UN: Report: "Good Practices in Legislation on Violence against Women"
“The purpose of this report is to assist States and other stakeholders in enhancing existing, and developing new, legislation on violence against women,” said Carolyn Hannan, Director of the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women. “While States have made significant progress in the enactment of such legislation, numerous gaps and challenges remain.”
Under current international law, States are obliged to address violence against women, including through the enactment of legislation. The first laws directly addressing domestic violence were passed in the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1970s and early 1980s. Since the 1990s, numerous States have adopted or revised legislation on violence against women. These legal reforms, however, have varied significantly in terms of the forms of violence they address, the type of action they mandate and the area of law (constitutional, civil, criminal, family) they reform.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s 2006 in-depth study on all forms of violence against women notes that, as at 2006, only about half of United Nations Member States had in place legislative provisions that specifically addressed domestic violence, and fewer than half had legislation on sexual harassment or on trafficking. Even where legislation existed, it was often limited in scope and coverage.
In response to the Secretary-General’s study, the United Nations General Assembly in December 2006 adopted resolution 61/143, calling upon Member States and the United Nations system to intensify their efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women.
In February 2008, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched a multi-year campaign to increase public awareness, political will and resources for preventing and responding to violence against women and girls, with the ultimate goal of carrying out national action plans and implementing or strengthening national laws.
11 November 2008
Source: United Nations - Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW)