From Ciudad Juarez to the world. Charlotte Bunch responds.
Activists' work in response to the killings of women in Ciudad Juárez illustrates both the usefulness of applying a human rights framework to violence against women and the difficulty of actually reducing the occurrence of such violence. The "Stop Impunity" campaign has helped to raise public awareness and demonstrate the failure of the authorities to exercise due diligence by not making a serious effort to protect women from these violations as well as by not effectively pursuing the violators, and thus failing to provide justice with respect to the victims and their families. A human rights approach helps to frame this as a question of impunity and accountability, and not just ineptitude. Bringing this case before the IACHR would help women throughout the Americas who are seeking to implement the regional Convention on Violence against Women as well as to apply other human rights instruments to such crimes against women. The impact of high-level human rights attention to this issue could be similar to the breakthroughs in human rights thinking that came with the demand for government accountability for the desaparecidos (disappeared) during the "dirty wars" in Latin America. (excerpt)