UN Human Rights Treaties
last updated September 2020

Violence against women is recognized in international law as a violation of human rights. This section will review the international treaties impacting violence against women. Since many of these treaties went into force, monitoring bodies have interpreted them to include specific obligations to protect women from domestic violence and violence against women. Monitoring bodies interpret treaties through General Recommendations or General Comments.

When a country ratifies a treaty, it becomes a “State Party” to the treaty, meaning it undertakes a legal obligation to implement the rights set out in the treaty. In addition to those treaties that specifically address gender equality, all United Nations treaties guarantee the same rights to women as men. The United Nations also promulgated treaties that address the rights of specific members of society, such as children, migrants, and persons with disabilities. Click on page 2 to read more about these treaties.