This Annex includes both the general and specific protection afforded to women under international humanitarian law, meaning that some of the legal provisions apply equally to men and women without adverse distinction, while others apply exclusively to women. Although this table only refers to international humanitarian law, other bodies of law, such as human rights law, refugee law and domestic law also protect women in situations of armed conflict.
Trafficking in persons, especially in women and children, is a highly lucrative business worldwide. Millions of women and girls, mostly from poor countries, are trafficked globally into the sex industry. They are traded as objects or goods to be used like any commodity. This human rights problem has been the subject of various international instruments, including, notably, the 1949 Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. Trafficking victimizes mostly women and girls because of gender discrimination and their vulnerability.
In response to this problem, many countries have signed or acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) which obliges States to pass laws to stop trafficking. The Philippines ratified this convention in 1981. These international instruments notwithstanding, trafficking continues unabated, with syndicates preying on vulnerable women and children from developing countries like the Philippines, Cambodia and Thailand. It thrives as a very lucrative business because there is an existing demand for cheap labor, sex slaves, and organs of human beings. Traffickers take advantage of the lack of laws and inadequate government policies, poor law enforcement, corruption in government, political and economic conditions of the countries of origin, as well as the domestic situations of their target victims.
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.
In B.J. v. Germany (1/2003), Ms. B.J., a German citizen, submitted an individual complaint to the Committee alleging that she was subjected to gender-based discrimination under the statutory regulations regarding the law on the legal consequences of divorce. She claimed that the law relating to reallocation of pension entitlements and provisions governing the question of maintenance are similarly discriminatory. The author claimed more generally that women are subjected to procedural discrimination because the risks and stress of court proceedings to resolve the consequences of divorce are carried unilaterally by women, who are also prevented from enjoying equality of arms. She also claimed that all divorced women in situations similar to hers are victims of systematic discrimination.
The Committee decided that the communication was inadmissible under article 4, paragraph 1, for the author’s failure to exhaust domestic remedies, and paragraph 2(e), because the disputed facts occurred prior to the entry into force of the Optional Protocol for the State party and did not continue after that date.
What is the meaning of Shari’a law? How can we understand its implementation in different contexts, given the diversity in the practice of Islam in Africa and around the globe? What are the elements of Shari’a that are particularly relevant to the position of women and gender relations in the African nation(s) under consideration?