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

Legislation should contain specific implementation mechanisms

Last edited: October 29, 2010

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Effective legislation on violence against women should include provisions that will facilitate the implementation of the law. Common implementation mechanisms include:

  • Creation of a national plan or strategy to implement the legislation. A well-written national plan should include specific benchmarks and timetables. Government entities should be held accountable for meeting benchmarks established in the law. For example, the Bulgarian Law on Protection against Domestic Violence (2005) required its Ministries to develop a Domestic Violence Prevention and Protection Programme within 6 months of the entry of the law into force (Final Provisions, §2). For more information on implementation strategies, see the section on Implementation of Laws on Violence Against Women and Girls.

UN Women’s Handbook for National Action Plans on Violence Against Women (2012) recommends that national action plans should outline a comprehensive, coherent, and sustained programme of activity that builds evidence and practice over time, including the following elements:

    • Cross-cutting actions to establish governance structures, ensure participation of civil society, strengthen law and policy, build capacity of workforces and organizations, and improve evidence, throughout all aspects of the Plan (see chapter 3.3);
    • A coordinated strategy for the primary prevention of violence against women (see chapter 3.4);
    • The establishment and ongoing improvement of an integrated service, police and judicial response to violence against women (see chapter 3.5);
    • A description of how the Plan will be implemented, including articulation of concrete goals, actions, timelines and implementing entities; links to gender equality machinery and policy; and designated funding sources (see chapter 3.6); and
    • Evaluation, monitoring and reporting of the above (see chapter 3.7).
  • Creation of an institution, body, or agency to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the law. This body should include members, or provide a mechanism for input, from all relevant stakeholders including: government ministries with oversight of police, the judiciary, women, families and children, statistics, human rights, and health; civil society organizations focused on women’s rights, international human rights, and children’s rights; victim and survivor groups; and private actors such as employers, unions, health care organizations, and other relevant service providers. For more on monitoring bodies, see the section on Monitoring of Laws on Violence Against Women and Girls.

Enhancing Capacities to Eradicate Violence Against Women is a guide to help countries and regional partnerships develop enhanced data collection and surveys to gather information about violence against women. (UN Regional Commissions, 2013).

  • Allocation of a budget that is sufficient to implement all aspects of the law, including funding for training public officials who will enforce the law, collecting statistics on violence against women, monitoring the laws when enacted, conducting research, and educating the public on all aspects of violence against women and girls. See: United Nations Handbook for legislation on violence against women (2009), 3.2.2.