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Just Development. 2014 Jan; (1):1-4.Our first feature, Four Cardinal Questions [and answers of a sort] toward Just Development in FCS, by Deborah Isser, Doug Porter and Louis-Alexandre Berg, takes on the hardest cases: countries plagued by fragility, violent conflict, extremely low capacity and poor governance. The Note proposes an analytical framework, illustrated by case examples that can be used to design effective interventions.
New York, New York, UN Women, 2011.  p.On 6 July 2011, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) launched their flagship report, entitled "Progress of the World's Women 2011-2012: In Pursuit of Justice." The past century has seen a transformation in women's legal rights, with countries all over the world expanding the scope of women's legal entitlements. However, for millions of women worldwide, the laws that exist on paper do not translate into equality and justice. The report, aimed at policymakers and gender equality advocates, illustrates the ways to reform and create new models for justice services that meet women's needs. It emphasizes the importance of well-functioning legal and justice systems to overcome prevalent inadequate laws and implementation gaps that undermine gender equality. The four broad findings of the report are i) laws matter; ii) implementation matters; iii) the infrastructure of justice matters; and iv) women's empowerment matters. Ten groundbreaking cases relating to gender equality are presented in the report to illustrate how women increasingly use international courts, the role of the use of strategic litigation, how a court can hold the government responsible and the usage of a framework of transformative reparations. As concluding remarks, the report suggests ten recommendations, aiming to enhance women's access to justice and the promotion of gender equality: 1. Support women's legal organizations; 2. Support one-stop shops and specialized services to reduce attrition in the justice chain; 3. Implement gender-sensitive law reform; 4. Use quotas to boost the number of women legislators; 5. Put women on the front line of law enforcement; 6. Train judges and monitor decisions; 7. Increase women's access to courts and truth commissions in conflict and post-conflict contexts; 8. Implement gender-responsive reparations programmes; 9. Invest in women's access to justice; 10. Put gender equality at the heart of the Millennium Development Goals.
New York, New York, Human Rights Watch, 2008 Apr. 44 p. (1-56432-302-1)Five years into the armed conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, women and girls living in displaced persons camps, towns, and rural areas remain extremely vulnerable to sexual violence. Sexual violence continues to occur throughout the region, both in the context of continuing attacks on civilians, and during periods of relative calm. Those responsible are usually men from the Sudanese security forces, militias, rebel groups, and former rebel groups, who target women and girls predominantly (but not exclusively) from Fur, Zaghawa, Masalit, Berti, Tunjur, and other non-Arab ethnicities. Survivors of sexual violence in Darfur have no meaningful access to redress. They fear the consequences of reporting their cases to the authorities and lack the resources needed to prosecute their attackers. Police are physically present only in principal towns and government outposts, and they lack the basic tools and political will for responding to sexual violence crimes and conducting investigations. Police frequently fail to register complaints or conduct proper investigations. While some police seem genuinely committed to service, many exhibit an antagonistic and dismissive attitude toward women and girls. These difficulties are exacerbated by the reluctance-and limited ability-of police to investigate crimes committed by soldiers or militia, who often gain effective immunity under laws that protect them from civilian prosecution. (excerpt)
[Unpublished] 2004. Presented at the Conference on Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Situations, "Peace Needs Women and Women Need Justice”. Co-organized by the United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM] and the International Legal Assistance Consortium. New York, New York, September 15-17, 2004. 5 p.In 1999, I stood among a sea of 20,000 desperate people on a dirt airfield outside Skopje, Macedonia, listening to one harrowing story after another. I had come to the Stenkovec refugee camp to record those stories and to help set up a system for documenting atrocities in Kosovo. The refugees with whom I spoke described being robbed, beaten, herded together and forced to flee their villages with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. Yet, what I remember most vividly are the lost expressions on the faces of the young women and girls in the camp. At first, they did not speak a word. Their silence acted as a veil, concealing crimes that they could not emotionally recollect. However, slowly, through time and comfort in speaking to female counsellors, their stories emerged. The brutality and systematic consistency of the sexual violence perpetrated on these women were mind-numbing. The widespread practice of rape against Muslim women was more than a consequence of war, it was an instrument of war with the intent of destroying the cultural fabric of a targeted group. This experience brought home to me a truism in international and national conflict: women suffer disproportionately to the atrocities committed against civilians. (excerpt)
Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law. 2004; 12(1):197-231.Sexual violence against women during conflict and war has always had a place in history. However, protection against such genderbased violence found a place in international criminal statutes only after World War II. The Nuremberg Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg (“IMT”) did not criminalize rape but created the category of crimes against humanity, which today encompasses gender-based crimes such as rape. Nearly a year later, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East at Tokyo (“IMTFE”) included rape as a violation of war in the Tokyo Charter. While the significance of such prosecutable crimes in the Nuremberg and Tokyo Charters is arguable, the inclusion of rape as a war crime served as the foundation for the wide acknowledgment of genderbased crimes and crimes specifically targeting women. Consequently, an increased awareness of gender-based crimes is evident in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. This Comment analyzes the Rome Statute and the degree to which the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) protects women from gender-based violence. Part I discusses the history of international criminal courts and the path leading up to the need for the ICC. It also explores discussions at the Rome Diplomatic Conference that placed gender-based crimes under the ICC’s jurisdiction. Part II addresses the protection that women receive under the ICC as regulated by the Rome Statute, specifically Articles 7 and 8 (“the Articles”), which lend greatest protection to women. Part III applies the Rome Statute’s Articles 7 and 8 to two regions: the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) and Kosovo. (excerpt)
[UN assistance in reinforcing African capacities in the area of human rights: the case of legislative reform and support for judicial power] L'Assistance de l'ONU pour le renforcement des capacités africaines dans le domaine des droits de l'homme: cas de la réforme législative et de l'appui au pouvoir judiciaire.
In: La protection des droits de l'Homme entre la législation interne et le droit international. Actes du colloque organisé par le Centre de Recherches sur la Coopération Internationale pour le Développement de la Faculté de Droit de Marrakech avec le concours de la Fondation Hanns-Seidel, les 21 et 22 janvier 2000. Rabat, Morocco, Revue Marocaine d'Administration Locale et de Developpement, 2001. 11-16. (Thèmes Actuels No. 26)In order to respect the main conventions currently in force, and the African Charter of Human and People Rights, the member countries must submit a report on the way they implement the tools supporting human rights, and on the obstacles they encounter. But for reasons linked to a lack of expertise and/or financial resources, many countries are lead to solicit assistance from foreign countries or international organizations such as the UN. This statement is particularly true for African countries. The assistance is mainly technical and is aimed at reinforcing the capacity of these states, and at integrating the norms pertinent to human rights in their judicial and legislative systems. The action of the UN is based on a normative, institutional and operational system, and for that purpose, African countries benefited from the Technical Cooperation Program (Programme de Coopération Technique). The consultative services program, once established, provides technical aid to help with obtaining grants, training through the organization of regional or national seminars, and the consultative services of experts for constitutional or legislative reforms. This program evolved; on one hand it opened up to embrace other domains; and, on the other hand, it opened technical cooperation offices on the field. As for the reinforcement of judicial power, the UN has proposed several strategies such as: constitutional and legislative reforms to reinforce the independence of the judicial power from other bodies of the State, judicial reforms, rehabilitation of the social status of judges and representatives of the law, and reinforcement of training. Furthermore, the Vienna Action Program, (Programme d'action de Vienne), adopted by the World Human Rights Conference of 1993, highlighted the financing of projects devoted to judicial protection and to the reinforcement of the independence of the judicial system of a few African countries.
[Toward a new international penal law: some general reflections at the end of the century] Vers un nouveau droit international pénal: quelques réflexions générales à la fin du siècle.
