Publications by Year: 2007

2007
Beltrán A, Freeman L. Hidden in Plain Sight: Violence Against Women in Mexico and Guatemala. WOLA - Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas; 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www.wola.org/publications/hidden_in_plain_sight_violence_against_...

This publication addresses the problem of violence against women in Mexico and Guatemala by carefully analyzes the roots and effects of the violence and offering concrete proposals for positive change.

The report looks at the role the Mexican and Guatemalan public security and judicial institutions have played with respect to violence against women. A criminal justice approach alone will not eradicate the problem, but the criminal justice sector has an obligation to ensure respect for women’s rights and protection under the law.

The gap between the law and its implementation is disturbingly wide, creating numerous barriers to justice for women victims of violence. Authorities fail to adequately and promptly investigate cases and punish and prosecute those responsible.  They tend to blame the victims and fail to see gender-based violence as a serious crime. In some cases, anachronistic laws remain on the books. The issue’s low priority is reflected in the lack of resources, equipment, and training within police and judicial institutions.

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

http://www.cepal.org/en/publications/2863-no-more-right-women-live-life-...

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. 

Acceso a la justicia para las mujeres victimas de violencia en las Americas. Washington D.C: Organización de los Estados Americanos - Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos; 2007 pp. 154. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www.cidh.oas.org/women/Acceso07/indiceacceso.htm

La Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (en adelante "CIDH" o "Comisión") ha manifestado reiteradamente que un acceso de jure y de facto a recursos judiciales idóneos y efectivos resulta indispensable para la erradicación del problema de la violencia contra las mujeres, así como también lo es el cumplimiento de los Estados de su obligación de actuar con la debida diligencia frente a tales actos. Sin embargo, la labor de la CIDH y de la Relatoría sobre los Derechos de las Mujeres (en adelante la “Relatoría” o “Relatoría sobre derechos de las mujeres”), revela que a menudo las mujeres víctimas de violencia no logran un acceso expedito, oportuno y efectivo a recursos judiciales cuando denuncian los hechos sufridos. Por este motivo, la gran mayoría de estos incidentes permanecen en la impunidad y en consecuencia sus derechos quedan desprotegidos.

2. Por esta razón, la CIDH ha elaborado este informe sobre la situación de las mujeres víctimas de violencia, en el que presenta un diagnóstico sobre los principales obstáculos que las mujeres enfrentan cuando procuran acceder a una tutela judicial efectiva para remediar actos de violencia. En el informe, la CIDH formula conclusiones y recomendaciones para que los Estados actúen con la debida diligencia con el objeto de ofrecer una respuesta judicial efectiva y oportuna ante estos incidentes. El análisis de este informe incluye los resultados de un proceso de recopilación de información de una diversidad de sectores que incluyen la administración de la justicia, funcionarios y representantes del gobierno, la sociedad civil, el sector académico y mujeres de diferentes razas, etnias y condiciones socioeconómicas, llevado a cabo por la Relatoría durante los últimos dos años, con el apoyo financiero del gobierno de Finlandia. La información recopilada ha sido complementada con la labor de la CIDH, que incluye jurisprudencia, audiencias temáticas celebradas en la sede, informes temáticos, capítulos de país sobre mujeres, y visitas in loco organizadas tanto por la CIDH como por la Relatoría. 

Hungary: Cries Unheard: The Failure To Protect Women From Rape And Sexual Violence In The Home. Amnesty International; 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur27/002/2007/en/

This report discusses the insurmountable barrier confronted by girls and women seeking justice for rape in Hungary. It outlines the current situation in Hungary, including statements from interviewees, and details a series of recommendations from Amnesty Intenational to the Hungarian government.

Askola H. Violence against Women, Trafficking, and Migration in the European Union. European Law Journal; 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0386.2007.00364.x/abst...

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

This article examines the evolving EU policy against human trafficking, especially trafficking that targets migrant women for sexual exploitation. It maintains that even though action against trafficking is now firmly on the EU agenda, current policies excessively focus on repressive measures and lack attention to the broader setting in which the exploitation of migrants takes place. This means that current EU anti-trafficking policy remains ineffectual, and may in some cases even be counterproductive.

