Friday, June 30, 2017


A feminist internet works towards empowering more women and queer persons – in all our diversities – to fully enjoy our rights, engage in pleasure and play, and dismantle patriarchy. This integrates our different realities, contexts and specificities – including age, disabilities, sexualities, gender identities and expressions, socioeconomic locations, political and religious beliefs, ethnic origins, and racial markers. The following key principles are critical towards realising a feminist internet.


1. Access to the internet

A feminist internet starts with enabling more women and queer persons to enjoy universal, acceptable, affordable, unconditional, open, meaningful and equal access to the internet.

2. Access to information

We support and protect unrestricted access to information relevant to women and queer persons, particularly information on sexual and reproductive health and rights, pleasure, safe abortion, access to justice, and LGBTIQ issues. This includes diversity in languages, abilities, interests and contexts.

3. Usage of technology

Women and queer persons have the right to code, design, adapt and critically and sustainably use ICTs and reclaim technology as a platform for creativity and expression, as well as to challenge the cultures of sexism and discrimination in all spaces.

Movements and public participation

4. Resistance

The internet is a space where social norms are negotiated, performed and imposed, often in an extension of other spaces shaped by patriarchy and heteronormativity. Our struggle for a feminist internet is one that forms part of a continuum of our resistance in other spaces, public, private and in-between.

5. Movement building

The internet is a transformative political space. It facilitates new forms of citizenship that enable individuals to claim, construct and express selves, genders and sexualities. This includes connecting across territories, demanding accountability and transparency, and creating opportunities for sustained feminist movement building.

6. Decision making in internet governance

We believe in challenging the patriarchal spaces and processes that control internet governance, as well as putting more feminists and queers at the decision-making tables. We want to democratise policy making affecting the internet as well as diffuse ownership of and power in global and local networks.


7. Alternative economies

We are committed to interrogating the capitalist logic that drives technology towards further privatisation, profit and corporate control. We work to create alternative forms of economic power that are grounded in principles of cooperation, solidarity, commons, environmental sustainability, and openness.

8. Free and open source

We are committed to creating and experimenting with technology, including digital safety and security, and using free/libre and open source software (FLOSS), tools, and platforms. Promoting, disseminating, and sharing knowledge about the use of FLOSS is central to our praxis.


9. Amplifying feminist discourse

We claim the power of the internet to amplify women’s narratives and lived realities. There is a need to resist the state, the religious right and other extremist forces who monopolise discourses of morality, while silencing feminist voices and persecuting women’s human rights defenders.

10. Freedom of expression

We defend the right to sexual expression as a freedom of expression issue of no less importance than political or religious expression. We strongly object to the efforts of state and non-state actors to control, surveil, regulate and restrict feminist and queer expression on the internet through technology, legislation or violence. We recognise this as part of the larger political project of moral policing, censorship, and hierarchisation of citizenship and rights.

11. Pornography and “harmful content”

We recognise that the issue of pornography online has to do with agency, consent, power and labour. We reject simple causal linkages made between consumption of pornographic content and violence against women. We also reject the use of the umbrella term “harmful content” to label expression on female and transgender sexuality. We support reclaiming and creating alternative erotic content that resists the mainstream patriarchal gaze and locates women and queer persons’ desires at the centre.


12. Consent

We call on the need to build an ethics and politics of consent into the culture, design, policies and terms of service of internet platforms. Women’s agency lies in their ability to make informed decisions on what aspects of their public or private lives to share online.

13. Privacy and data

We support the right to privacy and to full control over personal data and information online at all levels. We reject practices by states and private companies to use data for profit and to manipulate behaviour online. Surveillance is the historical tool of patriarchy, used to control and restrict women’s bodies, speech and activism. We pay equal attention to surveillance practices by individuals, the private sector, the state and non-state actors.

14. Memory

We have the right to exercise and retain control over our personal history and memory on the internet. This includes being able to access all our personal data and information online, and to be able to exercise control over this data, including knowing who has access to it and under what conditions, and the ability to delete it forever.

15. Anonymity

We defend the right to be anonymous and reject all claims to restrict anonymity online. Anonymity enables our freedom of expression online, particularly when it comes to breaking taboos of sexuality and heteronormativity, experimenting with gender identity, and enabling safety for women and queer persons affected by discrimination.

16. Children and youth

We call for the inclusion of the voices and experiences of young people in the decisions made about safety and security online and promote their safety, privacy, and access to information. We recognise children’s right to healthy emotional and sexual development, which includes the right to privacy and access to positive information about sex, gender and sexuality at critical times in their lives.

17. Online violence

We call on all internet stakeholders, including internet users, policy makers and the private sector, to address the issue of online harassment and technology-related violence. The attacks, threats, intimidation and policing experienced by women and queers are real, harmful and alarming, and are part of the broader issue of gender-based violence. It is our collective responsibility to address and end this.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How common are gender differences in laws?

- Legal gender differences are widespread: 155 of the 173 economies covered have at least one law impeding women’s economic opportunities. 

- The total number of legal gender differences across 173 economies is 943. 

- In 100 economies, women face gender-based job restrictions. 

- 46 of the economies covered have no laws specifically protecting women from domestic violence. - In 18 economies, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working. 

-Lower legal gender equality is associated with fewer girls attending secondary school relative to boys, fewer women working or running businesses and a wider gender wage gap.  

- Over the past two years, 65 economies carried out 94 reforms increasing women’s economic opportunities
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Monday, June 26, 2017

Follow-up to the conference 4/4

The participants:
considering that the Barcelona Conference provides the basis for a process, which is open and should develop;
reaffirming their will to establish a partnership based on the principles and objectives defined in this Declaration;
resolved to give practical expression to this EuroMediterranean partnership;
convinced that, in order to achieve this objective, it is necessary to continue the comprehensive dialogue thus initiated and to carry out a series of specific actions;
hereby adopt the attached work programme:
The Ministers for Foreign Affairs will meet periodically in order to monitor the application of this Declaration and define actions enabling the objectives of the partnership to be achieved.
The various activities will be followed by ad hoc thematic meetings of ministers, senior officials and experts, exchanges of experience and information, contacts between those active in civil society and by any other appropriate means.
Contacts between parliamentarians, regional authorities, local authorities and the social partners will be encouraged.
A "EuroMediterranean Committee for the Barcelona process" at senior-official level, consisting of the European Union Troïka and one representative of each Mediterranean partner, will hold regular meetings to prepare the meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, take stock of and evaluate the followup to the Barcelona process and all its components and update the work programme.
Appropriate preparatory and followup work for the meetings resulting from the Barcelona work programme and from the conclusions of the "EuroMediterranean Committee for the Barcelona process" will be undertaken by the Commission departments.
The next meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs will be held in the first semester of 1997 in one of the twelve Mediterranean partners of the European Union, to be determined through further consultations.
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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Partnership in social, cultural and Human affairs: Developing human ressources, promoting understanding between cultures & exchanges between civil societies 3/4

The participants recognize that the traditions of culture and civilization throughout the Mediterranean region, dialogue between these cultures and exchanges at human, scientific and technological level are an essential factor in bringing their peoples closer, promoting understanding between them and improving their perception of each other.
In this spirit, the participants agree to establish a partnership in social, cultural and human affairs. To this end:
they reaffirm that dialogue and respect between cultures and religions are a necessary precondition for bringing the peoples closer. In this connection they stress the importance of the role the mass media can play in the reciprocal recognition and understanding of cultures as a source of mutual enrichment;
they stress the essential nature of the development of human resources, both as regards the education and training of young people in particular and in the area of culture. They express their intent to promote cultural exchanges and knowledge of other languages, respecting the cultural identity of each partner, and to implement a lasting policy of educational and cultural programmes; in this context, the partners undertake to adopt measures to facilitate human exchanges, in particular by improving administrative procedures;
they underline the importance of the health sector for sustainable development and express their intention of promoting the effective participation of the community in operations to improve health and well-being;
they recognize the importance of social development which, in their view, must go hand in hand with any economic development. They attach particular importance to respect for fundamental social rights, including the right to development;
they recognize the essential contribution civil society can make in the process of development of the EuroMediterranean partnership and as an essential factor for greater understanding and closeness between peoples;
they accordingly agree to strengthen and/or introduce the necessary instruments of decentralized cooperation to encourage exchanges between those active in development within the framework of national laws: leaders of political and civil society, the cultural and religious world, universities, the research community, the media, organizations, the trade unions and public and private enterprises;
on this basis, they recognize the importance of encouraging contacts and exchanges between young people in the context of programmes for decentralized cooperation;
they will encourage actions of support for democratic institutions and for the strengthening of the rule of law and civil society;
they recognize that current population trends represent a priority challenge which must be counterbalanced by appropriate policies to accelerate economic takeoff;
they acknowledge the importance of the role played by migration in their relationships. They agree to strengthen their cooperation to reduce migratory pressures, among other things through vocational training programmes and programmes of assistance for job creation. They undertake to guarantee protection of all the rights recognized under existing legislation of migrants legally resident in their respective territories;
in the area of illegal immigration they decide to establish closer cooperation. In this context, the partners, aware of their responsibility for readmission, agree to adopt the relevant provisions and measures, by means of bilateral agreements or arrangements, in order to readmit their nationals who are in an illegal situation. To that end, the Member States of the European Union take citizens to mean nationals of the Member States, as defined for Community purposes;
they agree to strengthen cooperation by means of various measures to prevent terrorism and fight it more effectively together;
by the same token they consider it necessary to fight jointly and effectively against drug trafficking, international crime and corruption;
they underline the importance of waging a determined campaign against racism, xenophobia and intolerance and agree to cooperate to that end.
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Economic & financial partnership: Creating an area of shared prosperity 2/4

