Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) are integral to the promotion of human rights in their communities and in fostering regional stability. However, WHRDs often face violent repercussions for their work—including physical attacks, death threats and assassinations. The danger faced by WHRDs is particularly acute in Mesoamerica, where there were 1,375 reported attacks against WHRDs in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala between 2012 and 2013. When assessing how to protect WHRDs, it is important to understand their unique vulnerabilities, which stem from their gender and the subject of their advocacy efforts.
Despite a strong normative international legal framework, available regional protection mechanisms through the Organization of American States(OAS)and the nascent development of national laws, Mesoamerican WHRDs work under perilous conditions while their persecutors operate with impunity. While it is the primary responsibility of States to protect WHRDs,the United States has a legal and moral duty to assist this vulnerable population when their own governments are perpetrators of the abuse or fail to provide protection from attacks. This duty arises from UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and its progeny, which embody principles of binding customary international law, as well as the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, which represents the government’s express commitment to empower women around the world as agents of peace and stability.
Please see third publication, under "Twice Violated".
In Mexico there is very little information available on the situation of sexual and reproductive rights of women with psychosocial disabilities. This is in direct contravention of Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (hereinafter ‘CRPD’ or ‘Convention’), according to which, “States Parties undertake to collect appropriate information, including statistical and research data, to enable them to formulate and implement policies to give effect to the Convention.2 is the first of its kind. Its main purpose is to lay the foundation for further advocacy efforts to guarantee the sexual and reproductive rights of women with disabilities at the legislative and policy level in Mexico. In this regard, it should be noted that in September 2014, Mexico was evaluated by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) for the first time. The preliminary results of this research were presented before the CRPD Committee and were included in the Committee’s Concluding Observations and recommendations to the Mexican State. This research and the recommendations by the CRPD Committee will prove to be a valuable tool for further advocacy on this relevant but long ignored issue.
The present report is based on the results of a year-long study carried out by Disability Rights International (DRI) together with the Women’s Group of the Colectivo Chuhcan –the first organization in Mexico directed by persons with psychosocial disabilities. This research included the application of a questionnaire to fifty-one women with psychosocial disabilities who were either members of the Colectivo Chuhcan or received outpatient services at four different health clinics and psychiatric institutions in Mexico City. We recommend this research be extended to the rest of the country to gain a clearer picture on the situation of the sexual and reproductive rights of women with disabilities at a national level.
The Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights Project, (ACRes), focuses on the internal dimensions of armed conflict and mass social violence. Interdisciplinary in practice and rooted in local knowledge, ACRes contends with the condition of violence and the contested terrain of people’s rights, to understand how victim-survivors live with social suffering and ameliorate its effects, define mechanisms for transitional, transformative, and reparatory justice, seek psychosocial healing, and undertake the work of memorialization and social change. The Project works with a collaborative network of victim-survivors, scholars, and academic and civil society institutions.
On 25 February 2008, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, launched his campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women, covering the period 2008 – 2015, with the overall objective to raise public awareness and increase political will and resources for preventing and responding to all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world. The Secretary- General called on governments, civil society, women’s organizations, young people, the private sector, artists, the media, the entire United Nations system, and individual women and men, to join forces in addressing the global pandemic of violence against women and girls.
The Campaign provides a collective platform in an unprecedented level of global mobilization to link a wide range of stakeholders’ initiatives to the Secretary-General’s efforts.
23% des sondées ont ainsi avoué avoir été victime de violence. Les formes de violence varient entre : psychologique et verbale (80 %), physique (40%), économique (19.4%), sociale (10.3%) et sexuelle (3.1). Le premier lieu de ces violences est le milieu familial, suivi par les lieux publics et le lieu du travail.
