Second Hemispheric Report on the Implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention. Follow-up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI) - PDF

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Second Hemispheric Report on the Implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention Follow-up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI) April 2012 The Organization of American States (OAS) brings

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Second Hemispheric Report on the Implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention Follow-up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI) April 2012 The Organization of American States (OAS) brings together the nations of the Western hemisphere to promote democracy, strengthen human rights, foster peace, security and cooperation and advance common interests. The origins of the Organization date back to 1890 when nations of the region formed the Pan American Union to forge closer hemispheric relations. This union later evolved into the OAS and in 1948, 21 nations signed its governing charter. Since then, the OAS has expanded to include the nations of the English-speaking Caribbean and Canada, and today all of the independent nations of North, Central and South America and the Caribbean make up its 35 member states. The Follow-up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI) is an independent, consensusbased peer evaluation system that looks at the progress made by States Party to the Convention in fulfilling its objectives. MESECVI is financed by voluntary contributions from the States Party to the Convention and other donors, and the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) of the OAS acts as its Secretariat. Second Hemispheric Report on the Implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention Copyright 2012 All rights reserved OAS Cataloging in Publication Data Inter-American Commission of Women. Follow-up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI). Second Hemispheric Report on the implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention. p. ; cm. (OEA documentos oficiales ; OEA/Ser.L) ISBN Women s rights-- America. 2. Women--Violence against--america. I. Title. II. Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women, Convention of Belém do Pará. III. Series. OAS Official Records Series; OEA/Ser.L. OEA/Ser.L/II.6.10 Follow-up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI) 1889 F Street NW Washington, DC, United States Tel: Fax: Webpage: Design and layout: Sughey Abreu Graphic Design / Illustration Cover page photo: Contents Preface Background Introduction Chapter 1: Legislation 1.1. Inclusion of the Belém do Pará Convention in domestic law 1.2. Provisions that include the definition of violence against women as contained in the Belém do Pará Convention 1.3. Provisions of civil, criminal and administrative law that incorporate physical, psychological, sexual, economic, property-related, financial or other forms of violence against women 1.4. Legislation on trafficking in persons, including women 1.5. Legislation on forced prostitution 1.6. Legislation on sexual harassment in the workplace, in health and education centers and elsewhere 1.7. Legislation on sexual violence within marriage or common-law or de facto unions 1.8. Express prohibition of conciliation, mediation or any other measures to obtain an out-of-court settlement 1.9. Legislation on femicide Legislation on State violence against women Legislation protecting women s sexual and reproductive rights National awareness campaigns to disseminate information on women s rights Chapter 2: National plans 2.1. National Plan/Action/Strategy for the prevention, punishment, and eradication of violence against women 2.2. Violence against women in other plans/actions/strategies 2.3. Continuing training on violence against women and women s rights for public servants and others 2.4. Civil society s participation in developing, monitoring and executing the National Plan on Violence against Women or related activities 2.5. Cooperation agreements with the media and advertising agencies to publicize women s rights, especially the Belém do Pará Convention 56 Chapter 3: Access to Justice 3.1. Increase in the number of entities charged with receiving complaints of violence against women 3.2. Measures to facilitate women s access to justice and guarantee due process 3.3. Mechanisms to enforce protective measures ordered for women, their family members and/or witnesses 3.4. Assessments and/or studies on the use and effectiveness of protection measures 3.5. Protocols for the care and treatment of female victims of violence, in the official language and in indigenous languages (police, prosecutors offices, health system personnel) 3.6. Use of the Belém do Pará Convention and other international treaties by judges and prosecutors 3.7. Assessments or studies of how stereotypes, prejudices or the victim s personal history or sexual experience influence court rulings and opinions Chapter 4: Specialized services 4.1. Increase in the number of shelters, homes for women and comprehensive support centers for women victims of violence 4.2. Free specialized services provided by the State 4.3. Information campaigns to promote these specialized services 4.4. Evaluation of the services and of client satisfaction Chapter 5: Budget 5.1. Percentage of the budget allocated over the last four years to combat violence against women 5.2. Percentage of the national budget allocated to entities that receive complaints; training of public officials; specialized services; prevention campaigns and health services Chapter 6: Information and statistics 6.1. Government-sponsored studies and research on violence against women and/or application of the Belém do Pará Convention 6.2. Promotion of research on violence against women, in coordination with civil society organizations and academic centers 6.3. Specialized periodic surveys over the last four years on violence against women, women s knowledge of their rights and knowledge of available government services 6.4. Records on the number and characteristics of incidents of violence against women accessible to the public, through the police and other units receiving complaints, the courts, and health services 6.5. Information on the number of female victims of violence; number of prosecutions and convictions for violence against women; number of femicide cases and convictions 6.6. Existence of a mechanism or body for coordination between women s institutes and public entities that prepare and compile national