The participants emphasize the importance they attach to sustainable and balanced economic and social development with a view to achieving their objective of creating an area of shared prosperity.
The partners acknowledge the difficulties that the question of debt can create for the economic development of the countries of the Mediterranean region. They agree, in view of the importance of their relations, to continue the dialogue in order to achieve progress in the competent fora.
Noting that the partners have to take up common challenges, albeit to varying degrees, the participants set themselves the following long-term objectives:
• acceleration of the pace of sustainable socio-economic development;
• improvement of the living conditions of their populations, increase in the employment level and reduction in the development gap in the EuroMediterranean region;
• encouragement of regional cooperation and integration.
With a view to achieving these objectives, the participants agree to establish an economic and financial partnership which, taking into account the different degrees of development, will be based on:
• the progressive establishment of a free-trade area;  
• the implementation of appropriate economic cooperation and concerted action in the relevant areas;  
• a substantial increase in the European Union's financial assistance to its partners.

 a) Free-trade area 

The free-trade area will be established through the new EuroMediterranean Agreements and free-trade agreements between partners of the European Union. The parties have set 2010 as the target date for the gradual establishment of this area which will cover most trade with due observance of the obligations resulting from the WTO.
With a view to developing gradual free trade in this area: tariff and nontariff barriers to trade in manufactured products will be progressively eliminated in accordance with timetables to be negotiated between the partners; taking as a starting point traditional trade flows, and as far as the various agricultural policies allow and with due respect to the results achieved within the GATT negotiations, trade in agricultural products will be progressively liberalized through reciprocal preferential access among the parties; trade in services including right of establishment will be progressively liberalized having due regard to the GATS agreement.
The participants decide to facilitate the progressive establishment of this free-trade area through
• the adoption of suitable measures as regard rules of origin, certification, protection of intellectual and industrial property rights and competition;  
• the pursuit and the development of policies based on the principles of market economy and the integration of their economies taking into account their respective needs and levels of development;  
• the adjustment and modernization of economic and social structures, giving priority to the promotion and development of the private sector, to the upgrading of the productive sector and to the establishment of an appropriate institutional and regulatory framework for a market economy. They will likewise endeavour to mitigate the negative social consequences which may result from this adjustment, by promoting programmes for the benefit of the neediest populations;  
• the promotion of mechanisms to foster transfers of technology.

