Documento - Hacer los derechos realidad. Campaña para combatir la violencia contra las mujeres


Making rights a reality

Campaigning to stop violence against women


Cover photo:

A group of women participates in a parade to commemorate International Women’s Day in Montevideo, Uruguay, 8 March, 2002. © AP Photo/Marcelo Hernandez


Violence against women is a global outrage. All over the world, women continue to be raped, injured and killed with impunity. Concerted efforts led by women have achieved dramatic changes in laws, policies and practices in recent years. There is a pressing need to build campaigns to hold states accountable for their failure to respect, protect and ensure the right of women to live free from violence.


This is one of seven documents making up a toolkit for activists working to stop violence against women.


The toolkit, prepared by Amnesty International, is a contribution to the worldwide struggle to stop violence against women. The elements of the toolkit are: a guide to advocacy and campaigning; a human rights education pack introducing the basic concepts of gender and women’s rights; three human rights education packs written for particular audiences; and two handbooks on international law and international legal standards relating to violence against women, one dealing with states’ obligation to exercise due diligence

in making women’s right to freedom from violence a reality; the second covering violence against women in armed conflict.


This activists’ toolkit consists of seven related publications designed to be used by all those working to challenge violence against women:

Making rights a reality: Gender awareness workshops (AI Index: ACT 77/035/2004), a general human rights education pack on the basic concepts of gender and women’s rights.

Making rights a reality: Campaigning to stop violence against women (AI Index: ACT 77/052/2004), a guide to advocacy. It provides information on practical methods of securing change such as lobbying, using the media and legal advocacy in criminal and civil courts.

Making rights a reality: The duty of states to address violence against women (AI Index: ACT 77/049/2004), a guide to human rights law and standards relating to states’ duties under international law to address violence against women.

Making rights a reality: Violence against women in armed conflict (AI Index: ACT 77/050/2004), a guide to international legal standards relating to violence against women in armed conflict.

Making rights a reality: Human rights education workshop for youth (AI Index: ACT 77/053/2004), a human rights education pack on women’s rights in international law aimed at young people.

Making rights a reality: Human rights education workshop for journalists (AI Index: ACT 77/054/2004), a human rights education pack on women’s rights in international law aimed at people working in the media.

Making rights a reality: Human rights education workshop for non-governmental organizations (AI Index: ACT 77/055/2004), a human rights education pack on women’s rights in international law aimed at people working in non-governmental organizations.


1. Introduction 1

An activists’ toolkit 1


2. The Stop Violence Against Women Campaign 2


3. Due diligence: a tool for change 3


4. Step-by-step guide to using due diligence as

a campaign tool 5

Step One: Identify the problem in your country 5

Analyze your national legislation 6

International human rights law 7

International humanitarian law and international criminal law 8

Regional human rights treaties 8

Step Two: Map the external and internal context 9

Women’s organizations play a key role 9

Ensure the involvement of men 9

Other allies 9

Step Three: Set objectives 10

Type A: Legislative change 11

Type B: Changes to policies and practices 12

Type C: Stimulate public debate 12

Type D: Strengthen your organization’s capacity to work on

violence against women 14

Step Four: Identify the critical pathway 15

Step Five: Identify target audiences and approaches 16

Step Six: Design campaign activities 18

Communicating the issue 20

Products 21

Step Seven: Monitor and report back 22


5. Conclusion 23


Appendix I 24


Appendix II 25


Endnotes 26


Caption


China Keitetsi, campaigner and former child soldier from Uganda, signs her hand print at the Stop Violence Against Women campaign launch, London, UK, March 2004. © AI



1. Introduction

This document is designed to help you campaign to stop violence against women and girls in your country, by demanding that your State takes responsibility for translating its international legal obligations to respect, protect, and fulfil women’s human rights into real commitments in your country. It is designed for human rights activists, women’s organizations, other human rights organizations and Amnesty International (AI) sections and structures.

