The ILO adopts Convention concerning violence and harassment at work

Kevät Nousiainen - 22nd July 2019

Sexual harassment, an expression of violence against women (VAW), received remarkable media attention with the #MeToo Movement. It was a reminder of the law’s poor track record in curbing workplace harassment and other forms of gendered violence. In the international legal context, the ILO approach to VAW in the workplace has followed two tracks. Harassment […]

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The declaration of rape as an emergency in Sierra Leone needs to address legal ambiguities in order to combat the scourge of rape and gender-based violence

Lyndon Baines-Johnson and Mwai Daka - 22nd July 2019

In February 2019, President Bio of Sierra Leone declared a state of emergency to combat rape and sexual violence. However, if the declaration is to have full effect, ambiguities and gaps within the country’s legal framework need to be cleared up, and replaced by clear law preventing child marriage, and  sexual and gender-based violence. Most […]

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Sexual Violence in Conflict 2019: Insights from Sudan and Algeria

Anissa Daoudi - 7th July 2019

The 19th of June is celebrated as the UN International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. In this context, Security Council Resolution 1820, in 2008, recognized sexual violence as a tactic of war and a threat to global peace and security. It recognized that rape and other forms of sexual violence can […]

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López Soto v Venezuela: The Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ answer to violence against women

Angela Hefti - 19th June 2019

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ (IACtHR) feminist answer to torture and sexual enslavement in its September 2018 López Soto v Venezuela judgment is unprecedented. López Soto is the first femicide case before the Court, in which the victim could testify to the circumstances of her captivity and abuse. In 2001, Linda López Soto was abducted […]

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Still the second sex: Some feminist reflections on the new General Comment of the UN Human Rights Committee on the right to life

Fleur van Leeuwen - 13th May 2019

In October 2018 the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee (HRC) adopted general comment (GC) 36 on the right to life, replacing GC 6 and GC 14. Latter documents date back to the 1980s and attest to the androcentric nature of the international human rights system. Neither document pays attention to issues that characteristically affect the […]

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Universal jurisdiction to the rescue: a way forward for victims of Franco-era crimes of gender-based violence?

Lucy Geddes - 25th January 2019

Between the years of 1960 and 1974, Spanish lawyer and feminist activist Lidia Falcón O’Neill was detained seven times by security police on behalf of the Franco government, because of her protests against the regime. On five of these occasions, she alleges that she was brutally tortured, including being hung from a hook in the […]

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Indian Supreme Court Decriminalises Adultery: A Step Closer to Criminalising Marital Rape

Kali Srikari Kancherla and Shreyasi Tripathi - 25th October 2018

In the landmark decision in Joseph Shine v Union of India on 27 September 2018, the Indian Supreme Court unanimously struck down a 150-year old penal provision criminalising adultery as unconstitutional. Section 497 of Indian Penal Code 1860 criminalises a man having consensual sexual intercourse with a married woman without the consent of her husband. The Court […]

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The Indian Supreme Court Takes a Stand Against Honour Crimes

Karan Tripathi - 23rd May 2018

Despite India’s liberal and secular commitments, honour killing has remained a social reality. A report by the National Crime Records Bureau records at least 288 cases of such violence in the period 2014-2016. Against this background, the Supreme Court of India, on 28th March 2018, passed a landmark judgment in Shakti Vahini v. Union of […]

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Tackling FGM In India: Is It Time For A New Law?

Tarika Jain - 20th March 2018

According to a study conducted on members of the Bohra community in India, a startling 75% of the daughters of the 94 participants were subjected to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) around the age of seven to nine years, in accordance with their religious customs. A majority of the reported cases were of Type 1 FGM/C […]

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International Law, Right to Privacy and Marital Rape in India

Surya Rajkumar - 25th February 2018

In an order dated 6/11/2017, the High Court of Gujarat described marital rape as “a disgraceful offence that has scarred the trust and confidence in the institution of marriage”, proposing to consider, through its own motion, whether a husband forcing his wife to perform oral sex constitutes an offence under the provisions of the Indian […]

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