 b) Economic cooperation and concerted action 
Cooperation will be developed in particular in the areas listed below and in this respect the participants:
acknowledge that economic development must be supported both by internal savings, the basis of investment, and by direct foreign investment. They stress the importance of creating an environment conducive to investment, in particular by the progressive elimination of obstacles to such investment which could lead to the transfer of technology and increase production and exports;
affirm that regional cooperation on a voluntary basis, particularly with a view to developing trade between the partners themselves, is a key factor in promoting the creation of a freetrade area;
- encourage enterprises to enter into agreements with each other and undertake to promote such cooperation and industrial modernization by providing a favourable environment and regulatory framework. They consider it necessary to adopt and to implement a technical support programme for SMEs;
emphasize their interdependence with regard to the environment, which necessitates a regional approach and increased cooperation, as well as better coordination of existing multilateral programmes, while confirming their attachment to the Barcelona Convention and the Mediterranean Action Plan. They recognize the importance of reconciling economic development with environmental protection, of integrating environmental concerns into the relevant aspects of economic policy and of mitigating the negative environmental consequences which might result. They undertake to establish a short and medium-term priority action programme, including in connection with combating desertification, and to concentrate appropriate technical and financial support on those actions;
recognize the key role of women in development and undertake to promote their active participation in economic and social life and in the creation of employment;
stress the importance of the conservation and rational management of fish stocks and of the improvement of cooperation on research into stocks, including aquaculture, and undertake to facilitate scientific training and research and to envisage creating joint instruments;
acknowledge the pivotal role of the energy sector in the economic EuroMediterranean partnership and decide to strengthen cooperation and intensify dialogue in the field of energy policies. They also decide to create the appropriate framework conditions for investments and the activities of energy companies, cooperating in creating the conditions enabling such companies to extend energy networks and promote link-ups;
- recognize that water supply together with suitable management and development of resources are priority issues for all Mediterranean partners and that cooperation should be developed in these areas;
agree to cooperate in modernizing and restructuring agriculture and in promoting integrated rural development. This cooperation will focus in particular on technical assistance and training, on support for policies implemented by the partners to diversify production, on the reduction of food dependency and on the promotion of environment-friendly agriculture. They also agree to cooperate in the eradication of illicit crops and the development of any regions affected.
The participants also agree to cooperate in other areas and, to that effect:
stress the importance of developing and improving infrastructures, including through the establishment of an efficient transport system, the development of information technologies and the modernization of telecommunications. They agree to draw up a programme of priorities for that purpose;
- undertake to respect the principles of international maritime law, in particular freedom to provide services in international transport and free access to international cargoes. The results of the ongoing multilateral trade negotiations on maritime transport services being conducted within the WTO will be taken into account when agreed;
undertake to encourage cooperation between local authorities and in support of regional planning;
recognizing that science and technology have a significant influence on socioeconomic development, agree to strengthen scientific research capacity and development, contribute to the training of scientific and technical staff and promote participation in joint research projects based on the creation of scientific networks;
agree to promote cooperation on statistics in order to harmonize methods and exchange data.

c) Financial cooperation 
The participants consider that the creation of a free-trade area and the success of the EuroMediterranean partnership require a substantial increase in financial assistance, which must above all encourage sustainable indigenous development and the mobilization of local economic operators. They note in this connection that:

the Cannes European Council agreed to set aside ECU 4 685 million for this financial assistance in the form of available Community budget funds for the period 1995-1999. This will be supplemented by EIB assistance in the form of increased loans and the bilateral financial contributions from the Member States;
effective financial cooperation managed in the framework of a multiannual programme, taking into account the special characteristics of each of the partners is necessary;
sound macro-economic management is of fundamental importance in ensuring the success of the partnership. To this end they agree to promote dialogue on their respective economic policies and on the method of optimizing financial cooperation.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Barcelona declaration: Political & security partnership: Establishing a common area of peace & stability 1/4

The participants express their conviction that the peace, stability and security of the Mediterranean region are a common asset which they pledge to promote and strengthen by all means at their disposal. To this end they agree to conduct a strengthened political dialogue at regular intervals, based on observance of essential principles of international law, and reaffirm a number of common objectives in matters of internal and external stability. 
In this spirit they undertake in the following declaration of principles to: 
act in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other obligations under international law, in particular those arising out of regional and international instruments to which they are party; 
develop the rule of law and democracy in their political systems, while recognizing in this framework the right of each of them to choose and freely develop its own political, socio-cultural, economic and judicial system; 
respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and guarantee the effective legitimate exercise of such rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression, freedom of association for peaceful purposes and freedom of thought, conscience and religion, both individually and together with other members of the same group, without any discrimination on grounds of race, nationality, language, religion or sex; 
give favourable consideration, through dialogue between the parties, to exchanges of information on matters relating to human rights, fundamental freedoms, racism and xenophobia; 
respect and ensure respect for diversity and pluralism in their societies, promote tolerance between different groups in society and combat manifestations of intolerance, racism and xenophobia. The participants stress the importance of proper education in the matter of human rights and fundamental freedoms; 
respect their sovereign equality and all rights inherent in their sovereignty, and fulfil in good faith the obligations they have assumed under international law; 
respect the equal rights of peoples and their right to self-determination, acting at all times in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and with the relevant norms of international law, including those relating to territorial integrity of States, as reflected in agreements between relevant parties; 
refrain, in accordance with the rules of international law, from any direct or indirect intervention in the internal affairs of another partner; 
respect the territorial integrity and unity of each of the other partners; 
settle their disputes by peaceful means, call upon all participants to renounce recourse to the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity of another participant, including the acquisition of territory by force, and reaffirm the right to fully exercise sovereignty by legitimate means in accordance with the UN Charter and international law; 
strengthen their cooperation in preventing and combating terrorism, in particular by ratifying and applying the international instruments they have signed, by acceding to such instruments and by taking any other appropriate measure; 
fight together against the expansion and diversification of organized crime and combat the drugs problem in all its aspects; 
- promote regional security by acting, inter alia, in favour of nuclear, chemical and biological non-proliferation through adherence to and compliance with a combination of international and regional non-proliferation regimes, and arms control and disarmament agreements such as NPT, CWC, BWC, CTBT and/or regional arrangements such as weapons free zones including their verification regimes, as well as by fulfilling in good faith their commitments under arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation conventions. 
The parties shall pursue a mutually and effectively verifiable Middle East Zone free of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological, and their delivery systems. 
Furthermore the parties will consider practical steps to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as well as excessive accumulation of conventional arms. 
Refrain from developing military capacity beyond their legitimate defence requirements, at the same time reaffirming their resolve to achieve the same degree of security and mutual confidence with the lowest possible levels of troops and weaponry and adherence to CCW. 
Promote conditions likely to develop good-neighbourly relations among themselves and support processes aimed at stability, security, prosperity and regional and subregional cooperation. 
consider any confidence and security-building measures that could be taken between the parties with a view to the creation of an "area of peace and stability in the Mediterranean", including the long term possibility of establishing a Euro-Mediterranean pact to that end.