This booklet includes a step-by-step guide to organizing your campaign. This process will be more familiar to some organizations than to others. And some ideas will be more practical and productive in some countries than in others. You can adapt the ideas to suit your organization and the particular cultural, legal and social situation in your country. Use what works for you and leave the rest. The step-by-step guide includes real examples.

This booklet is part of a set of materials from AI – an activists’ toolkit – to assist activists working to stop violence against women in promoting their message to a variety of audiences.


An activists’ toolkit


The first is a general human rights education pack on the basic concepts of gender and women’s rights, Making rights a reality: Gender awareness workshops (AI Index: ACT 77/035/2004).

The second is a guide to human rights law and standards relating to women’s rights not to suffer violence. Making rights a reality: The duty of states to address violence against women(AI Index: ACT 77/049/2004) covers domestic violence, violence in the community, criminal law addressing violence against women, and appropriate remedies for victims and survivors of violence against women.

The third is a guide to international standards relating to violence against women in armed conflict: Making rights a reality: Violence against women in armed conflict (AI Index: ACT 77/050/2004).

This booklet – Making rights a reality: Campaigning to stop violence against women(AI Index: ACT 77/052/2004) – is a guide to advocacy and the fourth in the set. It provides information on practical methods of securing change such as lobbying, campaigning and legal advocacy in criminal and civil courts. It contains ideas on how to address civil society organizations, state authorities and intergovernmental bodies.

The final part of the toolkit, to be produced later, will be a series of three human rights education packs on women’s rights in international law, building on the earlier elements of the toolkit: Making rights a reality: Human rights education workshop for youth(AI Index: ACT 77/053/2004); Making rights a reality: Human rights education workshop for journalists(AI Index: ACT 77/054/2004); and Making rights a reality: Human rights education workshop for non-governmental organizations(AI Index: ACT 77/055/2004).

Another useful report is the Amnesty International Campaigning Manual(AI Index: ACT 10/002/2001), which provides more detail on campaigning ideas and processes. AI’s Stop Violence Against Women campaign launch report, It’s in our hands: Stop violence against women(AI Index: ACT 77/001/2004), and the campaign website, at http://web.amnesty.org/actforwomen, both provide important background information on the issue of violence against women.


2. The Stop Violence Against Women Campaign

Violence against women is endemic. It is one of the most pervasive human rights abuses, as well as one of the most hidden. It is almost universally under-reported.

Violence against women cuts across cultural, regional, religious and economic boundaries affecting women of every class, race, ethnicity, age, religion or belief, (dis)ability, nationality and sexual identity. Although violence against women is universal, many women are targeted for specific forms of violence because of particular aspects of their identity. Women face additional discrimination because of their race, ethnicity, culture, language, sexual identity, poverty and health.

Values and beliefs in many societies that discriminate against women mean that violence against women is too often seen as "natural" or "normal", and so goes unchallenged.


AI’s Stop Violence Against Women campaign was launched on 5 March 2004. The Stop Violence Against Women campaign will focus initially on violence in the home and in conflict. The long-term campaign goals are to:

1. Abolish laws that support impunity for violence against women and laws that discriminate against women.

2. Enact and implement effective laws and practices to protect women from violence in conflict and post-conflict situations and ensure that impunity is ended for combatants who commit acts of violence against women, and their commanders.

3. Hold states individually and collectively accountable to their obligations under international law to prevent, investigate, punish and redress all acts of violence against women whether in peacetime or armed conflict.

4. Secure effective action to stop violence against women at the community level by local governments and civil society, including religious bodies, traditional and informal authorities.


The Stop Violence Against Women campaign is a different kind of campaign from those previously run by AI for four reasons:

It focuses on the issue of violence against women in the family and in conflict and the discrimination that is the root cause behind that violence, addressing the general pattern of violations as well as taking action on behalf of particular individuals. It calls for state responsibility as well as invoking individual and community commitment to stop violence against women.

It is running in partnership with women’s organizations and other groups.

AI sections and structures are encouraged to conduct research and to campaign on this issue in their own country. This reflects a growing trend for sections and structures to be rooted in their national and local realities and to operate at that level. Bridging the gap between local and global research and campaigning, sections and structures will also engage in campaigning at the international level. Sections and structures will also campaign on other national sections’ and structures’ research projects.

