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Elimination of violence against women: in search of solutions. WHO / FlGO Pre-Congress Workshop, 30 July - 31 July 1997.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], Violence and Injury Prevention, 1999. 91 p. (WHO/HSC/PVI/99.2)Violence against women is present in most societies but it often goes unrecognised and unreported, and is accepted as part of the nature of things. Most violence against women takes place within families and the perpetrators are almost exclusively men, usually partners, ex-partners or other men known to the woman. Although reliable data on the prevalence of violence against women by their partners are scarce, especially in developing countries, a growing body of research confirms its pervasiveness. For example, 40 population-based quantitative studies, conducted in 24 countries on four continents, revealed that between 20% and 50% of the women interviewed reported that they had suffered physical violence from their male partners. In addition, surveys also indicate that at least one in five women suffer rape or attempted rape in their lifetimes. These and many other revealing statistics about the extent to which women are subjected to violence in different parts of the world, and about the factors that either put them at risk of such violence or protect them against it were discussed during the pre-congress workshop organised jointly by the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The focus of the workshop was to explore ways that violence against women can be eliminated and how the health sector and organisations such as FIGO and WHO can contribute to this elimination. This emphasis on pro-active involvement rather than a mere passive description of the issue was reflected clearly by the title of the workshop and by the workshop's agenda, which included time for in-depth discussions in working groups on concrete activities that could be undertaken within the health care system to eliminate violence against women. (excerpt)
Trafficking in women, girls and boys. Key issues for population and development programmes. Report of the UNFPA Consultative Meeting on Trafficking in Women and Children, Bratislava, Slovak Republic, 2-4 October 2002.
New York, New York, UNFPA, 2002.  p.The Consultative Meeting on Trafficking in Women and Children was held in Bratislava, Slovakia, from 2 to 4 October 2002. The encounter brought together 60 participants from 30 countries, including government and NGO representatives, as well as key persons from UNFPA and other UN agencies. UNFPA’s concerns with this contemporary issue are rooted in the historic Programme of Action adopted in Cairo at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The complex trafficking issues are seen by the Fund as being directly related to the focus in the Programme of Action upon gender equality, women’s empowerment, violence against women, and reproductive health and rights. Trafficking in persons for the purpose of labour and commercial sexual exploitation is a modern form of slavery, according to Article 3 of United Nations Protocol 2000, which supplements the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted by the General Assembly in November 2000. (“The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children” has been signed by 80 countries.) The agreed definition was helpful to the participants at the Bratislava meeting as they pursued their agenda. At the outset, participants set the objectives they wished to achieve during their deliberations: building a common understanding of trafficking issues and their impact on reproductive health and rights; identifying approaches, methods and good practices in tackling the issues; identifying UNFPA’s comparative advantages as well as possible partners for implementing actions at field level. The meeting framed trafficking as a gender and development problem, and much attention was devoted to the exploration of gender perspectives. The situation facing children at risk was, therefore, discussed in terms of girls and boys; similarly, the gender of the traffickers was highlighted for the insights that might be revealed. The gendered dimension of poverty itself was viewed as an important reason for trafficking, notably because of the poverty-driven construct of ideas and attitudes regarding women and children that so easily permits their bodies to be turned into commodities. (excerpt)
Report on the activities on trafficking in women and girls of the Division for the Advancement of Women.
[Unpublished] 2003 Oct. Prepared for the Second Coordination Meeting on International Migration, United Nations Secretariat, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, New York, New York, October 15-16, 2003. 4 p. (UN/POP/MIG/2003/15)The Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) provides substantive and technical servicing to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the body that monitors implementation of the CEDAW Convention. The Division also provides substantive support to the Commission on the Status of Women, the central intergovernmental body responsible for follow-up to and monitoring of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly in 2000, “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”. The Division also provides substantive support to the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council in relation to their work on gender equality and the advancement of women. To that end, the Division undertakes policy research and analysis, convenes expert group and technical meetings on issues falling within the Beijing Platform for Action; supports gender mainstreaming into all policies and programmes of the United Nations; and also implements a small technical cooperation and advisory services programme which focuses on capacity building for national machineries for the advancement of women, and support for governments in implementation of the Convention, with a particular focus on reporting. Turning to the topic of this panel, trafficking in human beings is the fastest growing form of transnational organized crime, involving very high earnings and very low risks. It thrives on the fact that many countries do not have adequate laws against trafficking. Globalization has facilitated freer movements of people, goods and services across international borders, unwittingly resulting in camouflaging clandestine operations such as human trafficking. Trafficking in women and girls is one of the most corrosive forms of violation of human rights. It results in gradual and total destruction of a woman’s personal identity and her right to live as a free human being in a civilized society. Victims are subjected to violence, humiliation and violation of personal integrity, which in many cases leaves them with the lifelong effects of mental and physical trauma. The victim of such devastating violence may also end up with life-threatening HIV/AIDS, STDs, drug addiction or personality disintegration. It is a denial of the right to liberty and security of the person, the right to freedom from torture, violence, cruelty or degrading treatment, the right to a home and a family, the right to education and employment, the right to health care - everything that makes for a life with dignity. Trafficking has been rightly referred to as a modern form of slavery. (excerpt)