In 2011, the Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women considered V.P.P v. Bulgaria (C/53/D/31/2011). V.P.P., a minor, was sexually assaulted by B.G., an adult man who lived in a neighbouring apartment building. Bulgarian authorities waited two years before indicting B.G. for “sexual molestation of a minor”. The District Court approved a plea bargain agreement that B.G. receive a three-year suspended sentence for pleading guilty. B.G. continued to live next door to V.P.P. following the assault and no action was taken to ensure the ongoing safety of V.P.P.
The District Court rejected a request to file a civil claim for moral damages and a separate successful tort suit for 15,000 euros could not be executed with the mechanisms available under Bulgarian law.
S.V.P. submitted a communication under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Optional Protocol) on behalf of her daughter claiming that Bulgaria had violated articles 1, 2(a)-2(c), 2(e)-2(g), 3, 5, 12 and 15 of CEDAW. She claimed that Bulgaria had failed to:
act with due diligence to protect V.P.P. against sexual assault;
provide an effective remedy and address the health, rehabilitative and other needs of V.P.P.;
provide V.P.P. ongoing protection from B.G.; and
introduce specific legal and policy measures and health services to address violence against women and girls.
S.V.P. also claimed that Bulgaria’s response to her daughter’s assault reflected gender stereotypes related to violence against women and girls.
This report contains the findings of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, following her visit to Zambia from 6 to 11 December 2010. It examines the situation of violence against women in the country taking into account its causes and consequences. It also discusses the State’s response to prevent such violence, protect and provide remedies to women who have been subjected to such violence, and to prosecute and punish the perpetrators.
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has found in Abramova v. Belarus (C/49/D/23/2009) that Belarus’ treatment of a woman detained under administrative arrest violated articles 2(a)-2(b), 2(e)-2(f), 3 and 5(a) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), read in conjunction with article 1 and the Committee’s General Recommendation No. 19 on violence against women.
L.C. was 13 years old when she was repeatedly raped by a 34-year-old man who lived in her neighborhood in an impoverished region near Peru’s capital city of Lima. Her ordeal started in 2006, and by 2007 she learned that she was pregnant. Desperate, L.C. attempted to commit suicide by jumping off the roof of a building next door to her house. Neighbors discovered her and rushed her to the hospital. But even though doctors concluded that her spine needed to be realigned immediately—and even though abortion in Peru is legal where the mother’s health and life are at risk--they refused to operate on L.C. because she was pregnant. L.C. eventually suffered a miscarriage because of the severity of her injuries. Several weeks after the miscarriage, four months after she was told she needed surgery, L.C. underwent the spinal procedure. She was told shortly thereafter, however, that the surgery would have little to no effect and that she would remain paralyzed. On June 18, 2009, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Center for the Promotion and Defense of Sexual and Reproductive Rights filed a human rights petition on behalf of L.C. against Peru before the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. The petition charges that Peru’s failure to implement measures that guarantee a woman’s ability to obtain essential reproductive health services in a timely manner, particularly legal abortion, not only violates the Peruvian Constitution, but international treaty obligations. Among other remedies, L.C. is asking that the Peruvian government acknowledge the human rights violation; provide L.C. with reparations, including physical and mental rehabilitation; and issue necessary measures so that no other woman is denied her right to comprehensive healthcare and therapeutic abortion.
The present report deals with the reported national serious crime figures and ratios for the 2010/2011 financial year (that is the period 1 April 2010 - 31 March 2011). These are compared to the figures recorded during the preceding financial years since 2003/2004. The provincial crime figures are also analysed in more detail and some comments made on aspects influencing the crime situation. More detailed crime figures and maps are provided on the SAPS website at www.saps.gov.za.
This article explores whether ratifying international human rights treaties is a useful strategy to advance the cause of human rights in the Pacific. Much of the recent discussion has promoted the advantages of ratification.
The aim of this article is to contribute to the ratification debate by considering the potential responses Pacific states might make to the call for ratification. It assumes that the desired ultimate goal is greater protection of human rights in the Pacific, but suggests that in light of the challenges of ratification, there may be more effective means of advancing human rights in the Pacific than wholesale ratification of outstanding treaties.
While in the long-term ratification remains a worthy goal, in the short-term it may not be the best way forward. Instead, it may be more appropriate to focus on alternative means of advancing human rights. This may be through a combination of stronger domestic means to protect and promote human rights, the development of a Pacific regional mechanism to promote rights, and active engagement with the United Nations’ Human Rights Council’s new Universal Periodic Review (‘UPR’) mechanism. Selective ratification of individual treaties may still be worthwhile, but on a gradual basis, and certainly not wholesale.
This Guide provides step-by-step guidance for using the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa at local, national, and regional levels. It explains how to bring women’s rights abuses that violate the Protocol before domestic courts and regional justice mechanisms like the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights; analyzes key cases related to women’s rights decided by the African Commission; and provides general strategies for activists.
This summary of current literature on violence against women and girls in Pacific Island Countries is designed to give practitioners a concise and comprehensive overview of current knowledge and analysis. The evidence presented in this second edition presents a compelling case for more action and investment in preventing and responding to violence against women. It is intended to inform leaders, legislators, policy and decision-makers in government, and programme designers in government and civil society. It is also intended to be a ‘living’ source of knowledge, and will be regularly updated to ensure its validity. Comments, feedback and additions are welcome to this important bank of knowledge on VAW in our region.
Equality Now, in conjunction with Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR), is delighted to announce the release of A Guide to Using the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa for Legal Action. The release of this manual comes 5 years after the Protocol came into force. “We hope African lawyers and women’s rights advocates find the manual useful and it gives them hands-on guidance on how best to apply the remarkable standards of the Protocol in cases of violations of women’s rights,” said Faiza Jama Mohamed, Nairobi Office Director of Equality Now, which convenes SOAWR, a coalition of 47 civil society organizations working to ensure that the Women’s Protocol is ratified and implemented across the continent.
It is estimated that one in five children fall victim to sexual violence – a serious human rights violation the Council of Europe has decided to combat through: 1. legislative harmonization - The Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention) is the most advanced and complete standard in this field 2. awareness-raising and political action – The Council of Europe campaign ONE in FIVE to stop sexual violence against children and its parliamentary dimension aims to raise awareness of the full extent of sexual violence against children in our societies and promote appropriate policies to stop this violence
The articles in this Bulletin draw attention to the different ways in which violence against women can manifest itself and in so doing highlight its pervasiveness and the stark failure of many states to take action to prevent it from happening. Although ‘intimate-partner’ violence and sexual coercion are the most common types of violence affecting women and girls, in many parts of the world violence can take on special characteristics depending on different cultural and historical conditions. Some of those characteristics are examined in this Bulletin including the trafficking of women, the treatment of migrant domestic workers and violence against women in situations of armed conflict.
The analysis that follows is the product of a project undertaken by the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, in collaboration with the Cornell Law School International Human Rights Clinic. The research team analyzed jurisprudence involving sexual and other gender-based violence in cases before the following international war crimes tribunals and special courts: the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY); the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR); the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). The purpose of this review is to highlight the development in each tribunal of jurisprudence involving the redress of gender crimes during conflict. The charts that follow present information relevant for further comparison and analysis of progress and persistent gaps in international law, with an aim towards contributing to the furtherance of effective prosecution and prevention of sexual and other gender-based violence.