Lecture Gender Based Violence

Report, 16 June 2017 by Renée Römkens
Jonge vrouw in speeltuin via Pixabay

Over the past 2 decades the European Court of Human Rights has ruled in an increasing number of cases that certain forms of violence against women (VAW) can be recognized as a violation of fundamental human rights of women (notably domestic violence, femicide and rape).

European Court of Human Rights

Based on the European Treaty on Human Rights, the Court has produced interesting body of case law (notably art. 2, right to life, and art.8, right to privacy & protection of family life). Only in 2009 (Opuz v. Turkey) the Court addressed the absence of effective police protection for a victim of domestic violence as a violation of the right to gender equality (art.14). More recently intimate partner violence has been addressed by the Court as a violation of the right to be free of torture, inhumane and degrading treatment (art. 3).

Istanbul Convention

With the entering into force of the Istanbul Convention (IC) a new and more detailed international human rights instrument is available, specifically dedicated to VAW as gender-based violence.

Renée Römkens (director Atria and professor by special appointment of Gender Based Violence) gave a lecture at the Conference Interpersonal Violence Interventions - Social and Cultural Perspectives (University of Jyväskylä, Finland, 14th-16th June 2017). From a socio-legal perspective she explores how these 2 instruments recognize the gendered nature of VAW and what the implications are for the obligations that rest upon the state to provide protection de facto. More specifically: what is the specific added value of the Istanbul Convention to address VAW as a form of gender based violence?

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