statistics Recommendations of the Committee of Experts of the MESECVI to the States Parties 93 Annex 103 Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4 Table 5 Table 6 Table 7 Table 8 Table 9 Legislation on violence against women 104 Legislation regarding certain forms of violence against women 111 Legislation on State violence against women (I) 120 Legislation on State violence against women (II): Sexual and reproductive rights 124 National plans, plans of action or strategies to combat violence against women 131 Access to justice for women victims of violence (I) 142 Access to justice for women victims of violence (II): Administrative measures 156 Access to justice for women victims of violence (II): Mechanisms to execute protection measures 160 Specialized services for women victims of violence (I): Types of services 166 Table 10 Table 11 Table 12 Table 13 Table 14 Specialized services for women victims of violence (II): Promotion and evaluation of services Budget allocated to the prevention and punishment of violence against women Information and statistics on violence against women (I): Regular surveys in the last four years Information and statistics on violence against women (II): Records on the number and characteristics of incidents of violence against women accessible to the public Information and statistics on violence against women (III): Statistical data by age, marital status, type of violence and geographic location Foreword The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have gradually adapted their national legislation to the international and inter-american legal framework on women s rights. According to the OECD, Latin America and the Caribbean is the developing region that has made the most progress in the formal recognition of women s rights. For the first time, the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (Belém do Pará Convention) established women s right to live a life free of violence. This historic agreement the first in the world to address violence against women has laid the groundwork for the adoption of laws and policies on violence against women in the States Party to the Convention, as well as a policy and strategic framework for their implementation. Since its entry into force on March 5th 1995 the Convention has inspired action and information campaigns, legal norms and procedures, models of care, sensitization and training processes with legal, health and security personnel, monitoring, evaluation and follow-up initiatives and counseling and care services for women victims. In each country of the Hemisphere we can find examples of these actions. Notwithstanding these significant advances, violence continues to be a daily reality for the women of the region: on the streets, in schools, at work, and worse still but with greater frequency, in their own homes. Violence is routinely used to silence, oppress, subject and kill women. It affects the realization of women s rights their health, their economic potential, the participation in politics and their contribution to society in gender and is an obstacle to human development, democracy and peace in the countries of the region. In 2004, the Follow-up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention, known as MESECVI, was established as a system of consensus-based and independent peer evaluation to assess the progress made by States Party in their fulfillment of the objectives of the Convention. MESECVI is a systematic and permanent multi-lateral evaluation methodology, based on a forum for technical cooperation and exchange between the States Party to the Convention and a Committee of Experts, that analyzes the impact of the Convention in the region, the achievements of States Party in preventing, punishing and eradicating violence against women and the obstacles that remain to the implementation of public policy in these areas. We present the Second Hemispheric Report on the Implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention, which summarizes the achievements of the States Party, as well as the significant Second Hemispheric Report on the Implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention 9 challenges that continue to exist in the region in terms of an appropriate, immediate, timely, exhaustive, serious and impartial response to acts of violence against women, within a framework of human rights. We hope that this Report will support and generate ambitious and powerful initiatives that make a significant impact in the eradication of violence against women. José Miguel Insulza Secretary General of the OAS Background At the twenty-fourth regular session of the OAS General Assembly, the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) introduced a draft Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women, which the General Assembly adopted by acclamation. Known as the Belém do Pará Convention, this instrument entered into force on March 5, 1995 and has thus far been ratified by 32 States. The Belém do Pará Convention deals with violence against women as a violation of their human rights, and approaches it as a policy, legal, social, economic and cultural issue. Five years after the Convention entered into force, CIM conducted research 1 that found that the Convention s objectives were not being achieved. Accordingly, it was given a mandate 2 to undertake the measures necessary to establish the Follow Up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention. That mandate resulted in the OAS Secretary General s convocation of the Conference of States Parties, held on October 26, There, the Statute of the Follow-up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI) was approved. By their adoption of the MESECVI, the States Party expressed their political resolve to establish a consensus-based and independent system by which to examine the progress made toward fulfillment of the Convention, while agreeing to implement the recommendations it makes. MESECVI was designed to follow through with the commitments undertaken by the States Party to the Convention, to help accomplish its stated purposes, and to facilitate technical cooperation among the States Party and with other member states and permanent observers of the OAS. It is based on the principles of sovereignty, nonintervention, the juridical equality of states and respect for the principles of impartiality and objectivity in its operation, so as to ensure fair application and egalitarian treatment among the States Parties. 1. Violence in the Americas, A Regional Analysis Including a Review of the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women (Convention of Belém do Pará). 