any female who commits -- or is suspected of committing -- an "immoral" act should be killed to "restore honor" to her family. Honor killings are deeply rooted in ancient patriarchal and fundamentalist traditions, which some judicial systems legitimize by pardoning offenders or handing out light sentences. Human-rights organizations are demanding that governments and the international community act more forcefully to stop honor killings, but officials in some countries are doing little to protect women and girls within their borders.