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Special Rapporteur on violence against womenon her mission to Italy : Conclusions and recommendations

91. Efforts have been made by the Government to address the issue of violence against women, including through the adoption of laws and policies and the establishment and merger of governmental bodies responsible for the promotion and protection of women’s rights. Yet these achievements have not led to a decrease in the femicide rate or translated into real improvements in the lives of many women and girls, particularly Roma and Sinti women, migrant women and women with disabilities.  

92. Despite the challenges of the current political and economic situation, targeted and coordinated efforts in addressing violence against women, through practical and innovative use of limited resources, need to remain a priority. The high levels of domestic violence, which are contributing to rising levels of femicide, demand serious attention.   

93. The Special Rapporteur would like to offer the Government the following recommendations. 

 A. Law and policy reforms 

94. The Government should:
 (a) Put in place a single dedicated governmental structure to deal exclusively with the issue of substantive gender equality broadly and violence against women in particular, to overcome duplication and lack of coordination;  
(b) Expedite the creation of an independent national human rights institution with a section dedicated to women’s rights; 
(c) Adopt a specific law on violence against women to address the current fragmentation which is occurring in practice due to the interpretation and implementation of the civil, criminal and procedures codes; 
(d) Address the legal gap in the areas of child custody and include relevant provisions relating to protection of women who are the victims of domestic violence; 
(e) Provide education and training to strengthen the skills of judges to effectively address cases of violence against women;
(f) Ensure the provision of quality, State-sponsored legal aid to women victims of violence as envisaged in the constitution and Law No. 154/200 on measures against violence in family relations; (g) Promote existing alternative forms of detention, including house arrest and low-security establishments for women with children,  having due regard to the largely non-violent nature of the crimes for which they are incarcerated and the best interest of children;  
(h) Adopt a long-term, gender-sensitive and sustainable policy for social inclusion and empowerment of marginalized communities, with a particular focus on women’s health, education, labour and security; 
 (i) Ensure the involvement of representatives of these communities, particularly women, in the design, development and implementation of policies which impact them; 
 (j) Ensure continued provision of quality education for all, including through a flexible application of the 30 per cent ceiling of non-Italian pupils per classroom, to allow for inclusive schools particularly in places where the population of non-Italians is high. 
 (k) Amend the “Security Package” laws generally, and the crime of irregular migration in particular, to ensure access of migrant women in irregular situations to the judiciary and law enforcement agencies, without fear of detention and deportation; 
(l) Address the existing gender disparities in the public and private sectors by effectively implementing the measures provided by the Constitution and other legislation and policies to increase the number of women, including from marginalized groups, in the political, economic, social, cultural and judicial spheres;  
(m) Continue to remove legal hurdles affecting the employment of women, which is exacerbated through the practice of signing blank resignations, and the lower positions and salary scale for women. Strengthen the social welfare system by removing impediments to the integration of women into the labour market; 
 (n) Ratify and implement the Convention on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition, enforcement and cooperation in respect of parental responsibility and measures for the protection of children; the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, International Labour Organization Convention No. 189 (2011) concerning decent work for domestic workers; the European Convention on the Compensation of Victims of Violent Crimes and the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. 