In: La protection des droits de l'Homme entre la législation interne et le droit international. Actes du colloque organisé par le Centre de Recherches sur la Coopération Internationale pour le Développement de la Faculté de Droit de Marrakech avec le concours de la Fondation Hanns-Seidel, les 21 et 22 janvier 2000. Rabat, Morocco, Revue Marocaine d'Administration Locale et de Developpement, 2001. 33-56. (Thèmes Actuels No. 26)In classic international law, since the individual is separated from the international sphere by the legal fiction of the State, while international law at the dawn of the twenty-first century no longer governs only co-existence among States or the pursuit of their common goals, but also collective interests proper to the international community as a whole, the protection of human rights today is no longer part of the domain reserved to States. At the present time, we find that the individual is the subject of rights and the State is the subject of new duty, namely the respect of human rights. It is possible to identify, through the practice of diplomacy and international jurisprudence, a few general rules, divided into those relating to substance and those relating to procedure. Among the rules relating to substance, it is possible to identify the principles of sovereignty and cooperation, the elementary rules of humaneness and the rule of individual criminal liability. In the area of international sanction mechanisms in international law, the first image we see is that of the courts of Nuremberg and Tokyo. The classic approach to the sanctioning of individuals has really changed only since the end of the 1980's. These sanctions had long been in the hands of the State. In all cases, at least on the normative level, they left in their hands the obligation to obey and to enforce international criminal law, which at the present time is conveyed, among other ways, through the action of international tribunals, bilateral cooperation through international criminal judiciary assistance and multilateral cooperation. Several humanitarian tragedies, such as those in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq and Rwanda, have called into question the effectiveness of these new enforcement and sanction procedures; however the participation of public opinion and non-governmental organizations (NGO's), the political and judicial action of the United Nations have reinforced it.
Monday Developments. 2002 Jun 3; 20(10):9.Normally at this time of year, House appropriators are busy working in their subcommittees on annual spending bills for the coming year. This year, how- ever, they were working on the FY 2002 Supplemental Spending Bill, which was passed out of the House Appropriations Committee May 15. Approximately $600 million was added to foreign assistance: $200 million for HIV/AIDS; $150 million more for Afghanistan; $200 million in Economic Support Fund money for Israel, and $50 million for Palestinian refugees. The over- all funding level in the supplemental is $29.4 billion. As reported in the May 13 issue of Monday Developments, Inter-Action was calling on appropriators to support additional money for HIV/AIDS, refugee repatriation in Afghanistan, and a jump-start for President Bush's Millennium Challenge Account. Inter-Action thanks those who made calls to their representatives. Here's how those issues fared in the Appropriations Committee. (excerpt)
Paris, France, MFPF, 1993 Jun. ii, 73 p. (Dossier Documentaire)The French Movement for Family Planning (MFPF) has compiled documents on female genital mutilation in France. The documents are presented with an introduction entitled Excision in Law and four sections addressing the last excision trials in France; action of the public powers; in the UK, family planning action and of IPPF; trials for excision in January and February 1993 (facts across the press); and family planning in Mali fighting against sexual mutilation. Interspersed in these sections are witness accounts, indictments, and counsel's speech. Some titles of newspaper and magazine articles in the MFPF collection include Five Years in Prison for Excision (Le Monde); For the First Time in France, an African is Condemned to a Year on a Prison Farm for Having Her Daughters Excised (Le Monde); Excision: The Pain of the Innocents (Nouvel Observateur); and Excision: The Word of Cut Women (Marie-Claire). The MFPF collection presents an IPPF report called Restoring to Women their Life Space which is about female genital mutilation. The collection ends with an interview in the Bulletin of the Malian Association for Family Planning (AMPPF) with an obstetrician-gynecologist serving on the AMPPF executive board who addresses excision and other traditional practices.
[International system of protection of the human rights of women] Sistema internacional de proteccion de los derechos humanos de las mujeres.
