Alternative Report on the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW): Sri Lanka

Saturday, January 29, 2011
European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights
Southern Asia
Sri Lanka

The Com­mit­tee on the Elim­i­na­tion of Dis­crim­i­na­tion against Wo­m­en (CE­DAW Com­mit­tee) urges Sri Lan­ka to "prompt­ly in­vesti­gate, pros­e­cute and pu­n­ish all acts of vi­o­lence in­clud­ing sex­u­al vi­o­lence" which arose dur­ing the last stages of the con­flict and in the post-con­flict phase. Pri­or to this, ECCHR sub­mitt­ed a re­port dur­ing the 48th Ses­sion CE­DAW Com­mit­tee on the fore­see­a­bil­i­ty of sex­u­al vi­o­lence dur­ing the Sri Lan­ka con­flict.[nb­sp]

The pa­per de­mands new le­gal means to hold per­pe­tra­tors ac­count­able and calls on the UN to con­sid­er the high­ly fre­quent oc­cur­rence of sex­u­al vi­o­lence in con­flicts when de­vel­op­ing their strat­e­gy for re­spect­ing hu­man (and wo­m­en's) rights. [nb­sp]Sex­u­al vi­o­lence, both tol­er­at­ed and di­rect­ly or­dered, is com­mitt­ed dur­ing con­flict by state and non- state ac­tors. De­spite this, it re­mains a ta­boo sub­ject and is left broad­ly un­pu­n­ished. ECCHR argues that in cer­tain cir­cum­s­tances sex­u­al vi­o­lence is a fore­see­able conse­quence of con­flict. Fur­ther­more, both the ex­is­tence of sex­u­al vi­o­lence and the de­nial that such vi­o­lence is a crime con­sti­tute clear ex­pres­sions of gen­der-based dis­crim­i­na­tion and pa­triarchal sys­tems that must be over­come.

Based on th­ese ar­gu­ments, the ECCHR sub­mis­sion re­quests that the CE­DAW Com­mit­tee take Se­cu­ri­ty Coun­cil Re­s­o­lu­tions 1325, 1820, 1888 and 1890 (and 1960) on Wo­m­en Peace and Se­cu­ri­ty in­to close ac­count when mon­i­tor­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the UN Con­ven­tion on the Elim­i­na­tion of All Forms of Dis­crim­i­na­tion against Wo­m­en (CE­DAW Con­ven­tion). The re­s­o­lu­tions oblige all coun­tries to pre­vent sex­u­al vi­o­lence by its mil­i­tary staff, and to hold them ac­count­able for th­ese crimes dur­ing con­flicts. Thus, we argued that Sri Lan­ka must com­p­ly with its obli­ga­tions to pre­vent wo­m­en and girls from be­ing sub­ject­ed to sex­u­al vi­o­lence by mil­i­tary per­son­nel and to pros­e­cute those crimes that have been com­mitt­ed pur­suant to the Con­ven­tion's frame­work.

Document PDF: 

ECCHR Report on CEDAW in Sri Lanka

CEDAW Final Conclusions, Sri Lanka