B. Societal changes and awareness-raising initiatives 

95. The Government should also: 

(a) Continue to conduct awareness-raising campaigns aimed at eliminating stereotypical attitudes about the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family, society and workplace; 

b) Strengthen the capacity of the National Racial Discrimination Office to put in place programmes to bring about change in society’s perception of women who belong to marginalized communities and groups;

(c) Continue to conduct targeted sensitization campaigns, including with CSOs, to increase awareness on violence against women generally, and women from marginalized groups in particular; (d) Train and sensitize the media on women’s rights including on violence against women, in order to achieve a non-stereotyped representation of women and men in the national media. 

C. Support services 

96. The Government should further:
 (a) Continue to take the necessary measures, including financial, to maintain existing and/or set-up new anti-violence shelters for the assistance and protection of women victims of violence;
 (b) Ensure that shelters operate according to international and national human rights standards and that accountability mechanisms are put in place to monitor the support provided to women victims of violence; 
(c) Enhance coordination and exchange of information among the judiciary, police and psychosocial and health operators who deal with violence against women;   
(d) Recognize, encourage and support public-private partnerships with CSOs and higher learning institutions, to provide research and responses to addressing violence against women. 

D. Statistics and data collection 

97. Lastly, the Government should: 
(a) Strengthen the capacity of ISTAT, including through the provision of consistent funding, to establish a system for regular and standardized data collection and analysis, disaggregated by relevant characteristics  in order to understand the magnitude, trends and patterns of violence against women;  
(b) Ensure that in collecting such information, ISTAT regularly collaborates with institutions and organizations already working to collect data on violence against women - including the police, courts and civil society. The ultimate goal should be the harmonization of data collection guidelines and the use of such information by State and non-State actors, in an effective way. 

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Complaining about human rights violations to The Special Rapporteur

Individual Complaints
The Special Rapporteur is mandated to seek and receive information on violence against women, its causes and consequences from Governments, treaty bodies, specialized agencies, other special rapporteurs responsible for various human rights questions and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, including women's organizations, and to respond effectively to such information.

The Special Rapporteur transmits urgent appeals and allegation letters (communications) to States regarding alleged cases of violence against women which she receives. Allegations may concern one or more individuals or may convey information relating to a general prevailing situation condoning and/or perpetrating violence against women. It should be emphasized that, in accordance with her mandate, the Special Rapporteur is in a position only to process cases of alleged violence or threats of violence directed against women because of their sex. The definition of gender-based violence used by the Special Rapporteur is taken from the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 48/104 on December 1993.

The dialogue established with governments by the Special Rapporteur and the transmission of allegations concerning their countries in no way implies any kind of accusation or value judgment on the part of the Special Rapporteur, but rather a request for clarification with a view to trying to ensure, along with the government concerned, the effective prevention, investigation, and punishment of acts of violence against women and compensation for victims of such violations.

Urgent Appeals
Urgent transmissions may be sent by the Special Rapporteur to concerned Governments when reliable and credible information is received concerning cases which involve an imminent threat, or fear of threat, to the right to personal integrity or the life of a woman. When transmitting urgent actions, the Special Rapporteur appeals to the Governments concerned to ensure effective protection of those under threat or at risk of violence.

Allegation Letters
For those communications that do not require urgent action but relate to violations that already occurred and/or to general patterns of violations - including the legal framework and its application as regards violence against women – the Special Rapporteur may send allegation letters requiring Governments to clarify the substance of the allegations received.

How to submit cases to the Special Rapporteur
It is important to provide as much information as possible. The individual complaint form can be used to document cases of violence against women.

It would be helpful to receive a summary of the main points of the case. The summary could identify the rights that have been or may be violated. If your government has ratified human rights treaties, you could refer to the specific provisions of the treaties you believe have been violated.

If your submission is in regard to a law, practice or policy which affects women in general or women in a specific group, explain how other women are affected or describe the group. A consistent pattern in individual cases can be used to demonstrate a general failure to prevent and respond to private abuses.

If you submit information about violations committed by private individuals or groups (rather than government officials), include any information which might indicate that the government failed to exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate, punish, and ensure compensation for the violations. For example information on:

whether or not there is a law which addresses the violation
any defects in existing laws such as inadequate remedies or definitions of rights
the refusal or failure by authorities to register or investigate your case and other similar cases
the failure by the authorities to prosecute your case and other similar cases
patterns of gender discrimination in the prosecution or sentencing of cases
statistics and other data concerning the prevalence of the type of violation described in the submission.

