Thursday in Black: Towards a world without rape and violence. 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract



Thursdays in Black Campaign has its roots in groups such as Mothers of the Disappeared in Argentina, Black Sash in South Africa and the Women in Black movements in Bosnia and Israel. Thursdays in Black, as a human rights campaign, was started by the World Council of Churches during the 1980's as a peaceful protest against rape and violence - the by-products of war and conflict. The campaign focuses on ways that individuals can challenge attitudes that cause rape and violence.

United Nations Secretary-General's Campaign: Unite to End Violence Against Women. UN; 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract


The document can be found by clicking "Fact Sheets." 

Violence against women takes many forms – physical, sexual, psychological and economic. These forms of violence are interrelated and affect women from before birth to old age. Some types of violence, such as trafficking, cross national boundaries. Women who experience violence suffer a range of health problems and their ability to participate in public life is diminished. Violence against women harms families and communities across generations and reinforces other violence prevalent in society. 

Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Explanatory Report). Council of Europe. 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract


I. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe took note of this Explanatory Report at its 1002nd meeting held at its Deputies' level, on 12 July 2007. The Convention was opened for signature in Lanzarote (Spain), on 25 October 2007, on the occasion of the 28th Conference of European Ministers of Justice.

II. The text of this explanatory report does not constitute an instrument providing an authoritative interpretation of the Convention, although it might be of such a nature as to facilitate the application of the provisions contained therein.

Good practices in legislation on violence against women: Expert group meeting organized by United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women & United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women; 2008. Publisher's VersionAbstract


Click on "Final report of the Expert Group Meeting" at the given link to access PDF

The United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDAW/DESA) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) are convening an expert group meeting on good practices and lessons learned in regard to legislation on violence against women, to be held at the United Nations at Vienna, from 26 to 28 May 2008.

Ertürk DY. Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences: Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. United Nations Human Rights; 2008. Publisher's VersionAbstract


2008 - Addendum - Mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo


Sexual violence has been a defining feature of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s recent armed conflicts. Women, in areas of armed conflict, still suffer sexual violence committed by the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC), the Police nationale congolaise (PNC), armed groups and, increasingly, civilians. The situation is particularly dramatic in South Kivu, where non-State armed groups, including foreign militia, commit sexual atrocities that aim at the complete physical and psychological destruction of women with implications for the entire society. Given the multitude of actors involved in the conflict and the continuation of these crimes, the international community, in cooperation with the Congolese authorities, has a responsibility to take all necessary measures to ensure that women in South Kivu are protected. Sexual violence extends beyond eastern Congo. In Equateur Province, PNC and FARDC have carried out systematic reprisals against the civilian population, including mass rape. Soldiers and police who commit these acts amounting to crimes against humanity are rarely held accountable by the commanding officers. Some of the perpetrators have been given commanding positions in the State security forces, which further aggravates the situation. Impunity for rape is massive. Due to political interference and corruption, perpetrators, especially those who belong to the State security forces, go unpunished. The limited support made available to the overburdened justice system raises questions as to whether there is political will to end impunity. 

Banda DF. Project on a Mechanism to Address Laws That Discriminate Against Women. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; 2008. Publisher's VersionAbstract


The aim of the project was to examine the advisability of creating a new mechanism to address laws that discriminate against women. The terms of reference specified two key objectives. The first was to overview existing UN mechanisms to ascertain the extent to which they addressed the issue of discriminatory laws. This involved interviewing UN human rights and agency officials working in both Geneva and New York and also reviewing the reports and jurisprudence of human rights committees and special procedure mechanisms. The second was to try to get national data on laws that discriminate against women. This was to be done by means of a questionnaire. On the basis of the data gathered, the consultant was required to advise on whether a special mechanism addressing discriminatory laws was needed.

Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. Council of Europe. 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract


The member States of the Council of Europe and the other signatories hereto;

Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members;

Considering that every child has the right to such measures of protection as are required by his or her status as a minor, on the part of his or her family, society and the State;

Observing that the sexual exploitation of children, in particular child pornography and prostitution, and all forms of sexual abuse of children, including acts which are committed abroad, are destructive to children’s health and psycho-social development;

Observing that the sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children have grown to worrying proportions at both national and international level, in particular as regards the increased use by both children and perpetrators of information and communication technologies (ICTs), and that preventing and combating such sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children require international co-operation

Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, No.34. Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. 2005. Publisher's VersionAbstract


An act to provide for the prevention of any act of domestic violence and for matters connected therewith or incidental in Sri Lanka.

Truong T-D. Gender, Exploitative Migration, and the Sex Industry: A European Perspective. Asian Institute of Technology; 2003. 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 article weaves together three dimensions of sex trafficking, notably commercial sex as violence against women, as a livelihood option, and as part of the social formation of an inter-state system of transaction of sex as a commodity. Based on data from Europe, the article shows how analysis of violence against women in commercial sex must be taken beyond the workplace and located in social processes that precede it — economic policy of transition and intra-state violence that undermine women’s human insecurity in their daily lives. Diverse forms of violence at the workplace are outcomes of the treatment of women as a commodity on the labor market through unethical self-regulating recruitment systems, as well as an ineffective regulation of migration and commercial sex. Responses to this problem at EU level could benefit from a human security framework sensitive to existing sex/gender systems and their dynamics.

"We'll kill you if you cry" - Sexual Violence in the Sierra Leone Conflict. Washington, DC: Human Rights Watch; 2003. Publisher's VersionAbstract


Throughout the armed conflict in Sierra Leone from 1991 to 2001, thousands of women and girls of all ages, ethnic groups, and socioeconomic classes were subjected to widespread and systematic sexual violence, including individual and gang rape, and rape with objects such as weapons, firewood, umbrellas, and pestles. Rape was perpetrated by both sides, but mostly by the rebel forces. These crimes of sexual violence were generally characterized by extraordinary brutality and frequently preceded or followed by other egregious human rights abuses against the victim, her family, and her community. Although the rebels raped indiscriminately irrespective of age, they targeted young women and girls whom they thought were virgins. Many of these younger victims did not survive these crimes of sexual violence. Adult women were also raped so violently that they sometimes bled to death or suffered from tearing in the genital area, causing long-term incontinence and severe infections. Many victims who were pregnant at the time of rape miscarried as a result of the sexual violence they were subjected to, and numerous women had their babies torn out of their uterus as rebels placed bets on the sex of the unborn child.

Not a Minute More: Ending Violence Against Women. UNIFEM; 2003. Publisher's VersionAbstract


Our goal in this report is to highlight achievements and indicate what must be done to build on these achievements. The report provides examples of good practices as well as of efforts that did not meet the goals set out for them — and explores why not. It looks at the challenges ahead, and asks what the most fruitful next steps might be. The work of the last decades indicates several directions for the future, but one of the most critical areas is the need for collaboration and partnerships. No one government or international agency or civil society organization can hope to have an impact alone. Pooling resources, sharing strengths and knowledge and listening to local leaders will allow end-violence efforts to move to the next level. We hope that that the lessons gathered here will serve as a tool, a prod and an inspiration to those entrusted with building the rule of law and honouring human rights as the basis for human security everywhere. 

Eby KK, Cambell JC, Sullivan CM. Health effects of experiences of sexual violence for women with abusive partners. Health Care Women International. 1995;16 (6) :563-576. Publisher's VersionAbstract


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

We assessed the incidence of sexual violence, physical violence, physical health symptoms, gynecological symptoms, and risk behaviors for contracting an STD or HIV infection in women who had used a shelter for women with abusive partners. In addition, we investigated the relationships between sexual violence and the frequency of physical health symptoms, including specific gynecological symptoms. Results indicated that one fourth of the women interviewed had experienced sexual violence and nearly two thirds of the women had experienced physical violence in the past 6 months. The incidence of physical health symptoms, gynecological symptoms, and risk behaviors for exposure to STDs and HIV infection are presented. The correlations among sexual violence, physical violence, and experiences of physical health symptoms are also reported. This study is particularly valuable because previous research has not documented the relationship between sexual violence and physical health symptoms.