Sunday, October 7, 2018

Feminicide across Europe: Slovenia

  In Slovenia, the concept of femicide is not in common use and is not recognized as an expression denoting the homicide of women. Moreover, it is not even currently used in academic circles, nor does it appear in the media and, consequently, is not found among the general population. The concept of femicide is employed only by a few feminist scholars and researchers and a number of NGOs working with women victims of violence. The problem of femicide is still underestimated and under-researched in Slovenia.

22. Sources
In Slovenia, only one official body can provide data on femicides, namely, the Ministry of Interior, where statistical data about homicides of women is systematically collected and the relationship between the victim and the offender is viewed as serious and important data.
Another important source on femicide in Slovena is the first and only study on intimate partner femicide, conducted for PhD research at the Faculty of Arts and Science in Ljubljana, entitled Violence against women and intimate partner homicides of women in Slovenia.
The analysis is based on the review and qualitative analysis of 24 criminal records from all the District courts in Slovenia, for the period between 2000 and 2011.

2 Definition
Is hard to say what the definition of femicide in Slovenia might be, because there is no public debate on the issue. In general, when someone uses the concent of femicide he/she is referring to the killing of women by an intimate partner. However, in the academic field we employ Russell’s definition, “the killing of females by males because they are females” (Russell, 2001, p. 3). We use this definition to stress the importance of the term’s political significance.

(by Milica Antic and Jasna Podreka)

In order to fight feminicide/femicide, various Latin American and European countries have adopted increasingly specific laws and legal instruments that penalize feminicide. The ratification of the Belém do Pará Convention1 in Latin America and the entry into force of the Istanbul Convention2  in Europe, demonstrate an increasingly stronger international commitment against this kind of violence. The establishment of the Bi-regional Dialogue on Gender by the European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), as well as the adoption of the Urgent Resolution on Feminicide in the European Union and Latin America3 by the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat) also express this commitment.    

However, legal norms, agreements, and international dialogues alone are not sufficient for the eradication of violence against women, nor its most extreme manifestation, feminicide.

Traditionally, States were only responsible for their own actions or those of their agents, but international public law has evolved and currently, the principle of due diligence makes the State responsible for the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of violence, regardless of who commits the crime. The duty of due diligence obliges States to enter the private sphere, where historically, they have not intervened, but where the majority of cases of violence against women occur. 

Therefore, it is the duty of the State to take all necessary measures to prevent human rights violations, such as feminicide, before they occur. This means, on the one hand, adopting pertinent laws and policies to prevent, investigate, prosecute, and punish those guilty of abuse, and on the other hand, successfully implement them. 

Patricia Jiménez, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung – European Union, Brussels

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