Tuesday, September 13, 2016


In addition to international human rights standards, regional human rights treaties, too, include crucial provisions aimed at promoting and protecting women’s human rights The African (Banjul) Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights was adopted in 1981 by the Organization of African Unity. Its article 2 prohibits discrimination on any grounds, including sex, in the enjoyment of the rights guaranteed by the Charter. Article 18 specifically mentions the obligation  of African States to “ensure the elimination of every discrimination against women and also ensure the protection of the rights of the woman and the child as stipulated in international declarations and conventions”. The Charter’s Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) was adopted in 2003.

The Charter of the Organization of American States includes a nondiscrimination provision in its chapter II, article 3 (l), and the American Convention on Human Rights in its article 1. Moreover, in 1994 the Organization adopted the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (Belém do Pará Convention).

The European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms prohibits discrimination on any grounds, including sex, in the enjoyment of rights contained in the Convention (art. 14). Since 1998 individuals can bring complaints to the European Court of Human Rights based on allegations of violations of the Convention. In 2011 the Council of Europe adopted a new Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention).
Regional political organizations, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the Economic Community of West African States and the Southern African Development Community, have also adopted protocols and resolutions and issued declarations pertaining to women’s human rights.


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