Any justice sector reform should ensure that there is a legal framework in place to protect the human rights of women and girls. This framework should ensure that formal and informal mechanisms alike comply with international human rights standards.
- Constitutional provisions or legislation that recognizes informal mechanisms should make clear that any judgments or remedies that violate the human rights of women and girls are invalid.
- Laws should ensure that women and girls always have the right to appeal decisions from informal mechanisms in the formal courts.
- Conflicts between formal and customary laws should be resolved in a way that respects women’s and girls’ human rights and principles of equality.
- Laws should clarify that use of an informal justice mechanism should never preclude women and girls from seeking justice in the formal sector.
For an in-depth explanation of how to plan and implement an advocacy effort related to legislation on violence against women, see the Legislation: Advocacy section. For information about the content of effective laws, see the Legislation module.