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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