In: Derechos humanos de las mujeres. Aportes y reflexiones, [compiled by] Movimiento Manuela Ramos. Lima, Peru, Movimiento Manuela Ramos, 1998 Nov. 161-97. (Serie Mujer y Derechos Humanos 6)The evolution over the past few decades of international law protecting the human rights of women is described, and the international instruments designed to protect these rights are assessed from the perspective of jurisprudence. The first sections examine factors that have allowed implantation of a culture of human rights throughout the entire planet to emerge as a goal of international law, and describe some assumptions underlying the theme of human rights of women. Documents that were crucial in the evolution are then analyzed, including the UN Charter, the first instrument expressly signaling the equality of rights of men and women, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UN Commission on the Juridical and Social Condition of Women and the Fourth International Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 are also discussed. Mechanisms for international protection of the rights of women are examined, including the Declaration on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Other organs for protection that are discussed include the Human Rights Committee and the Committee for Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, and regional mechanisms such as the Interamerican Human Rights Commission and Court and the Interamerican Conventions on Political Rights of Women, Civil Rights of Women, and Against Gender Violence. The final section contrasts the normative development of protections for women’s human rights with actual practices, and identifies the next steps that should be taken.
Maternal mortality and the right of the child to survival, protection and development. Perspectives on southern and eastern Africa in light of international law.
In: The effects of maternal mortality on children in Africa: an exploratory report on Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, [compiled by] Defense for Children International-USA. New York, New York, Defense for Children International-USA, 1991. 97-143.How international law documents such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child establish a legal framework within which to promote child survival in Southern and Eastern Africa, emphasizing the documents' significance for maternal mortality, the most important factor affecting child survival, is examined. In November 1989, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the Convention, a comprehensive treaty that establishes the rights of children and their families, outlining the responsibilities of governments and adults in securing those rights. By September 1990, most countries in Southern and Eastern Africa had ratified the treaty; the remaining countries had pledged to approve it. The Convention not only obligates governments to allocate greater resources to the most vulnerable members of society, but also requires a higher level of international cooperation, including greater commitment from industrialized countries and greater participation at the grassroots level. The economic, social, and cultural dimensions of maternal mortality and its impact on child survival are discussed, as well as the maternal and child survival issues addressed by the Convention: 1) maternal-child health services; 2) traditional practices harmful to the mother and child (in this case, female circumcision and child marriage); and 3) survival and development through international cooperation. The implications of the Convention on the primary health care model are also discussed. The impact of other international documents on maternal mortality and child health is examined.
[Human rights and the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women-1979] Los derechos humanos y la convencion sobre la eliminacion de todas la formas de discriminacion contra la mujer-1979
Bogota, Colombia, Profamilia, 1988. 189 p.The most significant achievement during the past decade for women's rights has been the drafting and adoption of legislation on the "Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women" (1976-85). This document highlighted the practice of institutional discrimination which affected women in judicial and social patterns of behavior. Discrimination against women violates their fundamental rights of equality and respect for their human dignity. This is the basic premise of the UN document--that there is a minimally accepted behavior permitted between men and women towards women, and this must include fundamental and institutional principles that include and highlight women's fundamental and equal rights. This document cannot and should not be viewed as another one to have been ratified, but instead should be categorized as the "Magna Carta" for women's human rights. Unfortunately, this document can also become a smoke screen for those countries searching for prestige and approval from the international community and who ratify such documents for political approval and then continue to violate women's rights. The objective of this book is its contribution in researching and documenting the correlation between law, its practice, and women's judicial, social and economic condition. The book includes 8 chapters: 1) Decade of the United Nations for the Advancement of Women; 2) The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Human Rights, and Equality; 3) Female Prostitution; 4) Equality for Women; 5) Eliminating Discriminatory Practices in Marriage and Family Relationships; 6) Eliminating Discriminatory Practices in the Employment, Education, Health, Economics, Social and Cultural Sectors; 7) New Human Rights and Family Planning; and 8) The Convention.
