Friday, April 28, 2017

Scope of the Istambul Convention 3/c


1 This Convention shall apply to all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence, which affects women disproportionately.
2 Parties are encouraged to apply this Convention to all victims of domestic violence. Parties shall pay particular attention to women victims of gender-based violence in implementing the provisions of this Convention.
3 This Convention shall apply in times of peace and in situations of armed conflict.


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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Purposes of the Istanbul Convention 2/b



1 The purposes of this Convention are to:
a protect women against all forms of violence, and prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence;
b contribute to the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and promote substantive equality between women and men, including by empowering women;
c design a comprehensive framework, policies and measures for the protection of and assistance to all victims of violence against women and domestic violence;
d promote international co-operation with a view to eliminating violence against women and domestic violence;
e provide support and assistance to organisations and law enforcement agencies to effectively co-operate in order to adopt an integrated approach to eliminating violence against women and domestic violence.
2 In order to ensure effective implementation of its provisions by the Parties, this Convention establishes a specific monitoring mechanism.

https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list/-/conventions/rms/090000168008482e


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Monday, April 24, 2017

Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. Preamble 1/a


The member States of the Council of Europe and the other signatories hereto,
Recalling  the  Convention  for  the  Protection  of  Human  Rights  and  Fundamental  Freedoms (ETS No. 5, 1950) and its Protocols, the European Social Charter (ETS No. 35,  1961, revised in 1996, ETS No. 163), the Council of Europe Convention on Action against  Trafficking  in  Human  Beings  (CETS  No.  197,  2005)  and  the  Council  of  Europe  Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse  (CETS No. 201, 2007);
Recalling the following recommendations of the Committee of Ministers to member  States of the Council of Europe: Recommendation Rec(2002)5 on the protection of women  against violence, Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)17 on gender equality standards and  mechanisms,  Recommendation  CM/Rec(2010)10  on  the  role  of  women  and  men  in  conflict  prevention  and  resolution  and  in  peace  building,  and  other  relevant  recommendations;
Taking account of the growing body of case law of the European Court of Human Rights  which sets important standards in the field of violence against women;
Having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), the  International  Covenant  on  Economic,  Social  and  Cultural  Rights  (1966),  the  United  Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women  (“CEDAW”, 1979) and its Optional Protocol (1999) as well as General Recommendation  No.  19  of  the  CEDAW  Committee  on  violence  against  women,  the  United  Nations  Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and its Optional Protocols (2000) and the  United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006);
Having regard to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (2002);
Recalling  the  basic  principles  of  international  humanitarian  law,  and  especially  the  Geneva Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War  (1949) and the Additional Protocols I and II (1977) thereto;
Condemning all forms of violence against women and domestic violence;
Recognising that the realisation of de jure and de facto equality between women and men  is a key element in the prevention of violence against women;
Recognising  that  violence  against  women  is  a  manifestation  of  historically  unequal  power relations between women and men, which have led to domination over, and  discrimination against, women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of  women;


  • Recognising the structural nature of violence against women as gender‐based violence,  and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which  women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men;
  • Recognising, with grave concern, that women and girls are often exposed to serious  forms of violence such as domestic violence, sexual harassment, rape, forced marriage,  crimes  committed  in  the  name  of  so‐called  “honour”  and  genital  mutilation,  which  constitute a serious violation of the human rights of women and girls and a major  obstacle to the achievement of equality between women and men;
  • Recognising the ongoing human rights violations during armed conflicts that affect the  civilian population, especially women in the form of widespread or systematic rape and  sexual violence and the potential for increased gender‐based violence both during and  after conflicts;
  • Recognising that women and girls are exposed to a higher risk of gender‐based violence  than men;
  • Recognising that domestic violence affects women disproportionately, and that men may  also be victims of domestic violence;
  • Recognising that children are victims of domestic violence, including as witnesses of  violence in the family;
  • Aspiring to create a Europe free from violence against women and domestic violence,

Have agreed as follows:

https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list/-/conventions/rms/090000168008482e
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Friday, April 21, 2017

Implications for Practice 9/9


It is important for policy-makers, practitioners, and human rights defenders to:

  • Develop spaces for self-reflection on the individual and collective wellbeing of human rights defenders, especially those at risk. 
  •  Recognise and address norms and expectations that make it difficult for defenders to engage in discussions about wellbeing. 
  • Move beyond ‘Western’ approaches to understanding wellbeing. Recognise, document and share other social and cultural forms of conceptualizing and strengthening wellbeing. 
  • Approach wellbeing not as the sole responsibility of individual defenders but as a collective responsibility. 
  • Review how individuals, groups, communities and stakeholders strengthen individual and collective strategies for wellbeing. These include mainstreaming practices of self-care and care for others; embedding wellbeing practices in collectives; and understanding the effect of funding practices on sustainable activism.
  •  Devote financial resources to wellbeing practices that are culturally relevant and contextually appropriate. These may include provision for healthcare, counselling, insurance, and pensions. 
  • Recognise that for some defenders – such as LGBTIQ* and women defenders – spaces of work are crucial spaces for wellbeing. It is therefore important to understand how spaces of work need to be reshaped so that they do not replicate oppression, discrimination and violence, and how participation, acceptance and inclusivity can be strengthened in human rights communities.
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER HUB POLICY BRIEF 1 | JANUARY 2017-University of York 
 This Policy Brief is based on research findings from the project ‘Navigating Risk, Managing Security, and Receiving Support’ which examines the experiences of human rights defenders at risk in Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, Kenya, and Indonesia. Interviews and surveys were conducted with over 400 defenders between July 2015 and November 2016.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Creating space for wellbeing 8/9


The defenders in this study welcomed more emphasis on self-care, managing emotions, and discussions about wellbeing. They valued discussions about how to develop networks and how to build collective strategies for protection. In security training sessions, they valued sharing their experiences of risk and their self-protection measures with other defenders; they also valued hearing the experiences of others. 
They noted the importance of creating spaces for selfreflection on the amount of risk involved in their work and their level of commitment to the cause.

A human rights defender has to love life. To help others, s/he cannot fall into the trap of scepticism or defeatism. We have to overcome our internal and external limits, and that is only possible if we take care of ourselves. We have to transmit optimism and transformative messages; we can’t be with the victims in order to sow further misery. In general, human rights defenders have an enormous capacity to enjoy each moment in life. Human rights lawyer, Colombia



HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER HUB POLICY BRIEF 1 | JANUARY 2017-University of York 
 This Policy Brief is based on research findings from the project ‘Navigating Risk, Managing Security, and Receiving Support’ which examines the experiences of human rights defenders at risk in Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, Kenya, and Indonesia. Interviews and surveys were conducted with over 400 defenders between July 2015 and November 2016.
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Monday, April 17, 2017

Wellbeing through human rights practice 7/9

Human rights work connects defenders in meaningful ways, allowing them to experience what they feel is fundamental to their wellbeing. For some, living positively and continuing with their work in spite of threats was in itself an act of resistance.

 For such defenders, it is not a question of choosing between human rights practice and wellbeing – rather human rights practice is done to maintain wellbeing. …

the combat against repression was a healing process… the claim that “Yes, it was the state” was our way of healing the wound; it is an emotional need and also a statement to make us stronger, make ourselves feel less vulnerable, less alone. Our uprising is against loneliness; it is a trust network; it is love politics; subversive love… Woman, student and feminist defender, Mexico


HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER HUB POLICY BRIEF 1 | JANUARY 2017-University of York 
 This Policy Brief is based on research findings from the project ‘Navigating Risk, Managing Security, and Receiving Support’ which examines the experiences of human rights defenders at risk in Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, Kenya, and Indonesia. Interviews and surveys were conducted with over 400 defenders between July 2015 and November 2016.
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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Identity, wellbeing, and access to resources 6/9


There is a link between the identity of defenders, the risks they face, and the resources and support they are able to access for their wellbeing. LGBTIQ* defenders, for example, have narrower access to support mechanisms. Seeking support outside of their own circles often requires them to ‘come out’ and to expose the work they do. This is similar for women defenders working on sensitive issues. As such, their spaces of work remain one of the few spaces for strengthening wellbeing.

[After the attack] I decided to go home to where my parents are; it was bad, a lot of stigma and discrimination from my family. They called me despicable. “You have dropped our name to mud, we are ashamed of you, you have dropped our name to mud, you have no shame, God will see you through hell.” It was so hard I wanted to commit suicide. I could not proceed with my work at that time. There was a state of panic and risk for all the LGBTIs [in my area]. I stayed underground until things were safe. Transwoman defender working on LGBTIQ* rights in Kenya


HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER HUB POLICY BRIEF 1 | JANUARY 2017-University of York 
 This Policy Brief is based on research findings from the project ‘Navigating Risk, Managing Security, and Receiving Support’ which examines the experiences of human rights defenders at risk in Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, Kenya, and Indonesia. Interviews and surveys were conducted with over 400 defenders between July 2015 and November 2016.
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