The identity of an alleged victim will always be included in any contact between the Special Rapporteur and State authorities. The Special Rapporteur cannot intervene without revealing the victim’s identity. If the victim is a minor (below 18 years of age), the Special Rapporteur will include his or her identity in contact with the State, but will not include it in any subsequent public report. Similarly, if there are grounds to believe that revealing the identity of the victim in a public report might put the victim at further risk, they will not be included in any public report. The source of the information provided or the victim may also request that the victim’s name not be included in public reports. The name of the victim will be made public in the joint communications report of special procedures mandate holders, issued three times per year (March, June and September), unless the victim requests not to have his/her identity revealed in the said report. The identity of the source of information on the alleged violation is always kept confidential, unless the source agrees that it may be revealed. When submitting information you may indicate whether there are any other details which you would like to remain confidential.

Communications from the Special Rapporteur to the government are confidential at an initial stage until the summary of the letters and the answer of the government are included in the joint Communications Report of Special Procedures submitted periodically to the Human Rights Council. It is important for the Special Rapporteur to receive updated and relevant information on the situations referred to in the complaints submitted to enable him/her to continue to follow-up on the issue through his/her dialogue with the involved Parties. Person(s) or organization(s) that have submitted information and complaints are urged to consider the response made by Government and to submit their comments, if necessary, to the Special Rapporteur. Also note that several other individual complaint mechanisms have been established as part of the international human rights system. For more information please visit the Special Procedures page and the Human Rights Bodies-Complaints Procedures page.
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights in resolution 1994/45, adopted on 4 March 1994, decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur on violence against women, including its causes and consequences. The mandate was extended by the Commission on Human Rights in 2003, at its 59th session in resolution 2003/45. In the same resolution the Commission on Human Rights:

"Strongly condemning all acts of violence against women and girls and in this regard called, in accordance with the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, for the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence in the family, within the general community and where perpetrated or condoned by the State, and emphasized the duty of Governments to refrain from engaging in violence against women and to exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and, in accordance with national legislation, punish acts of violence against women and to take appropriate and effective action concerning acts of violence against women, whether those acts are perpetrated by the State, by private persons or by armed groups or warring factions, and to provide access to just and effective remedies and specialized, including medical, assistance to victims;

Affirmed, in this light, that violence against women constitutes a violation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and that violence against women impairs or nullifies their enjoyment of those rights and freedoms."

Since March 2006, the Special Rapporteur reports to the Human Rights Council, as per Human Rights Council’s decision 1/102. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur was lastly renewed in 2016 by resolution 32/19.

According to his/her mandate the Special Rapporteur is requested to:

(a) Seek and receive information on violence against women, its causes and consequences from Governments, treaty bodies, specialized agencies, other special rapporteurs responsible for various human rights questions and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, including women's organizations, and to respond effectively to such information; 

(b) Recommend measures, ways and means at the local, national, regional and international levels to eliminate all forms of violence against women and its causes, and to remedy its consequences; 

(c) Work closely with all special procedures and other human rights mechanisms of the Human Rights Council and with the treaty bodies, taking into account the request of the Council that they regularly and systematically integrate the human rights of women and a gender perspective into their work, and cooperate closely with the Commission on the Status of Women in the discharge of its functions; 

(d) Continue to adopt a comprehensive and universal approach to the elimination of violence against women, its causes and consequences, including causes of violence against women relating to the civil, cultural, economic, political and social spheres.

In the discharge of the mandate the Special Rapporteur:

Transmits urgent appeals and communications to States regarding alleged cases of violence against women. See Individual Complaints

Undertakes country visits. See Country Visits

Submits annual thematic reports. See Annual Reports
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Monday, June 12, 2017

Nepal Feminists Statement for CSW 61 3/3

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Nepal Feminists Statement for CSW 61 2 /3

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Nepal Feminists Statement for CSW 61 1/3

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017


for the Committee on the Internal Market & Consumer Protection

2010/2052(INI) - 6/23/2010

The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.    Stresses that advertising often communicates discriminatory and/or undignified messages based on all forms of gender stereotyping, which hinder gender equality strategies; calls on the Commission, the Member States and civil society to cooperate closely to combat such practices;

2.    Highlights the existence of certain advertisements which promote either various types of violence or stereotypes of women as objects, humiliate women and debase their dignity; urges the Commission and the Member States to develop European awareness campaigns against exploitation of the female body and dissemination of sexist messages;

3.    Notes that advertising and marketing often propagate the idea of perfection, which can have a negative influence on the self-esteem and self-respect of women, men and young people; draws attention to the vulnerability of consumers which can lead to inappropriate behavioural attitudes, anxiety, harmful addictions (smoking, drugs), eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, and a disturbance of mental equilibrium; calls on all advertisers to reconsider the promotion of extremely thin models (men or women) in order to avoid harmful messages about appearance, body imperfections, age and weight;

