Overview Integrate survivor support and assistance into reproductive health programmes
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Human rights-based approach

Last edited: February 25, 2011

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  • A human rights-based approach seeks to analyze root causes of problems and address discriminatory practices that contribute to violence against women and to the ability of survivors to access assistance.  It:


  • A human rights-based approach requires providers to meet the needs of women and girls affected by violence according to legal and moral obligations and accountability. All those within the health sector—from government officials at the Ministry of Health to community-based health workers--are “duty bearers” bound by their obligations to encourage, empower and assist “rights holders” (i.e. women and girls) to claim their rights.  A human rights-based approach to violence against women requires that all those who develop and deliver health services:
    • Assess the capacity of rights holders to claim their rights and identify the immediate, underlying, and structural causes for non-realization of rights. For example, identify the barriers to women and girls access to health services for violence and address those barriers through improved legislation on health sector response to violence against women and girls, integrated and comprehensive health programming, and community outreach to women and girls.
    • Assess the capacities and limitations of the duty bearers (health care personnel, police, prosecutors) to fulfil their obligations according to national and international standards, laws and agreements.
    • Develop strategies to build capacities and overcome limitations of duty bearers, such as through staff training and supervision.
    • Monitor and evaluate both outcomes and processes guided by human rights standards and principles, and ensure national accountability.
    • Ensure programming is informed by the recommendations of international human rights bodies and mechanisms.