All Publications

A Revolution for All: Women’s Rights in the New Libya. Human Rights Watch; 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This 40-page report highlights key steps that Libya should take to meet its international obligations by firmly rejecting gender-based discrimination in both law and practice. The report calls on Libya’s parliament, the General National Congress (GNC), to ensure that women are involved on equal terms with men in the entire constitution drafting process, including active participation in the Constituent Assembly tasked with preparing the draft.

Women in Democratic Transitions in the MENA Region. Rabat: Global Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Wellesley Centers for Women, UN Women, UNDP, and the International Republican Institute; 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Rabat Conference in November 2012 was hosted by the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior in partnership with the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Wellesley Centers for Women with support from Lynn and Bob Johnston. UN Women, UNDP, and the International Republican Institute provided valuable collaboration.

This conference took place at a pivotal moment in the political transformations in the MENA region and brought together parliamentarians, ministers, judges, local government officials, public servants, and civil society leaders to strategize on the role of women’s leadership in democracy building, transitional justice, and the rule of law. This publication brings together a few of the conference papers and provides important insights into women’s critical role in transitional justice processes.

Bayat F. Preventing and Responding to Domestic Violence in China through a Multi-sectoral Approach. United Nations Development Group; 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract,proj...

Please enter "Consolidated Report China" into the search engine in order to find this document.

The United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund to EVAW) is a leading multilateral grant-making mechanism devoted to supporting national and local efforts to end violence against women and girls. Established in 1996 by a UN General Assembly Resolution, the UN Trust Fund to EVAW is now administered by UN WOMEN. In 2008, the UN Trust Fund to EVAW began awarding grants on a competitive basis for Joint Programmes submitted by UN Country Teams. 

Ngwena C. Developing Regional Abortion Jurisprudence: Comparative Lessons for African Charter Organs. Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights . 2013;31 (1). Publisher's VersionAbstract

This article is constructed around an appraisal of the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in A, B and C v. Ireland. It seeks to extrapolate comparative lessons for African Charter organs for the development of regional jurisprudence on abortion. It is argued that the A, B and C decision offers positive as well as negative lessons. The positive lessons lie in the holding of the European Court that at a procedural level, domestic abortion laws must be transparent in the sense of being formulated clearly and providing an administrative mechanism for review so as to enable women seeking abortion to exercise their rights effectively. The negative lessons lie in the continued reluctance of the European Court to resolutely affirm abortion rights as substantive rights.

Kombo B, Sow R, Mohamed FJ. Journey to Equality Publication: 10 years of the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa.; 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In February 2006, when a 13 year-old Zambian school girl was raped by her teacher, the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Protocol) was one of the tools that facilitated justice. R.M., the brave young girl who was under her aunt’s guardianship, sued the teacher, the school, Ministry of Education, and the Zambian Attorney General, citing Articles 4 and 12 of the Protocol (which Zambia ratified in May 2005) in addition to other international instruments in her submission to the High Court of Zambia. In June 2008, the High Court rendered a ruling in which Honorable Justice Phillip Musonda cited Article 4 of the Protocol, which elaborates “rights to life, integrity and security of the person”. In the judgment, the High Court referred the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions for criminal charges against the perpetrator, directed the Ministry of Education to take measures to protect students, and awarded significant compensation to R.M. This case, a prime example of women’s rights public interest litigation, attests to the potential of the Protocol to remedy violations and change lives. Nevertheless, the case is only one of a few well-known landmark cases using the Protocol at the national level. Currently, 36 of the 54 African Union (AU) Member States have ratified the Protocol and, as members of the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights Coalition (SOAWR) suggested in a 2004 publication, it is yet to fully become “a force for freedom”. 

Edwards A. Violence against Women under International Human Rights Law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

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

Since the mid-1990s, increasing international attention has been paid to the issue of violence against women; however, there is still no explicit international human rights treaty prohibition on violence against women and the issue remains poorly defined and understood under international human rights law. Drawing on feminist theories of international law and human rights, this critical examination of the United Nations' legal approaches to violence against women analyses the merits of strategies which incorporate women's concerns of violence within existing human rights norms such as equality norms, the right to life, and the prohibition against torture. Although feminist strategies of inclusion have been necessary as well as symbolically powerful for women, the book argues that they also carry their own problems and limitations, prevent a more radical transformation of the human rights system and ultimately reinforce the unequal position of women under international law.

Sri V. CEDAW Summary - At the Global Level - Draft. 2013.Abstract

The CEDAW Committee has attempted to fill in gaps with respect to violence against women and has directly addressed the obligations of the States parties under the Convention with respect to these issues, but such recommendations are not legally binding on the States parties. The following charts relating to the Convention’s language and implementation summarize some of the benefits and drawbacks of or gaps in the Convention on issues relating to violence against women.

A Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. United Nations. 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Declaration contains a set of practical and political commitments to end the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war, which terrorises and destroys communities during conflict. The Declaration sends an important message to the victims of these crimes that the international community has not forgotten them, and to the perpetrators of rape that they will be held to account.

