The acknowledgment of violence against women as a human rights violation marked a turning point in overcoming the notion that this issue belonged to the private sphere, where states had a limited ability to intervene. This paradigm change triggered the adoption of international treaties and the establishment of special procedures at the United Nations and other regional international organizations to monitor state actions to address this issue. Similarly, international criminal courts and tribunals investigated and convicted perpetrators of rape and other forms of sexual violence against women, recognizing that these crimes had to be treated separately from other forms of ill-treatment. In spite of the progress made and the steps taken, violence against women continues to be a dominant issue in conflict and peaceful situations, with widely pervasive but less publicized forms of mistreatment and discrimination, including trafficking, threatening the lives of women around the world. The panel will explore the contributions made by international law to address the issue of violence against women and assess what remains to be done to achieve its eradication.
Dubravka Simonovic, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women
Fausto Pocar, Ad hoc Judge, International Court of Justice; Former President, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Appeals Judge United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
Moderator: Janie Chuang Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law
Date and Location