Strategic objective D.3.
Eliminate trafficking in women and assist victims of violence due to prostitution and trafficking
Actions to be taken
136. Women and children constitute some 80 per cent of the world’s millions of refugees and other displaced persons, including internally displaced persons. They are threatened by deprivation of property, goods and services and deprivation of their right to return to their homes of origin as well as by violence and insecurity. Particular attention should be paid to sexual violence against uprooted women and girls employed as a method of persecution in systematic campaigns of terror and intimidation and forcing members of a particular ethnic, cultural or religious group to flee their homes. Women may also be forced to flee as a result of a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons enumerated in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol, including persecution through sexual violence or other gender-related persecution, and they continue to be vulnerable to violence and exploitation while in flight, in countries of asylum and resettlement and during and after repatriation. Women often experience difficulty in some countries of asylum in being recognized as refugees when the claim is based on such persecution.
Beijing Declaration (1995)
Continuing forward with the Beijing Declaration, the emphasis in this particular section is on the refugees and displaced persons. The startling fact, as noted in some of the prior publications, is the fact of the majority of the cases of the deprived in these international contexts being women.
It is a way in which the world tends to place lesser value on the lives of women in conflicts and, in other frames, puts men in a rather disposable status as warriors to go into the slaughter for national pride, territorial defence or aggression, and the like. Even in many of the advanced industrial economies with the wealth and the privileges to afford divorces at mass rates and the problematic circumstances emanating from them, often, the ability of women to own property is newer.
Of those countries in which women were able to gain some property, or some security of place, they can be stripped overnight or in a few hours in pummelled by rocket fire, or ransacked by foreign armed forces. It is the nature of war and the impacts on civilian populations. Bearing in mind, of course, those individuals whose lives are destroyed retain the same problems of increased risk of trafficking and forced prostitution.
With those women and girls who are uprooted in these circumstances, there should be due concern and work to prevent the wars in the first place. But the consideration for the inclusion of the lives of women and girls remain important in the cases of war and in the prevention of war: for two reasons, 1) women involved in the decision-making processes tend to reduce the probability of war and 2) the disproportionately negative recipients of war are civilians who tend to be women and girls.
Even in the cases of being able to return to their homeland or country of origin even, they can be “threatened by deprivation” in violence and insecurity too. The naive view is all violence is equal or the distribution is the same, which, of course, is not true. The central point of the violence against women is the disproportionate civilian and domestic violence in the more brutal, gruesome, and harmful ones with the possibility to end a life in the immediate. The statistics differ by sex. The statistics of the most violent differ by sex too.
Violence is a gender issue. War is an issue of throwing men’s lives away in war and in keeping women in terror, and as tools of the state as vessels of reproduction, which can be, obviously, seen in the use of rape as a weapon of war. Those women and girls who have been “uprooted” are left to “systematic campaigns of terror and intimidation.” Those campaigns can come in a variety of forms for many reasons.
Some of the jarring to consider sympathetically and seriously in some of the secular community in the religious groups being persecuted by secular state action. Religion does not amount to the problem; fundamentalism equates to the problem. Ethnic and cultural issues expand on some of these, too. In that, there exist a set of reasonable fears of persecution of women in the past and into the present on these specific items.
One Convention, in particular, is mentioned for it – tied to a protocol. Furthermore, even with the gender-based violence linked to the war environment, those who live and seek asylum; they will be, as hinted in prior articles, vulnerable to the issues of violence and exploitation in the process of fleeing or looking for asylum in other nation or place. Women are often, potentially with children, seeking asylum in these circumstances for safety and refuge. The questions as to what happens to individual women will differ, but the statistical cases will be relatively clear on disproportionately negative impacts on women and girls during and after war times.
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Preamble, Article 16, and Article 25(2).
- Convention Against Discrimination in Education (1960) in Article 1.
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) in Article 3, Article 7, and Article 13.
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966).
- Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979).
- Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984).
- The Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the optional protocol (1993).
- Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), Five-year review of progress (2000), 10-year review in 2005, the 15-year review in 2010, and the 20-year review in 2015.
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), and the UN Security Council additional resolutions on women, peace and security: 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013), 2122 (2013), and 2242 (2015).
- Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (2000).
- The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa or the “Maputo Protocol” (2003).
- Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence or the Istanbul Convention (2011) Article 38 and Article 39.
- UN Women’s strategic plan, 2018–2021
- 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- 2015 agenda with 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (169 targets for the end to poverty, combatting inequalities, and so on, by 2030). The SDGs were preceded by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from 2000 to 2015.
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