El Salvador hosts regional conference on violence against women; Inter-American Court hears case in Colombia; UN to examine racial discrimination in the Dominican Republic
El Salvador holds regional consultation on the status of violence against women
El Salvador hosted a regional conference on the status of violence against women in Latin America and the Caribbean this week in preparation for the upcoming session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
The Latin American and Caribbean summit brings together state ministers and authorities working with gender issues in their respective countries. They aim to share experiences and collaborate in the creation of a regional consensus on the status of violence against women and a unified position on the protection of women's human rights.
During the opening statements of this weeks meeting, First Lady and Secretary of Social Inclusion, Vanda Pignato invited participants to ‘erect a single voice as a region' in order to make ‘agreements and resolutions which are translatable into concrete actions and recommendations' for the upcoming CSW session.
The 57th session of the CSW, will be held at the UN Headquarters in New York in early March. Member state representatives, UN entities, and NGOS with consultative status within the Economic and Social Counsel from all regions of the world will attend the two-week session.
This year's session is primarily focused on the ‘elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.'
‘Violence against women', Vanda said, ‘is violence against society as a whole, since it becomes a more serious impediment to development and democratic consolidation of our peoples.'
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) sat in review of a Colombian military counterinsurgency case earlier this week.
The ‘Marino López' case, also known as ‘Operación Génesis' (Operation Genesis), involves allegations of human rights abuses during a counterinsurgency operation against Afro-descendant communities in the Western department of Chocó between 24-27 February 1997.
According to the plaintiffs, the military bombed the community and committed grave violations against human rights, including ‘torture, death threats, looting and destruction of property' and the extrajudicial execution of Marino López.
According to the Court, these actions could have ‘intimidated the population and led to the forced displacement of hundreds of peoples from these communities, mostly women and children.'
Over a two-day period, the court heard oral arguments from both parties, official observations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and testimony from two victims, one witness and three experts.
The Inter-American Commission, which researches and recommends cases to the IACtHR, found that the Colombian government did not comply with its judicial duties of a quick and effective investigation into the facts of the Genesis campaign.
The Courts findings have not been released.
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) began a three-week analysis of racial discrimination in the Dominican Republic last Tuesday.
The investigation is part of the Committee's regular examination of countries whose discriminatory practices appear especially troubling.
The review analyses the commitment of governments to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination based on its “distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference [of peoples] based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin”.
This is not the first time that the Dominican Republic as been investigated by CERD—the country was scrutinized for its racial discrimination in 2008.
In addition to the Dominican Republic, the Committee will also examine the racial discriminatory practices in Algeria, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Slovakia, Mauritius and New Zealand.
CERD is composed of specialists from nineteen countries, including Guatemala, Brazil and Colombia. The Committee holds two three-week sessions a year at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1965 and today has 175 state signatories.