4.    Stresses that reliable advertising may have a positive influence on society’s perceptions of issues such as gender roles, body image and normality; encourages advertisers to be more constructive in their advertisements, in order to promote the positive role of women in society, at work, in the family and in public life;

5.    Calls on the Commission and the Member States to strengthen training and education activities as a way to overcome stereotypes, combat discrimination and promote gender equality.
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Monday, June 5, 2017


  •   Civic education on the land laws so that women understand land laws and their rights. This should include promotion of adult education particularly in rural areas.
  •  Review, harmonize, and update land laws to reflect women’s rights on land.
  • Engage governments in the Kilimanjaro Initiative for them to support women’s land rights.
  • Involve youth in land issues – through curriculum & youth should have representation in decision making bodies.
  • Joint and equal ownership of land through joint land title deeds.
  • Include women in customary land governance structures.
  • Ensure customary law are consistent with constitutional and statutory safeguards for women’s land rights.
  • Land laws and policies should be translated and made available to communities (dissemination) in accessible local languages.
  •  Mobilize and build women’s movements in support of women’s land rights (the Kilimanjaro Initiative) – popularize the demands and solutions.
  •  Educate and mobilize custodians of culture to become champions of women’s land rights.
  •  Create an African network of women’s rights defenders.
  •  Recognize and facilitate the work of women’s rights defenders.
  •  Implement the AU’s recommendation that requires states to allocate at least 30% of land to women.
  •  Improve land rights of women through legislative and other mechanisms.
  •  Establish gender-responsive property rights framework beyond land laws by reforming marital property law, succession (inheritance law), etc.).
  •  Identify and protect farming and grazing areas to stop conflicts pitting pastoralists and farmers.
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Saturday, June 3, 2017

The African Union officially endorses Pan African Women’s Charter on Land Rights. WE DEMAND 3/4

• Sensitization of leaders, (traditional, community, religious and others) youth, people with disabilities, and women on the law and policies on land.
• Women empowerment by enabling them to access their land rights, technology, and financial resources to improve their livelihoods.
• Translate land policies and laws into accessible local languages.
• Sex disaggregated digital inventory of tenure rights within public, community, and private lands so that all land is identified, recorded, and made public for safeguarding.
• 50% participation of women in decision-making bodies and implementation of land issues and matters (including in the valuation of land and payment of compensation for natural resources) so that they can speak and defend their land rights.
• Governments should regulate businesses and investors that pollute the environment and adversely affect the environment and the health of communities, especially women and children.
• Governments must avoid land-based investments which forcefully displace rural communities, particularly women and children.
• Women and communities must have a say on who and what kind of investments and companies that invest in their communities. The investor must be obligated to provide information about the impacts of their investment (sustainability - economic, environmental, health, social, and infrastructural).
• Investments in land should be done in partnership with communities, governments, and investors – jobs; development projects (water, roads, schools, hospitals, etc.); minimum 40% share in the profits; environmental protection.
• The challenges of people living with disabilities and other vulnerable groups (people living with HIV/AIDs, widows), namely stigma, discrimination, cultural biases, lack of access to information and infrastructure must be taken into account in all land matters and they must be represented in decision-making bodies and involved in the implementation process.
• Pastoral lands must be recognized and protected by law and other mechanisms.
• Ban harmful and oppressive cultural practices that undermine women’s rights including those that prohibit women to inherit land and other resources.
• Government should enact laws to provide security and protection of women’s rights defenders.
• Stop persistent farmers – pastoralists conflicts over the use of land and other resources.
• Enact inheritance law to provide and safeguard women’s land rights whenever it is not existing.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Kilimanjaro Initiative OBJECTIVES 2/4

  • To strengthen the agency and movement of rural women in claiming and defending their land and natural resource rights in Africa.
  • To engender political will amongst national governments, donor and regional institutions to implement an all-inclusive African women’s charter.
  • To mobilise and support the participation of 100,000 rural women in the Kilimanjaro Initiative in at least 20 countries in Africa.
  • To raise awareness on existing frameworks and safeguards around large scale land based investments and demand for their application in securing legitimate tenure rights of rural women in Africa


“We, the rural women of Africa, assembled in Arusha from 14th to 16th of October 2016, present this African Women Charter of demands on land rights developed through a consultative process involving representatives of the Rural Women Assemblies and women farmers’ forums from over 21 African countries. All demands presented below were endorsed by all members of the Assembly.”

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