Legally binding laws needed to end violence against women

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Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur on violence against women. UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

A binding international instrument on violence against women and girls is needed to prevent and end these human rights violations, according to the Special Rapporteur on violence against women.

Rachida Manjoo was speaking in the Human Rights Council in Geneva on the causes and consequences of violence against women.

She recently visited Northern Ireland, Honduras, Afghanistan, and Sudan to conduct investigations on the situation of women in those countries.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

For violence against women and girls to end, states must commit to having legal obligations to prevent and eliminate it.

That was the conclusion of the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women based on her missions to several countries.

Rachida Manjoo told the UN Human Right Council that domestic abuse, sexual assault, and gender-related killings continue to affect women in the United Kingdom.

In Honduras, she said many migrant women face exploitation and forced displacement from their families.

While in Afghanistan, she saw the continuing prevalence of violence linked to early and forced marriage.

The Special Rapporteur said her latest report continues to call for the creation of a binding international instrument on violence against women and girls.

"This instrument would ensure that States are held accountable to standards that are legally binding, it would provide a clear normative framework for the protection of women and girls globally, and it would have a specific monitoring body to substantively provide in-depth analysis of both general and country-level developments."

Ms Manjoo added that current laws within the UN system are not legally binding, which raises crucial questions about the responsibility of states to protect women and girls from violence.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21″

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