Askola H. Violence against Women, Trafficking, and Migration in the European Union. European Law Journal; 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=973959

This article examines the evolving EU policy against human trafficking, especially trafficking that targets migrant women for sexual exploitation. It maintains that even though action against trafficking is now firmly on the EU agenda, current policies excessively focus on repressive measures and lack attention to the broader setting in which the exploitation of migrants takes place. This means that current EU anti-trafficking policy remains ineffectual, and may in some cases even be counterproductive.

Access to Justice for Women Victims of Violence in the Americas: Efforts to Comply With the Due Diligence Obligation in Response to Acts of Violence Against Women. Organization of American States [Internet]. 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www.cidh.org/women/Access07/chap3.htm

The Rapporteurship received information on the efforts made within the administration of justice system to improve the prosecution of cases involving violence against women and the treatment of victims when they turn to judicial institutions of protection.  Salient here is the preparation of national diagnostic studies examining how the domestic administration of justice systems deal with cases of violence against women, creation of special courts and units within the public prosecutor’s office and the police to deal specifically with gender issues and equipped with special expertise, creation of training programs for those in the justice system and the police, and programs to provide advocate services to victims who have turned to the judicial system.  A number of court rulings have been delivered underscoring the necessity of protecting the rights of women victims of violence, and the appointment of a number of women to the benches of the Supreme Courts in the region.

With international cooperation, research, studies and analyses have been conducted in a number of countries on how the justice systems and other state institutions respond to and treat cases involving violence and discrimination of women, the purpose being to discover ways to improve the judicial response.  In Bolivia, for example, the Constitutional Tribunal ordered a study, which was conducted with support from the Spanish Government, to identify the kinds of discrimination that women suffer in the administration of justice system.

Rucai L, Xiaoyan X. The Drive to Curb Domestic Violence. China Today [Internet]. 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://chinatoday.sinoperi.com/en20073/610959.jhtml

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

PILES of books on women's issues cover every working surface of Guo Ruixiang's office. On its wall is a poster bearing the slogan: "curb domestic violence."

Gender Indicators: What, Why and How?. OECD; 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www.oecd.org/dac/gender-development/43041409.pdf

This brief focuses on the use of gender indicators as a way of measuring change. It asks: what are indicators, and why should we develop gender indicators? It also addresses the often political issue of what we should be measuring, providing some broad principles that can be considered in making these decisions, as well as some questions donors can ask themselves when they are developing gender indicators. The brief also offers examples of existing indicators noting that they always need to be adapted to specific contexts. 

Motoyama H, Yanagimoto Y, Smee S. Violations of Women's Rights in Japan. UN Committee Against Torture; 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www.omct.org/violence-against-women/urgent-interventions/japan/20...

This report was designed to supplement the NGO Shadow Report on the general situation of torture in Japan, in order to ensure that women’s issues are brought to the attention of the United Nations Committee against Torture (“CAT”) in its consideration of, and response to, torture and ill-treatment in Japan, given the Government’s failure to recognize the scale and seriousness of gender-based violence. The report was presented by OMCT and AJWRC at the CAT’s 38th session held in May 2007 in Geneva.1 Torture and other manners of ill-treatment of women in Japan, including rape, domestic violence and trafficking, persist in Japanese society under silent acquiescence, open tolerance, inaction and sometimes direct involvement of state agents including: police, immigration control officers and the judiciary. Further, the Japanese State continues to fail to provide redress and remedy for the victims of such crimes, including the military sexual slavery during the Second World War. Even though several international bodies, such as the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (“CEDAW”) and the International Labour Organization (“ILO”), have made recommendations to the Japanese State, for it to address these issues in a responsible manner, it has failed to take necessary actions.

Nowak M. The Need for a World Court of Human Rights. Human Rights Law Review [Internet]. 2007;7 (1) :251-259. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://hrlr.oxfordjournals.org/content/7/1/251.full

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

The very notion of human rights implies that rights-holders must have some possibility to hold duty bearers accountable for not living up to their legally binding human rights obligations. This basic insight has found legal expression in the right to an effective remedy against violations of human rights, as laid down in Article 2(3) of the CCPR. This right to an effective remedy and reparation has been further developed by the so-called van Boven/Bassiouni Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation, which were adopted by the General Assembly on 16 December 2005. By far the most effective method to implement the right to an effective remedy on the international level is to allow direct access of the rights holders to a fully independent international human rights court with the power to render binding judgments and to grant adequate reparation to the victims of human rights violations.

The establishment of the Human Rights Council seems to be the right moment to start seriously thinking about the creation of a World Court of Human Rights as its independent counter-part!

CEDAW. Case of Muñoz Vargas y Sainz de Vicuña v. Spain. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/jurisprudence.htm

CEDAW/C/39/D/7/2005

Following the death of the Count of Bulnes, Cristina Muñoz-Vargas y Sainz de Vicuña (CMV), the Count’s first-born child, instituted legal proceedings in Spain challenging the succession of her younger brother to the title of nobility.  Under the Decree on the Order of Succession to Titles of Nobility, which was then in effect in Spain, a woman was entitled to inherit a title of nobility only if she was the first-born child and did not have a younger brother.  Male children were given primacy over female children in the ordinary line of succession in all other situations. 

CMV claimed that male primacy in the order of succession to titles of nobility was discriminatory and, therefore, unconstitutional.  Domestic courts dismissed her claim on the ground that the primacy afforded to male children was compatible with the constitutional rights to non-discrimination and equality, owing to the honorary and historic nature of titles and because the brother’s succession to the title of Count of Bulnes occurred prior to the commencement of the Spanish Constitution.  

The author subsequently submitted a communication to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (Committee) in which she claimed that male primacy in the order of succession to titles of nobility constituted discrimination on the basis of sex, in violation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in general, and articles 2(c) and 2(f) in particular.  She further claimed that Spain was required by CEDAW to amend or revise its laws establishing male primacy in the order of succession to titles of nobility.

 

CEDAW. Case of N.S.F. v. the U.K. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/jurisprudence.htm

CEDAW/C/38/D/10/2005

Ms. N.S.F. was a Pakistani asylum seeker living in the UK with her two children. In 1996 she married and had two sons resulting from this union. Shortly after, her husband began subjecting her to domestic violence. She endured marital rape and eventually divorced her husband in August 2002. She subsequently fled to a nearby village with her two sons where she continued to be harassed by her ex-husband after the divorce causing her to move two more times. She reported him to the police but did not receive any protection. In January 2003, the author’s ex-husband came to her home with other men armed with knives and threatened to kill her. After this incident, the author decided to flee the country and arrived in the United Kingdom, transiting through Cairo, Egypt, on 14 January 2003 with her two children, and applied for asylum the same day. In February the Immigration and Nationality Directorate of the Home Office rejected the author’s asylum application. The author appealed, claiming that her removal would be a violation of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. She asserted that she had a well-founded fear of persecution by a non-state agent, under the 1951 Convention, due to her membership in a particular social group (women in Pakistan); that Pakistan did not offer her sufficient protection; that there was no real option of internal flight; and that article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms was violated. 

CEDAW. Case of Salgado v. the U.K. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/jurisprudence.htm

CEDAW/C/37/D/11/2006

The author of the communication, Constance Ragan Salgado, was a British citizen born who resided in Bogotá, Colombia, at the time of the communication’s submission. Her eldest son, Alvaro John Salgado, was born in Colombia in 1954 of a Colombian father. At that time, the author made an application to the UK Consulate to obtain British nationality for her son and was told that the entitlement to British nationality came through the paternal line; as his father was Colombian, her son was considered an alien.

The British Nationality Act 1981 (“the 1981 Act”), which entered into force in 1983, amended previous nationality legislation and conferred equal rights to women and men in respect of the nationality of their children under the age of 18. The author was told that her son still did not qualify for British citizenship under the 1981 Act. The author protested by letter to the British Consul and to the Home Office, claiming that, had her son claimed British nationality through a British father instead of through her, no age limit would have applied to him.

British nationality legislation again changed when the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (“the 2002 Act”) entered into force on 30 April 2003 and added s. 4C to the 1981 Act (“Acquisition by Registration: Certain persons born between 1961 and 1983”). Children — by now adults — born abroad between 7 February 1961 and 1 January 1983 of British mothers would now be eligible to register as British nationals if they satisfied certain other conditions. In early 2003, the British Consul in Bogotá contacted the author to enquire as to whether she had any children born after 7 February 1961. She replied that her youngest son was born in 1966 and had acquired British nationality, but that her eldest son still had not. She was told that he did not qualify due to the fact that he was born before the cut-off date established under the 2002 Act. 

