Friday, September 21, 2018

Feminicide across Europe: Macedonia

Generally, there is lack of data information and statistics on femicide in the Republic of Macedonia. This is due to the fact that is no legally binding definition of femicide in the legal acts of the Republic of Macedonia. The definition of homicide is covered under Criminal law. Some changes have been made in this definition due to the implementation of the Istanbul Convention.

The femicide data statistics can be obtained as follows: 
1. Through the general report by the Ministry of Internal Aaffairs on homicide data statistics. This report renders the question of femicide problem invisible, although it is reported that men are perpetrators of the homicide crimes. As to the motives for committing the murders, most of them are reported as occurring in the family circle, because of disrupted family relationships, with mostly women as victims. 
 2. Some statistical data on femicide can be obtained from the Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs through the National Strategy for preventing family violence and homicide, as the most extreme form of family violence. However, the data for femicide is not visible despite the fact that it is reported that most of the victims are female partners.  3. Unfortunately, femicide statistics are also not covered by the National Statistics Authority at the moment, due to the lack of research and official information provided
 (by Biljana Chavkoska and Viktorija Chavkoska)

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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