New Zealand has become increasingly multicultural and continues to accept a large number of migrants every year. This adds a duty on its legal system to ensure that its current laws can protect minority groups and adequately deal with culturally specific issues that arise due to different cultural norms. Many argue that the current legal system fails to provide adequate protection for girls and women from an Asian, African and Middle Eastern (AAM) origin; this is due to a lack of multicultural consideration and the addressing of specific issues linked to these ethnic groups. One such issue is the problem of forced marriages among AAM communities
living in New Zealand. This article argues that New Zealand’s laws and processes do not
adequately protect women of an AAM background due to a lack of specific laws and policies that can protect against culturally specific abuse. This argument is reached through the consideration of approaches and procedures through socio-legal methodology. This includes the review of governmental documents, semi-structured interviews with relevant organisations and experienced individuals in the field, case studies and independent research. I will conclude that there is a lack of cultural understanding within support organizations and public institutions regarding the forced marriage issues. Moreover AAM women are also not completely aware of their rights and the available support. Finally, I will provide some recommendations based on knowledge I have gained while conducting my research.
In addition to its support for project work and policy dialogue, the EBRD’s Gender team also commissions research and takes an active part in the international debate on the promotion of gender equality.
In 2014 we commissioned a report, Enhancing Women’s Economic Empowerment in the EBRD’s Operations through Voice, Agency and Participation, examining the influence of legal pluralism and social norms in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey. The report’s main objective is to provide recommendations on designing project interventions at the Bank that are more reflective and responsive to women’s strategic and practical needs, while contributing overall to the enhancement of women’s voice, agency and participation in social and economic life within the specific contexts of these countries.
These five countries were selected, not only because of shared cultural similarities and Islamic heritage, but also because they co-exist in a region with the lowest women’s labour force participation and economic activity in the world. This is despite high levels of literacy and advances in health, and is what the World Bank has termed the “MENA paradox”. As our study shows, social norms, institutional barriers and discrimination embedded in plural legal frameworks are behind this paradox. As a result, women’s access to economic opportunities that might otherwise raise their voice and influence in society is particularly hindered in this region. The study was designed to align with the inclusive growth paradigm: equal access to opportunities for all members of society, taking into account their specific needs.
Initial findings and analysis were presented to various stakeholders in 2014, including the Multilateral Development Banks Working Group on Gender, the Development Finance Institutions Meeting of Social Experts, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and internal departments at the Bank. The full publication is expected to be available in early 2015.
Las mujeres organizadas, el movimiento feminista, los medios de comunicación y muchos sectores de la sociedad hondureña saben muy bien que de unos años para acá más mujeres pierden su vida como resultado de distintas violencias y para la mayoría de estas muertes, el factor de riesgo es el hecho de ser mujer. Sabemos que a las mujeres se les mata por ser mujeres. Las mujeres no se matan entre ellas. A las mujeres las matan los hombres. Desde el 2005 a la fecha (noviembre de 2014), el número de muertes violentas de mujeres y femicidios ha aumentado de manera alarmante lo que ha llevado a que estos crímenes sean considerados una epidemia; asimismo, los índices de impunidad superan el 94%. El Observatorio de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres del Centro de Derechos de Mujeres, CDM, afirma que: “En esencia, la impunidad es la que se impone cuando de mujeres se trata”1.
Sin embargo, para el Estado, dicha información parece no tener relevancia. Así, pese a que la figura penal de Femicidio se aprobó hace más de un año -a inicios del 2013-, parece no existir acceso efectivo a la justicia para las mujeres víctimas de este flagelo ni para sus familiares.
El CDM, en su compromiso de exigir al Estado la promoción y la garantía de los derechos humanos de las mujeres y de la ciudadanía en general, realizó esta investigación con el objetivo de determinar y visibilizar la real situación de acceso a la justicia para las mujeres víctimas que permita definir estrategias que contribuyan a cambiar la situación de impunidad en el país.
El estudio se realizó en las ciudades de San Pedro Sula y Tegucigalpa ya que según las estadísticas 8 de cada 10 femicidios ocurridos en 2013 se dieron en los departamentos de Francisco Morazán y Cortés. Para la realización de este estudio se organizó un equipo del CDM bajo la coordinación de la abogada e investigadora Claudia Herrmannsdorfer.
