Throughout this knowledge module, reference to certain provisions or sections of a piece of legislation, part of a legal judgment, or aspect of a practice does not imply that the legislation, judgment, or practice is considered in its entirety to be a good example or a promising practice.

Some of the laws cited herein may contain provisions which authorize the death penalty. In light of the United Nations General Assembly resolutions 62/14963/16865/206, and 67/176 calling for a moratorium on and ultimate abolition of capital punishment, the death penalty should not be included in sentencing provisions for crimes of violence against women and girls.

Other Provisions Related to Domestic Violence LawsResources for Developing Legislation on Domestic Violence
Sexual Harassment in Sport Tools for Drafting Sexual Harassment Laws and Policies
Immigration Provisions Resources for developing legislation on sex trafficking of women and girls
Child Protection Provisions Resources on Forced and Child Marriage
Other provisions related to dowry-related and domestic violence laws
Related Tools

Ratify international and regional human rights instruments

Last edited: January 26, 2011

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Part of the national plan and strategy to eliminate harmful practices should be a government plan to ratify international and regional human rights treaties that are relevant to harmful practices and call for an end to such customs. 

Ratification of such treaties should be done with limited reservations. Reservations undermine the signing state’s obligation to promote women’s rights or eliminate harmful practices. For example, reservations to the Women’s Convention or the Convention on the Rights of the Child which state that customary law or principles of Islam have precedence over treaty articles that prohibit discrimination against women or other conflicting directives of the Convention, undermine the very intent of the treaty itself.  

Clear government commitment to human rights, as evidenced by ratification without reservations of human rights treaties, provides impetus for social movements necessary for social change. 

After ratification, existing and future legislation must be amended or written to be consistent with the ratified human rights instruments. Ratification of such treaties will require the drafting, implementation, and monitoring of new laws and policies to protect women and girls from harmful practices. 

States Parties to international human rights treaties and regional agreements should be pressured to adopt laws and policies prohibiting harmful traditional practices in particular and violence against children in general as well as promoting gender equality. 

(See:  No More Excuses, p. 31)