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UWE and Bristol Fawcett with. Saturday, January 17 2009. Annette Lawson info@nawo.org.uk ; www.nawo.org.uk. What’s the Problem? ‘an undeclared war against women’ Trevor Phillips, Chair EHRC.

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UWE and Bristol Fawcettwith

Saturday, January 17 2009

Annette Lawson


What’s the Problem?‘an undeclared war against women’Trevor Phillips, Chair EHRC

  • The Home Office estimates that there are between 6,000 and 18,000 trafficked women and girls being forced to work as prostitutes in the UK.

  • 1,000 -10,00 women and girls trafficked into UK each year for sex

  • 45% of women in England and Wales experience domestic violence (DV), sexual assault or stalking in their lifetime; one in five women in N.I. experience DV

  • 922 rapes reported to Police in Scotland in 2006/7

  • c.1,000 British Asian girls forced into marriage each year

    [EVAW, Realising Rights, Fulfilling Obligations]


  • Every year 2 million girls aged between 5 and 15 are coerced, abducted, sold or trafficked into the illegal sex market.

  • UN figures suggest that between 200-300,000 women are trafficked to Europe every year.

  • Well over $7 billion a year is generated from sex trade trafficking.

  • Two million children every year become victims of paedophiles and their networks as global demand for child pornography and child prostitution escalates.

    WomenAid International 2002

Amnesty’s figures 2007Trafficking

  • Of the 2 million people trafficked every year – the majority are women and girls

  • 137 countries receive them, mostly in Western Europe, Asia and Northern America

  • 127 countries send them, mostly in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, West Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean

And in Europe?

  • In the European Union, at least 1 in 5 women

    experience violence committed by their intimate

    male partner.

  • Ninety five per cent of all acts of Violence Against Women take place within the home.

  • Male domestic violence tends to be the norm and not the exception.

  • Every week in Hungary a woman is killed as

    a result of domestic violence.

Trafficking together with other forms of gender based violence?

  • It is essential to understand as part of gender inequality –

  • Violence against women and girls arises from inequality and

  • Constructs and maintains gender inequality

UNSRVAW Consultation

United Nations appoints

Special Rapporteurs under Human Rights e.g. on:

  • Torture

  • Housing

  • Racism and Xenophobia

  • Minority Issues

  • Trafficking in persons and…

  • Violence Against Women

UN Special Rapporteurs

  • Are people of high integrity

  • Receive no payment

  • Supported by Human Rights Office in Geneva

  • Conduct special investigations of countries but must be invited

  • Consult with e.g. NGOs

    See her Mandate at:


What can they achieve?

  • Reports are public documents – countries have invited them. Praise and shame but also learning

  • Consulting with NGOs – experts – learn first hand evidence. Use this information.

  • Have ‘special procedures’ including taking up individual cases

  • No ‘teeth’

NAWO decided to invite UNSRVAW for Consultation

  • NAWO with Women’s Voice (Wales) Engender (Scotland); NIWEP (NI) forms the UK Joint Committee on Women

  • UKJCW is member of European Women’s Lobby

  • Lobby has European Policy Centre on VAW – observatory at EU level

  • For ALL women’s organisations VAW is a major issue – many focus on this – consultation valuable for policy change and implementation through lobbying and influence

  • In the UK, we are working to establish a UK-wide national observatory to monitor government actions

Yakin Ertürk, UN Special Rapporteur on

Violence Against Women

with two delegates to Consultation

with European NGOs, January 2007

Countries and Organisations

  • More than 100 representatives of NGOs attended in the UK and from EU member states and beyond to further ECE region – Eastern Europe

  • Three days

  • Evening speeches at London School of Economics and London House, Goodenough College

NAWO plus

  • European Women’s Lobby

  • Womankind Worldwide

  • Women’s Refugee Resource Project of Asylum Aid

  • Southall Black Sisters

  • EVAW – End Violence Against Women Campaign at Amnesty International

Themes selected by Steering Group

  • Infrastructure – legislation, implementation: police, provision for victims, cross-border

  • Prevention – gender stereotyping, education, media

  • ‘Moving Women’ – asylum seekers; refugees; migrants

Major Issues from the outset

  • Violence Against Women stems from inequalities between women and men and transformative change is required to stop the cycle of violence.

  • Language: The word “gender” may be used to mask real issues and avoid a focus on men’s Violence Against Women.

    • Governments pass legislation that is gender neutral and implement policies as if there were no inequality in the perpetration of violence

    • Such policies are too inclined to lose focus on views, experiences, concerns of women.

Major Outcomes 1

  • Agreed definitions internationally were imperative – use

    the UN definition

  • Reliable Data to be collected to measure with agreed

    indicators; not only incidence and numbers of victims

    of violence but perpetrators in order to understand who

    they were and what kind of violence they used

  • Strategies needed for eradicating Violence Against Women – e.g. a European Directive and action plan for the EU; National Action Plans (NAPs) for every state in the development of which women’s NGOs participate.

Major Outcomes - 2

  • NGOs to seek to establish a unified voice despite conflicts of opinion, be recognised for their expertise and financed well

  • That European-wide NGO consultations be held regularly

and they said…..

  • Quote:“International institutions must oblige countries to put the conventions they have signed and ratified into practice”

    Shpresa Banja, Albania

  • Quote:“Where is the example to be led by?”

    Renee Laviera, Malta Confederation of Women’s Organisations

And you?

  • Decide what the priorities are for you – here in the University? In your home community?

  • Examine the evidence for the problem

  • Find allies and ‘victims’

  • Make your case for change/for good practice/for implementation of existing laws

  • Work at multiple levels

  • Report on web: What practical steps need to be implemented to achieve an equitable world for women and girls?

  • www.nawo.org.uk; info@nawo.org.uk

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