Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Reviews 15 Years of Work
Monday, March 23, 2009 12:01 PM

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women was created in 1994 after General Recommendation 19, passed two years prior, mandated the creation of a body to monitor violence against women around the world and required that violence against women be incorporated into the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The Special Rapporteur released a report in November 2008 reviewing the status of violence against women as researched in 14 annual reports, 32 country mission reports, and 11 communication reports published as recently as December 2008.

The report, rather than attempting to document all aspects of violence against women around the world, highlights certain aspects, including how the mandate on violence against women has changed, what has been learned, and problems still to be addressed. Moreover, the report focuses on the specific issues of “reproductive health and rights, poverty, migration, internally displaced persons (IDPs), women refugees, trafficking, aging, and adolescent girls.” The report also lists what the Special Rapporteur does and which treaties and other documents bind or guide the Special Rapportuer’s work.

As the report concludes, “[t]he role of the [Special Rapporteur’s] mandate is invaluable as the forum that can make visible hidden violations, lend support to and communicate the voices of the most vulnerable women, and act as a channel to access justice and accountability where national systems of justice are not well developed or when they fail to respond.” (p.60)

Compiled from: 15 Years of the United Nations Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Its Causes and Consequences, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, 25 November 2008 [PDF, 64 pages].