Este estudio ha sido posible gracias al apoyo del programa “Impulsando acciones encaminadas a desa- rrollar las capacidades en incidencia y defensa de los derechos humanos de las mujeres en Honduras” que se desarrolla para Guatemala, Nicaragua y Honduras con fondos del gobierno de Dinamarca, a través de Dan Churh Aid (DCA) e IBIS (Derechos, Educación y Desarrollo).
Agradecemos a todas las personas que contribuyeron para que este estudio se concretizara. Esperamos que el mismo sea una contribución para que las mujeres en Honduras, puedan algún día disfrutar de su derecho a una vida libre de todo tipo de violencias y los femicidios sean parte de una historia triste de nuestro querido país.
The Regional Programme “Cities without Violence against Women, Safe Cities for All” is executed by UNIFEM, coordinated at the regional level from the Regional Office for Brazil and the Southern Cone, and supported by the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID). This Programme identifies as a key problem the growing violence and insecurity in Latin American cities. This phenomenon is related to the different forms of violence against women both in public and in private spaces.
The Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women, known as the Convention of Belém do Pará (where it was adopted in 1994), defines violence against women, establishes that women have the right to live a life free of violence and that violence against women constitutes a violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
It calls for the first time for the establishment of mechanisms for protecting and defending women's rights as essential to combating the phenomenon of violence against women's physical, sexual, and psychological integrity, whether in the public or the private sphere, and for asserting those rights within society.
The Convention obliges States parties to submit to the Secretary-General a report on the legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures that they have adopted to implement the Convention within a year after its entry into force and then at least every four years thereafter or whenever the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) so requests. These reports, which may indicate factors and difficulties in implementation, are forwarded to the CEDAW for its consideration.
The Committee has adopted guidelines to help states prepare these reports. According to these guidelines, the initial report is intended to be a detailed and comprehensive description of the position of women in that country at the time of submission; it is meant to provide a benchmark against which subsequent progress can be measured. Second and subsequent national reports are intended to update the previous report, detailing significant developments that have occurred over the last four years, noting key trends, and identifying obstacles to the full achievement of the Convention.
The Committee also makes recommendations on any issue affecting women to which it believes the States parties should devote more attention. For example, at the 1989 session, the Committee discussed the high incidence of violence against women, requesting information on this problem from all countries. In 1992, the Committee adopted general recommendation 19 on violence against women, asking States parties to include in their periodic reports to the Committee statistical data on the incidence of violence against women, information on the provision of services for victims, and legislative and other measures taken to protect women against violence in their everyday lives, including against harassment at the workplace, abuse in the family and sexual violence. As of January 2014, the Committee has adopted 30 general recommendations.
The European Court of Human Rights is an international court based in Strasbourg. It consists of a number of judges equal to the number of member States of the Council of Europe that have ratified the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms – currently forty-five. The Court’s judges sit in their individual capacity and do not represent any State. In dealing with applications, the Court is assisted by a Registry consisting mainly of lawyers from all the member States (who are also known as legal secretaries). They are entirely independent of their country of origin and do not represent either applicants or States.
The European Court is a judicial body, established by the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The Court is based in Strasbourg, France and is a full time permanent body.
The Court is composed of forty-five judges, one judge for each state party to the ECHR. Article 20 ECHR establishes that ‘The Court shall consist of a number of judges equal to that of the High Contracting Parties.’
‘The judges shall be of high moral character and must either possess the qualifications required for appointment to high judicial office or be jurisconsults of recognised competence’ (Article 21(1) ECHR).
The judges shall sit on the Court in their individual capacity (Article 21(2) ECHR).
Ad hoc judges: Rule 29(1) Rules of Court. ‘1.(a) If the judge elected in respect of a Contracting Party concerned is unable to sit in the Chamber, withdraws, or is exempted, the President of the Chamber shall invite that Party to indicate whether it wishes to appoint to sit as judge either another elected judge or an ad hoc judge and, if so, to state at the same time the name of the person appointed.’