General Assembly Resolutions
The United Nations General Assembly has passed several resolutions on intensification of efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women. Among these are:
- GA Resolution 61/143 (2007) reminded states that they must not use customs, traditions, or religious beliefs as excuses for avoiding their obligation to eliminate violence against women and girls. It urged states to organize a systematic and comprehensive approach to the problem, including: reviewing laws and regulations affecting violence against women and girls; preparing amendments or revisions as necessary; ending impunity for the violence by prosecuting perpetrators; providing training for law enforcement and the judiciary; and allocating resources for these efforts. It noted that girls and women are particularly at risk in conflict or post-conflict situations. States were urged to collect and analyze data on violence against women and girls, and the Secretary-General was requested to establish a coordinated database which would contain information provided by states on all aspects of policies, laws, and programs on violence against women and girls.
- GA Resolution 62/133 (2008) asked for broad support of national efforts to eliminate violence against women and girls, and stressed that adequate funds should be designated within the United Nations system to promote these efforts.
- GA Resolution 63/155 (2009) took note of the launch of the Secretary-General’s campaign to end violence against women, “UNiTE to End Violence against Women.” It emphasized the importance of training for state officials who must implement policies and programs on violence against women and girls, and suggested that states develop a national plan in partnership with relevant stakeholders. States were also urged to evaluate the impact of their existing legislation on violence against women in light of low reporting rates, and to amend law and procedure as necessary. The Resolution exhorted states to punish all forms of violence against women as criminal offences, and to redress the harm caused to victims. Importantly, it noted that a victim’s desire not to press charges must not be an impediment to prosecution of perpetrators, and that legal assistance must be available to these victims so that they can make informed decisions. States were also urged to establish shelters and crisis centers for victim support, and to ensure “adequate and comprehensive rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of violence into society.”
The General Assembly also adopted the Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence Against Women in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (1997). A draft Updated version of the Model Strategies was submitted to the UN Commission of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its 19th session in May 2010.