Using Human Rights to Protect Women against Violence - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – Using Human Rights to Protect Women against Violence PowerPoint presentation | free to view - id: 1cd29f-ZDc1Z


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

Using Human Rights to Protect Women against Violence


improve understanding of human rights related to violence ... State agents and officials must protect women against violence perpetrated by private actors ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:69
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 27
Provided by: rachel120


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Using Human Rights to Protect Women against Violence

Using Human Rights to Protect Women against
  • Workshop for womens rights advocates on using
    human rights to protect women against violence
  • Purpose
  • improve understanding of human rights related to
  • develop capacity of community advocates to use
    human rights
  • strengthen womens rights network
  • improve access to justice for women
  • Supported by the Victorian Womens Trust

Violence against Women in Australia
  • 1 in 3 women experience physical violence
  • 1 in 5 women experience sexual violence
  • Aboriginal women are 40 times more likely to
    experience domestic violence
  • International evidence suggests that 80 of women
    with intellectual disabilities have experienced
    some form of sexual abuse
  • Access Economics Report estimated that, in
    2002-2003, domestic violence cost Australia over
    8 billion

Human Rights Approach to Violence
  • Violence is a systemic issue that requires a
    comprehensive legal and social response
  • Human rights are one tool that can be used to
    address this wrong
  • Human rights are a tool that carry legitimacy
    with Government

Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre
  • Peter Noble, Principal Solicitor
  • Violence is Out of Bounds

What are human rights?
  • Human rights are those rights one needs to live a
    dignified life (a life worthy of a human being)
  • Human rights are
  • derived from human dignity
  • universal, core minimum standards
  • common sense and common values
  • essential in a democratic and inclusive society
    that respects the rule of law, human dignity,
    equality and freedom (Victorian Charter)
  • Human rights belong to all human beings by virtue
    of them being human

What are human rights?
  • Freedom movement, assembly association, forced
    work, expression, thought religion, liberty
    security, fair hearing
  • Respect life, protection of families and
    children, cultural rights, property
  • Equality non-discrimination, equal recognition,
  • Dignity torture cruel treatment, privacy
    reputation, humane treatment in detention

What are human rights?
  • Examples of key human rights include
  • Civil and political rights Economic, social and
    cultural rights
  • Right to life Right to health
  • Right to privacy Right to food
  • Freedom from discrimination Right to adequate
  • Freedom of expression Right to work and to just
    conditions of work
  • Freedom from slavery Right to education
  • Right to liberty and security Cultural rights
  • Right to a fair hearing Protection of families
    and children
  • Freedom from torture Right to an adequate
    standard of living
  • Freedom of religion Right to social security

Human rights obligations
  • Obligation to respect rights
  • Government must not violate human rights
  • Obligation to protect rights
  • Government must protect others from violating
    human rights
  • Obligation to fulfill rights
  • Government must take steps to ensure that human
    rights are enjoyed by all persons

Where do we find human rights internationally?
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political
    Rights (ICCPR) ?
  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and
    Cultural Rights (ICESCR) ?
  • Convention on the Elimination of Racial
    Discrimination (CERD) ?
  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
    Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) ?
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) ?
  • Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
    Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (CAT) ?
  • Convention on the Rights of Persons with
    Disabilities (CRPD) ?
  • Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All
    Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families ?

  • International Bill of Rights for Women
  • Adopted by UN General Assembly in 1979
  • Entered into force in 1981
  • Introduced because, despite existence of other
    human rights treaties, extensive discrimination
    against women persisted

  • Object and purpose to eliminate all forms of
    discrimination against women, with a view to
    ensuring substantive equality
  • Wrongful gender stereotyping (art 5)
  • Trafficking (art 6)
  • Representation in Political and Public Life (arts
  • Nationality (art 9)
  • Education (art 10)
  • Employment (art 11)
  • Reproductive and sexual health (art 12)
  • Socio-economic life, sport and culture (art 13)
  • Rural women (art 14)
  • Equality before the law / civil matters (art 15)
  • Marriage and family relations (art 16)

