-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2002 9:34 AM
Subject: FW: [end-violence] Recent OMCT report on VAW

New publication of interest. See below.

-----Original Message-----
[mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]On Behalf Of Carin
Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2002 7:59 AM
Subject: [end-violence] Recent OMCT report on VAW

Dear members,

My organisation, the Geneva-based World Organisation Against Torture
(OMCT), is the largest international coalition of non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) fighting against human rights violations including
torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, forced disappearances,
summary executions or other more subtle forms of violent repression.

OMCT just published a second collection of reports, "Violence Against
Women: 10 Reports/Year 2001", within the framework of our Violence against
Women Programme. The publication forms part of the Programme's work in the
field of integrating the human rights of women and a gender perspective
into the activities of the United Nations human rights treaty monitoring
bodies. Over the past year, OMCT submitted ten alternative country reports
to the six main human rights treaty bodies on Azerbaijan, Bolivia,
Georgia, Indonesia, Israel, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Ukraine and

The torture and ill treatment of women and girls occurs in many countries
around the world on a daily basis. Besides being the victims of violence
perpetrated by state agents and armed groups, women are frequently victims
of physical and psychological violence within the domestic sphere and
within the community. This violence at the hands of private individuals
may include; the sex-selective abortion of female foetuses, female genital
mutilation, domestic violence, crimes committed in the name of honour,
rape and sexual assault, and trafficking into forced prostitution or
forced labour. Despite the fact that states have a duty under
international law to act with due diligence to prevent, investigate and
punish all forms of violence irrespective of whether it is committed by
public officials or private individuals, all too often this obligation is
not adequately implemented.

The alternative report on violence against women in Zambia, for example,
that was submitted to the UN Committee against Torture raises many of the
issues that recur in other reports in the collection. Domestic violence is
widespread in Zambia, however, the government has yet to take decisive
legislative and policy measures in order to prevent and eradicate this
serious form of violence against women. The lack of an adequate legal
framework combined with the low level of sensitivity and awareness of the
issue of domestic violence amongst police and other law enforcement
officials has contributed to the large degree of impunity enjoyed by the
perpetrators of acts of domestic violence.

A further area of concern in relation to violence against women in Zambia
is the gendered application of customary laws on personal status including
family law and inheritance rights. OMCT has received reports that Chiefs
sitting as judges in local customary law courts in the Kasama district
have made orders for the corporal punishment of women convicted of
offences under customary law. These punishments have allegedly included
whipping, beating and sexual abuse. OMCT is greatly concerned by the issue
of gender-discrimination in the administration of justice and by the use
of corporal punishment, particularly in circumstances where these kinds of
punishments are being ordered by ad-hoc, customary or religious courts as
in the case of the women who have been recently sentenced to death by
stoning or to flogging for alleged crimes of adultery in Sudan and

In its Concluding Observations on the report by the government of Zambia,
the UN Committee against Torture expressed its concern at the "incidence
of violence against women in society, which is illustrated by reported
incidents of violence against women in prisons and domestic violence." As
a result, the Committee recommended that the government establish
programmes to "prevent and combat violence against women, including
domestic violence."

Carin Benninger-Budel and Joanna Bourke-Martignoni, Violence Against
Women: 10 Reports/ Year 2001, OMCT, 2002, ISBN: 2-88477-012-7, 421 pp.
Copies available from OMCT at a cost of US$ 25 (including postage).

Best wishes,


Carin Benninger-Budel and Joanna Bourke-Martignoni
Violence Against Programme

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