2. The OAS General Assembly adopted the following resolutions on the subject of the MESECVI: 1) AG/RES (XXXII-O/03) in which the General Assembly takes note of the Third Biennial Report on compliance with the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women and urges the Secretary General to convene, in coordination with the CIM, a conference of states parties to the Convention of Belém do Pará to decide on the most appropriate way to follow up on the Convention; 2) AG/RES (XXXIV-O/04) in which the General Assembly urges the States to continue, inter alia, to support CIM S efforts in the process of creating and implementing a mechanism for follow up on implementation of the Convention; 3) AG/RES (XXXV-O/05), in which the General Assembly urges the member states, inter alia, to continue to move forward with the implementation of MESECVI. In keeping with the Rules of Procedure of the MESECVI, since then the OAS General Assembly has received the annual report on the implementation of the MESECVI and adopted a resolution containing the corresponding mandates, one of which is to urge the governments to strengthen the Mechanism. Second Hemispheric Report on the Implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention 11 The Mechanism consists of two organs: the Conference of States Party, which is the political body, and the Committee of Experts, which is the technical body composed of specialists in the areas covered by the Convention. The experts are appointed by the governments and serve in a personal capacity. The functions of the Secretariat of the Conference and of the Committee are performed by CIM s Permanent Secretariat. The States Party designate their Competent National Authorities, who serve as liaison between the Secretariat and the governments. At each Multilateral Evaluation Round, the Committee of Experts adopts a questionnaire based on one or more provisions of the Convention. The questionnaire is then sent to the Competent National Authorities for reply. Based on these replies, the Committee of Experts draws up and adopts country reports and makes recommendations to the countries, on which the latter must subsequently follow up. The Committee also issues a Hemispheric Report which, combined with the final country reports, are approved by the Conference of States Party and then published and presented to the OAS General Assembly and the CIM Delegates. 12 Second Hemispheric Report on the Implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention Introduction The Committee of Experts of the Follow-up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI) presents its Second Hemispheric Report, which corresponds to the evaluation phase of the Second Multilateral Evaluation Round (II REM), which began in April The report examines compliance with the obligations undertaken by the States Party upon ratifying the Convention. The questionnaire that the Committee of Experts put together for this round took into consideration the first round s diagnostic study and was organized into six sections: legislation, national policy, access to justice, specialized services, budget and information and statistics. The idea was to monitor the progress and work accomplished by the governments in furtherance of the Committee s recommendations. It also included questions on issues not considered during the First Round, 3 but that surfaced from the replies received from the governments and from the shadow reports presented by civil society organizations. Finally, consultations were conducted concerning the draft questionnaire and civil society offered its contributions during the Committee of Experts Fifth Meeting, held in June This Second Hemispheric Report is based on 28 replies that the Competent National Authorities in response to the Committee of Experts questionnaire. 4 It is also based on the comments and observations that 21 States Party 5 made with respect to the preliminary country reports that the Committee of Experts adopted, and on 8 shadow reports from civil society organizations that belong to the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women s Rights (CLADEM). 6 This report is a new effort on the part of the Committee of Experts to identify the challenges posed by the struggle to erradicate violence against women in Latin America and the Caribbean, with recommendations made to the States on the measures they can take to conquer those challenges. 3. Those issues included the following: criminalization of violence against women by the State or its agents; violence in the exercise of women s sexual and reproductive rights; access to justice for rural women; research on the reliance on the Convention of Belém do Pará in judgments and legal opinions; and research by the State or by private parties under State auspices on the subject of violence against women. 4. Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela. 5. Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela. 6. Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. Second Hemispheric Report on the Implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention 13 Chapter 1 Legislation Foto: adam_jones/ / 14 sizes/o/in/photostream/ CHAPTER 1 LegislaTIOn In addition to implementation through criminal, civil, and administrative norms, judges also have to exercise a sort of conventionality control provided for in the inter-american system in order to ensure that domestic legal provisions and proceedings are in line with the provisions embodied in inter-american human rights conventions 1.1. Inclusion of the Belém do Pará Convention in domestic law The Committee of Experts decided to include a question on the inclusion of the Belém do Pará Convention in domestic law, in consideration on the fact that, in some of the replies received from the States during the First Round, it was unclear what the Convention s status was, or whether it was counted as applicable domestic law. For some countries, ratification of or accession to the Convention is sufficient for it to be applied. In other countries, application of the Convention requires that it be published, or the promulgation of domestic laws. A number of Caribbean states did not furnish information on the process by which the Convention becomes part of domestic law; although they do point out that Parliament has to enact implementing legislation. Some stated that such laws may come into being as a result of case law or precedent. It is interesting to note that some States reported on the
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