The Declaration was launched in New York on 24 September 2013 during the United Nations General Assembly, by Foreign Secretary William Hague and UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura.

Sri V, Raja D. Voices from the Frontline: Addressing Forced Marriage Within the United States. Gangashakti; 2013.Abstract

Voices from the Frontline explores the topic of forced marriage by presenting information from hundreds of questionnaires, stories of survivors of forced marriage and stakeholders, and moves us to confront the problem of forced marriage head on. Voices from the Frontline includes statistics, case studies, and experiences of frontline responders, advocates, activists, and the analysis to explode the myth of only gentle arrangements of marriage in our communities. Voices from the Frontline offers an understanding of forced marriage that is essential in anti-violence against women advocacy and activism. 

vidyasri_voicesfromthefrontline.pdf voices_from_the_frontline_exec_summary.pdf
Women in Colombia – Factsheet. OIDHACO; 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This document presents key data and figures can be found on the situation of women in Colombia as well as specific legislation and mechanisms protecting them. Recommendations are made to the international community. In Colombia, as in other countries, women suffer violence and discrimination in all aspects of their lives. In 2011, 70,134 cases of domestic violence against women were reported, as well as 18,982 cases of sexual violence – an increase of 11% when compared with 2010, and 130 cases of femicide. While progress has been made in the formal recognition of these crimes, the lack of implementation of norms and generalised impunity leads to worsening violence. Moreover, the armed conflict reproduces and deepens the discrimination and violence which women suffer on a daily basis. Sexual violence is still used as a weapon of war by different armed actors. And women are the main victims of forced displacement. Almost all of these crimes have gone unpunished. Likewise, women human rights defenders face greater risks because of their gender. And discrimination and inequality are still very common. In view of this situation, recommendations are made to the international community to contribute to put an end and remedy these violations.

2013 Department of State Trafficking in Persons Country Narratives. US Department of State. 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Remarks from John Kerry on the release of the report: Governments bear primary responsibility for responding to this crime, and this annual Report is the gold standard in assessing how well governments—including our own—are meeting that responsibility. This year, 188 countries and territories are included, and we have taken a hard look at one of the biggest problems we face in combating modern slavery: the challenge of accurate, effective victim identification. Only through vigorous victim identification can we ensure that trafficking survivors get the services they need, can participate in legal proceedings, and can have their voices heard.

The EU Rights of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings. Belgium: European Union; 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In order to better assist practitioners and authorities in the Member States to deliver the assistance and protection to victims, the European Commission publishes the document 'The EU rights of victims of trafficking' in all official EU languages.

The EU approach places the victim and its human rights at the centre of its coordinated, multidisciplinary action to work towards eradication of trafficking in human beings.

This document provides a practical and comprehensive overview of victims' rights based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, EU directives, framework decisions and European Court of Human Rights case law.

The overview will be used by victims and practitioners working in the field of trafficking in human beings and will contribute to the effective realisation of these rights by helping authorities in the Member States to deliver the assistance and protection that victims need and deserve. It does in no way constitute a binding interpretation of EU legislation. All rights need to be read within the context of the full legal provision and appropriate legislation.

EWL Barometer on Rape in the EU 2013. European Women's Lobby; 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The European Women’s Lobby is pleased to unveil its 2013 Barometer on Rape in Europe.

Thanks to the work and expertise of the experts to the EWL Observatory on violence against women, the EWL has produced a strong policy document analysing the incidence of Rape in Europe.

The Barometer is a very important tool to get a European overview of national actions on violence against women and compare European countries with regards to their commitment to eradicate such violence.


Laurent C, Platzer M, Idomir M ed. Femicide: A Global Issue that Demands Action. Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) Vienna Liaison Office; 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This publication also contains the first UN document to focus on gender-based killings, the 2012 report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo, to the Human Rights Council. In response to the presentation of this report sixty four states issued a statement that member states “must exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate, prosecute and punish the perpetrators”.

The aim of this publication is to inform practitioners, Member State representatives, NGO workers, legislators, prosecutors and any other relevant actors who can contribute to putting an end to femicide. With this information about the diverse campaigns, we hope that efforts can be combined and strengthened to end this hideous crime once and for all.

Review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the EU Member States: Violence against women Victim support - Report. European Institute for Gender Equality; 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Domestic violence against women remains one of the most pervasive human rights violations of our time, and one of the biggest global problems. In the EU, 9 out of 10 victims of intimate partner violence are women. It harms women, families, communities and society.

The EU is committed to combatting violence against women. This commitment is affirmed in the Women’s Charter (2010), the European Commission’s Strategy for Equality between Women and Men 2010−15 and the Stockholm Programme for 2010−14. However, domestic violence against women still remains widespread and under-reported.

The current report aims to support policymakers and all relevant institutions in their efforts to combat and prevent domestic violence, by providing them with reliable and comparable data and information for effective, evidence-based decisions and policy improvement.

