Thursday, April 23, 2020

UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women Seeks Input

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Dubravka Šimonović, in her thematic report to be presented to the UN General Assembly in September 2020 will address States’ responsibility to criminalize and prosecute rape as a grave and systematic human rights violation and gender based violence against women, in line with international human rights standards.  Submissions are due by May 20, 2020.

The Special Rapporteur indicates that the aim of the report is to collect as much information as possible on the criminalization and prosecution of rape, and to thereby support and encourage a process of harmonization of national criminal laws and systems and practice with international standards on rape and sexual violence in both peacetime and during conflicts.

In her report, the Special Rapporteur intends to provide recommendations to States and other stakeholders on key international human rights standards that should be integrated in national criminal justice responses in order to harmonize them with accepted international standards; to provide access to justice and support for victims of rape; to break the cycle of impunity; and to prosecute perpetrators, ensuring that they are not protected by hidden domestic norms that are still part of criminal law or criminal procedure.

The Special Rapporteur has developed a questionnaire to elicit relevant data from States, human rights bodies, and civil society.  More information, including the questionnaire, is available here.

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