CEDAW and Violence
  • CEDAW does not explicitly prohibit VAW
  • General Recommendation No. 19
  • VAW discrimination against women
  • VAW human rights violation
  • States must take positive steps to eliminate VAW
  • State agents and officials must not commit VAW
  • State agents and officials must protect women
    against violence perpetrated by private actors

CEDAW and Violence
  • CEDAW therefore requires the elimination of VAW
  • What other rights in CEDAW are relevant to VAW?
  • What happens if Australia doesnt comply with its
    obligations under CEDAW?
  • Reporting obligations and Concluding Observations
  • Optional Protocol

CEDAW and Violence
  • What does the Government report say about VAW?
  • What does the NGO report say about VAW?
  • What do the Concluding Observations say about
  • What is the impact of these documents?

Where do we find human rights in Australia?
  • Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities 2006
  • Equal Opportunity Act 1995 (Vic)
  • Family Violence Prevention Act 2008 (Vic)
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)
  • National Human Rights Act 2010 (Cth) ????

Victorian Charter
  • The Charter protects and promotes human rights in
  • It requires all arms of the Victorian Government
    to act compatibly with human rights

Victorian Charter
  • Government
  • Human rights standards should be built into laws
    and policies
  • Should assess all new laws for compliance with
    human rights and report to Parliament
  • Respond to declarations made by the Supreme Court
  • Parliament
  • Pass laws after assessing them for compliance
    with human rights
  • In exceptional circumstances, can override the
    Charter in passing legislation
  • Has final say on all laws
  • Courts
  • Where possible, should interpret law to be
    compatible with the Charter
  • Supreme Court can make a declaration that a law
    is not consistent with the Charter

Public authorities
  • Charter applies to public authorities
  • Public authorities are bodies that perform public
  • A private entity performing a public function
    will be a public authority
  • Examples include
  • Police
  • Public transport officials
  • Health providers
  • Local council
  • Prison authorities
  • Schools
  • Government departments

Victorian Charter
  • Right to recognition and equality before the law
    (s 8)
  • Right to life (s 9)
  • Freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or
    degrading treatment (s 10)
  • Freedom of movement (s 12)
  • Right to protection of families and children (s
  • Right to liberty and security of person (s 21)

Victorian Charter equality
  • Right to recognition as a person before the law
  • all people have legal rights in a general sense
  • Enjoyment of human rights without discrimination
  • every person should be able to enjoy the human
    rights that are set out in the Charter without
  • Equality before the law, equal protection of the
    law, protection against discrimination
  • people must not be discriminated against based on
    any of the attributes listed in the Equal
    Opportunity Act 1995 (eg age, gender, race)

What if domestic avenues fail?
  • Optional Protocol to CEDAW
  • Communication procedure
  • Akin to an international court case
  • Submit complaint to CEDAW Committee
  • Has been used repeatedly to address VAW eg,
    Goekce v Austria
  • Inquiry procedure
  • Can submit information to CEDAW Committee
    requesting that it conduct an inquiry into
    allegation of grave or systematic violations of
  • Has been used to address VAW eg, Ciudad Juarez

Why use human rights?
  • Universally agreed set of norms and principles
  • Human rights have legitimacy and currency with
  • Government doesnt want to be embarrassed by
    violating human rights
  • Private sector is now more accepting of human
    rights and this is applying pressure on
  • A lot of issues are universal we can learn from
    how human rights have been applied to address
    violence elsewhere
  • Clarity of framework (esp where there are
    competing rights)

Using human rights to protect against VAW
  • Empower victims/survivors
  • Protect and promote rights of victims/survivors
  • Advocacy work
  • Policy and law reform work
  • Community education
  • Media engagement
  • Funding applications

Using human rights to protect against VAW
  • Small group exercises on using human rights to
    protect against violence against women
  • Group 1 exercises 1-2
  • Group 2 exercises 3-4
  • Report back

Further Information
  • Lucy McKernan or Simone Cusack
  • Level 17, 461 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Tel 8636 4414 (Lucy) or 8636 4415 (Simone)
  • E or
  • Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre
  • Peter Noble
  • 29 Queen Street, Bendigo VIC 3550
  • Tel 1800 639 121 (freecall) or 5444 4364
  • E