CEDAW. Case of Yildirim v. Austria. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/jurisprudence.htm

CEDAW/C/39/D/6/2005 

The authors of the communication were the Vienna Intervention Centre against Domestic Violence and the Association for Women’s Access to Justice, two organizations in Vienna, Austria, that protect and support women victims of gender-based violence. From July 2003 Fatma Yildirim was subject to repeated death threats from her husband Ifran Yildrim, who also threatened to kill her children. On 6 August 2003 the police issued an expulsion and prohibition to return order against Irfan Yildirim. The police also reported to the Vienna Public Prosecutor that Irfan Yildirim had made a dangerous criminal threat against Fatma Yildirim and requested that Irfan Yildirim be detained. The Public Prosecutor rejected the request. On 14 August 2003, Fatma Yildirim gave a formal statement about the threats made to her life to the police, who in turn reported to the Vienna Public Prosecutor, requesting that Irfan Yildirim be detained. Again, this request was refused. On 11 September 2003, Irfan Yildirim fatally stabbed Fatma Yildirim near the family’s apartment.

Irfan Yildirim was arrested and convicted of killing Fatma Yildirim. At the time of the application he was serving a sentence of life imprisonment. 

Ruijun D. Promoting Domestic Implementation of CEDAW in China. Worldwide Constitutional Law Studies; 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www.iolaw.org.cn/global/en/shownews.asp?id=18172

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted unanimously by UN General Assembly in 1979, taken as one of the core human rights treaties of the United Nations, is the milestone of the movement for gender equality. To achieve the aim of gender equality, CEDAW endows women with comprehensive rights in civil, political, economic, social, cultural and domestic aspects, and imposes state parties to take all appropriate measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women.

People’s Republic of China ratified CEDAW in December 1980, and made a reservation on Article 29(1) of the Convention. China has not ratified the optional protocol. According to Article 18 of the convention, till now, China has handed in 6 periodical reports to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

CEDAW. Case of Goekce v. Austria. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/jurisprudence.htm

CEDAW/C/39/D/5/2005

In 2007, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women considered Goekce v. Austria (C/39/D/5/2005 ). In 2002, the author's (Goekce's) husband shot and killed her in front of their two daughters. Before her death, the author had obtained three expulsion and prohibition-to-return orders against her husband in response to repeated episodes of domestic violence. The local prosecutor denied requests to detain the husband and terminated proceedings against him two days prior the author’s death. Police reports show that the law enforcement failed to respond in a timely fashion to the dispute that resulted in the author’s death. Representatives of the author submitted a complaint to the Committee, alleging that Austria’s Federal Act for the Protection against Violence within the Family provided inadequate protection for victims of spousal abuse, and stating that women are disproportionately affected by the State’s failure to effectively respond to domestic violence.

Decision. The Committee found that although Austria had adopted progressive legislation to address domestic violence, State authorities needed to investigate and respond to such complaints with increased diligence. Accordingly, the Committee concluded that the police knew or should have known that the author was in serious danger; thus, they were accountable for failing to protect her. By allowing the perpetrator’s rights to supersede the victim’s right to life and to physical and mental integrity, Austrian law enforcement violated its obligations under Article 2 to end sex-based discrimination through appropriate legislation, and its Article 3 duty to guarantee women’s equal access to human rights. The Committee recommended that Austria strengthen its implementation and monitoring of the Federal Act for the Protection against Violence within the Family, respond to complaints of domestic violence with due diligence, and provide adequate sanctions for the failure of authorities to do so.

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

http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/Commun/QueVoulezVous.asp?CL=ENG&NT=201

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

Radacic I. Human Rights of Women and the Public/Private Divide in International Human Rights Law. Croatian Yearbook of European Law and Policy [Internet]. 2007;3. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www.cyelp.com/index.php/cyelp/article/view/42

Women’s human rights have long been marginalised in international human rights law. The public/private divide on which international human rights law rests has been constructed in a manner that obscures the experiences of women and fails to challenge women’s disadvantage. 
In this paper, I discuss the problem of the marginalisation of women’s rights in international human rights law and propose reforms to fully incorporate women’s experiences of human rights abuse. The focus of the analysis is on the public/private divide and its reflection in the conceptualisation of rights, the doctrine of state responsibility, and the principle of equality. 
The main argument of this paper is that the gendered nature of the divide needs to be transcended and the public/private divide re-conceptualised in a manner that challenges discrimination and violence against women in the private sphere, while protecting women’s freedom of self-determination and personal development in both the ‘public’ and the ‘private’ sphere. Such a re-construction of the public/private divide entails using gender analysis in interpreting rights, state responsibility, and equality.