Declaration Of The Committee Of Experts Of The MESECVI On The Celebration Of The Twentieth Anniversary Of The Adoption Of The Belém Do Pará Convention. Organization of American States. 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Can be found under "Key Results" from the Tenth Meeting of the Committee of Experts

CONSIDERING that the year 2014 will mark twenty years since the adoption of the Belém do Pará Convention and ten years since the creation of the MESECVI by the General Assembly of the OAS and that this historic moment warrants broad reflection on the impact of the Convention for the States Party and the women of the hemisphere reiterates its commitment to support the efforts of OAS Member States and civil society to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Belém do Pará Convention and the tenth anniversary of the creation of the MESECVI, which will include national and sub­regional forums and meetings for progress reports on implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention. 

Report of the Committee on Amendments to Criminal Law, 2013. New Delhi: PRS Legislative Research; 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Justice Verma Committee was constituted to recommend amendments to the Criminal Law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault against women.  The Committee submitted its report on January 23, 2013.

 Background: On December 23, 2012 a three member Committee headed by Justice J.S. Verma, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was constituted to recommend amendments to the Criminal Law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault against women.  The other members on the Committee were Justice Leila Seth, former judge of the High Court and Gopal Subramanium, former Solicitor General of India. 

The Committee submitted its report on January 23, 2013.  It made recommendations on laws related to rape, sexual harassment, trafficking, child sexual abuse, medical examination of victims, police, electoral and educational reforms.  We summarise the key recommendations of the Committee. 

Case of Mudric v. The Republic of Moldova. European Court of Human Rights. 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract{"itemid":["001-122375"]}

1.  The case originated in an application (no. 74839/10) against the Republic of Moldova lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a Moldovan national, Ms Lidia Mudric (“the applicant”), on 21 December 2010.

2.  The applicant, who had been granted legal aid, was represented by Ms D. Străisteanu, a lawyer practising in Chişinău. The Moldovan Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr V. Grosu.

3.  The applicant alleged, in particular, that the authorities had not discharged their positive obligations under Articles 3, 14 and 17 of the Convention to protect her from domestic violence and to punish her aggressor.

4.  On 18 March 2011 the application was communicated to the Government. It was also decided to rule on the admissibility and merits of the application at the same time (Article 29 § 1).

5.  Third-party comments were received from the Equal Rights Trust, a non-governmental organisation based in London, the United Kingdom, which had been given leave by the President to intervene in the procedure (Article 36 § 2 of the Convention and Rule 44 § 2 of the Rules of Court). The Government replied to those comments (Rule 44 § 5).

Case of Valiuliene v. Lithuania. European Court of Human Rights; 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract{"fulltext":["Valiuliene%20v.%20Lithuania"],"documentcollectionid2":["GRANDCHAMBER","CHAMBER"]}

Facts – In February 2001 the applicant applied to a district court to bring a private prosecution after allegedly being beaten by her partner on five separate occasions in January and February 2001. In January 2002 the court forwarded her complaint to the public prosecutor, ordering him to start his own pre-trial criminal investigation; the applicant’s partner was then charged with systematically causing the applicant minor bodily harm. The investigation was twice halted by police investigators for lack of evidence, but on each occasion was reopened on appeal on the grounds that it had not been sufficiently thorough. The public prosecutor discontinued the investigation in June 2005 as a legislative reform in May 2003 meant that prosecutions in respect of minor bodily harm now had to be brought by the victim privately unless the case was of public interest or the victim could not protect her rights through a private prosecution. The district court upheld that decision. When the applicant lodged a new request to bring a private prosecution, this was refused without examination of the merits as the prosecution had become time-barred.


Moser PT. The Duty to Ensure Human Rights and its Evolution in the Inter-American System: Comparing Maria da Penha v. Brazil With Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v. United States. Journal of Gender, Social Policy & The Law . 2013;21 (2) :437-453. Publisher's VersionAbstract

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

First, this Article explains the facts and the Commission's legal analysis in Maria da Penha and Lenahan and briefly describes the different approach taken by the Commission in each case.

Second, this Article analyzes the evolution in the case law that led to the recognition that a State's failure to prevent and investigate could constitute a violation of substantive rights. Third, this Article examines the standard the Commission utilized in analyzing the duty to prevent in Lenahan and describes the theory of foreseeable risk, how it has been used, and the role it played in the Lenahan case. Finally, this Article discusses the theory of foreseeable risk, its application to cases of domestic violence, and the significance of this development in the jurisprudence of the Inter-American system.

This Article concludes that the recognition of substantive rights may be violated by the failure of the State to prevent and investigate, and that the use of the theory of foreseeable risk constitutes a significant step forward in clarifying the obligation of States to fight domestic violence. Finding a State responsible for failing to prevent, pursuant to the theory of foreseeable risk, implies that the State knew or ought to have known there was an imminent risk of domestic violence, and in the face of this foreseeable risk, the State failed to take action. This lack of prevention might be considered the equivalent of acquiescence pursuant to the definition of torture in the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT)." Consequently, this evolution could, and hopefully will, result in a recognition in the Inter-American System that in certain circumstances domestic violence constitutes torture.