Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Feminicide across Europe: The Netherlands

1 Sources
In the Netherlands, homicides in recent years (from 2003 onwards) have been classified according to the Dutch Homicide Monitor. For details on the construction of the dataset and the available variables, see Granath et al. (2011). This Monitor is based on various sources, which partially overlap, but also complement one another:
• All homicide-related newspaper articles generated by the Netherlands National News Agency (ANP). These articles contain much information on the characteristics of the homicides, the  perpetrators and victims.
• The Elsevier Annual Report. Elsevier is a weekly magazine that publishes an annual report on all occurring homicides. This report is based on both ANP articles and Police files.
• Data stemming from police records in the 10 Police regions in the Netherlands. Several Police regions supply (additional) data from their own documentation, which is incorporated in the database.
• Files from the Public Prosecution Service of the Ministry of Justice. This database includes the judicial procedures of prosecuted homicide perpetrators.

2 Definition
Femicides are not classified separately, as such. The available data allow for the extraction of female victims among sexual homicides, intimate partner homicides and other types of homicides.
(by Marieke Liem)

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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