Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Violence Against Women in the United States

The University of Virginia School of Law International Human Rights Law Clinic (directed by Deena Hurwitz (left)) is conducting a survey on "Issues of Violence against Women in the United States" within the framework of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women’s mandate. The goal is to solicit from practitioners and engaged academics the most critical issues in this country for presentation to Rashida Manjoo (below right), the current Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (SRVAW). The Clinic intends to formally request that Manjoo undertake a mission to the United States.
The Clinic is seeking would appreciate input from IntLawGrrls bloggers and readers. If you're interested, you can email the Clinic at They hope to receive responses no later than 23 November 2009.

The Clinic would like the following information in any submission:

  • Name and title.
  • Contact information.
  • Your area of expertise, background, or experience with respect to your opinion, as well as region of the country you work in or have focused on.
  • What you think are the most important issues of violence against women in the U.S. that the SRVAW could address?
  • What you see as the contributing factors leading to these problems?
  • What should the government be doing to address these issues?
  • What legal, policy, and/or advocacy avenues are currently available or being pursued to redress these problems?
  • What legal, policy, and/or advocacy avenues could or should be pursued?

The Special Rapporteur's mandate involves the following tasks:

  1. Seek and receive information on violence against women (VAW), including its causes and its consequences, especially regarding a state’s failure to meet its obligations to prevent public and private VAW when possible, investigate and punish perpetrators of VAW, and provide adequate remedies to the victims of VAW.
  2. Consider the state’s responsibility in addressing factors that contribute to VAW in the civil, cultural, economic, political, and social sphere.
  3. Conduct country visits to 2-3 countries a year to investigate these issues.
  4. Establish a dialogue with the country by communicating with governmental and non-governmental organizations, and to make recommendations at both the local and national level on methods to eliminate VAW and its causes, and to provide remedies for its consequences. Such dialogue is intended for clarification to ensure the effective prevention, investigation, and punishment of VAW and compensation for victims in cooperation with the government.
  5. Write a mission report containing her findings and recommendations to be published in the annual thematic report and address the Human Rights Council.

Grrls - get writing!

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