New York, New York, PPFA, 1987. 16 p.This brochure published by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, (PPFA) tells the story of the dismemberment of the U.S. international family planning policy from 1961 to 1987. Official family planning policy began in the U.S. in 1961 with Kennedy's endorsement of contraceptive research. In 1968 Congress first allotted foreign aid funds for family planning. By 1973, the tide turned with Helms' amendment to the foreign assistance act prohibiting use of funds to support abortion. In 1983, USAID cut funds for the prestigious journal International Planning Perspectives, because the agency's review board chairman objected to an article on health damage of illegal abortion and mention of legal abortion. It took a court ruling to restore funds. In the same year, the Pathfinder Fund was pressured to accept the U.S. policy articulated in 1984 as the "Mexico City Policy." This ideology states that the U.S. would no longer support any program that performs, advocates, refers or counsels women about abortion, even if those activities are legal and funded by non-U.S. sources. Next, USAID pulled support from the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). The U.S. has multiplied support for natural family planning 10-fold to $8 million, and permitted organizations to counsel clients in this method without offering conventional alternatives. In 1986, the U.S. dropped support for the U.N. Fund for Population Activities, claiming alleged Chinese compulsory abortions as a reason. The PPFA has sued for a reversal of the policy of withholding USAID funds from FPIA, the international division of PPFA. The main arguments are presented, along with a list of typical FPIA projects.
Family Planning Perspectives. 1986 May/Jun; 18(3):127-8, 144.On election Day, 1985, voters in 3 New England towns--Bristol, Connecticut, Dover and Derry, New Hampshire-- were asked to decide whether the US Supreme Court's decision of Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion should be overturned. In each town, voters decisively rejected the proposition that Roe v. Wade should be set aside. The Bristol initiative was sponsored by the Reverend Patrick Mahoney, a fundamentalist minister. Opposition to the Bristol referendum, was led by the Coalition Against Referendum I (CARE I), which was made up of members of Planned Parenthood, abortion rights and women's groups, and environmental and progressive political groups, as well as students from Wesleyan and Yale Universities. A poll of Bristol voters conducted by CARE I showed that a majority of voters favored reversal of Roe v. Wade. The poll also indicated, however, that voters prized their privacy, resented government interference in family life, respected Supreme Court decisions and regarded a local referendum an inappropriate vehicle for expressing opinions on emotional issues like abortion. CARE I's advertising campaign stressed the personal nature of the abortion decision, as well as the issue of privacy vs. government interference. Opponents of the referenda introduced in Dover and Derry, New Hampshire, adopted the same basic campaign themes as those used by CARE I. Opponents bought no advertising. They relied exclusively on calling voters. The strategy of sponsoring local referenda may not end with the failure of the antiabortion activists in Bristol, Derry and Dover. The results of those efforts, however, must raise serious doubts about their effectiveness.
Journal of Family Law. 1981-1982; 20(2):241-61.Abortion, a topic which challenges the religious and moral values of many individuals, has an impact on population control relied upon by some nation-states in achieving economic and social development. This is seen in India, and previously in the Eastern European states of Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania after WW II. In these states abortion is accepted largely for economic reasons. Abortion has strongly emerged as an issue in the development of international law, particularly in the area of human rights. This article studies that emergence by looking at the right to privacy, its expression in various human rights documents, and both the restrictive and liberal view of its application to woman's right to terminate a pregnancy, without external interference. The fetus' right to life is discussed and finally the interests of women, the fetus, and the public are analyzed to determine the importance of each of these interests to world peace and public order. International human rights agreements, e.g., the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, express the right to privacy in general terms, making it difficult to determine the scope of the right. In a case brought before the European Commission on Human Rights, 2 West German nationals' claimed the scope of the right to privacy includes the right of the woman to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy the commission held that such interference was not a breach of the woman's right to respect for her private life. The primary goal of human rights is to establish maximum respect for the individual and it is in this context that the right of a woman to choose to terminate a pregnancy is analyzed. Autonomy is an element of respect for the individual. Denying women the legal right or information to control fertility limits their ability to control their health, educational, political, social and cultural status. The fact that fertility control substantially affects the status of women is recognized in international human rights agreements. Sex equality is achieved by giving women the right to abortion. Legal proscriptions against abortion are inconsistent with the goals and objectives of human rights, especially the individual woman's right to respect and autonomy.