The campaign will incorporate a full range of campaign tools including strategic lobbying, events, research, media work and using the Internet as well as letter-writing actions by activists.


3. Due diligence: a tool for change

Human rights law offers women more protection against violence than is usually recognized. Some states lack the political will to translate international human rights treaties which they have ratified into effective domestic laws that protect women from violence. Some fail to allocate adequate resources to implement laws even where these exist. Often, there is no integrated approach among enforcing agencies. But laws to protect women from violence do exist and they can be enforced. In fact, the introduction of national legislation on violence against women has been one of the key achievements over the past decades.

Countries have a wide range of responsibilities under international human rights law. These responsibilities include the obligation to "respect" women’s rights (for example by bringing to justice state agents who violate women’s human rights); to "protect" women’s rights (for example by ensuring that discrimination by private individuals and organizations, such as companies, does not erode those rights); and to "fulfil" and promote women’s rights (for example by ensuring that women can take advantage of their rights in practice through information about their rights, legal aid assistance and so on).

Over the last decade, increasing attention has been given to states’ obligation to intervene when non-state actors – private individuals in their everyday lives and groups within the community – abuse human rights. Under international law, the state has clear responsibilities for human rights abuses committed by non-state actors where it has failed to prevent, stop or punish them.

General Recommendation 19 of the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (paragraph 9) states:

"Under general international law and specific human rights covenants, States may also be responsible for private acts if they fail to act with due diligence to prevent violations of rights or to investigate and punish acts of violence, and for providing compensation."

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in the case of Velásquez Rodríguezin 1989, acknowledged that the state, Honduras, was not involved directly in the killing and abduction of political activists by "death squads" of armed men, who were apparently unconnected to the state’s armed forces. However, the Court ruled that the state was still responsible under international law, as it had failed to stop these private citizens from abusing the rights of other private citizens. This principle is the basis of the legal concept of due diligence.

The legal concept of due diligence clarifies the state’s responsibility to make rights a reality in cases where neither the perpetrator nor the victim is a state agent. This includes family violence and violence by armed groups and individuals during armed conflict. Due diligence means that states bear responsibility for human rights abuses when they know, or ought to know, about abuses, and fail to take appropriate steps to prevent, stop or punish them and to ensure reparations for victims.

National governments are responsible for taking action to prevent the abuse of women’s human rights – including violence against women – as well as for bringing perpetrators to justice, after abuses occur. This means that governments are responsible for educational, legal and practical measures to reduce the incidence of violence. This includes improving street lighting in an area where women have been raped or providing information on women’s rights, for example.

Some countries wrongly interpret international human rights law as meaning that their responsibility is limited to making sure that people acting on their behalf (state actors) comply with human rights law. In fact, they are required to prevent, investigate and punish abuses by both state and non-state actors.

This means that states are responsible for preventing and prosecuting human rights abuses committed by individuals. This is key to combating violence against women, which is often perpetrated by husbands and partners, employers, family members, neighbours, and other individuals or non-state actors. This means that states can be held responsible for violence within the family – the most commonly reported type of violence against women – and violence against women by both state and non-state actors in conflict.

These responsibilities are enshrined within the established requirement to exercise due diligence to respect, protect, fulfil and promote human rights. Due diligence has developed through the resolutions, observations and comments of international and regional bodies and human rights courts. It is used by the various organs of the UN and regional human rights bodies to monitor states’ implementation of human rights treaties and is a way to measure whether a state has done enough to fulfil its human rights obligations.


Does your government protect the rights of all its citizens?

Exercising due diligence includes taking effective steps to prevent abuses, to investigate them when they occur, to prosecute the alleged perpetrators and bring them to justice in fair proceedings. Due diligence also means providing adequate reparations for the victims, including compensation, rehabilitation and redress and ensuring that justice is secured without discrimination of any kind.

In the context of armed conflicts, this means that states must not only refrain from acts which constitute violations of human rights law, but also must take all necessary measures to prevent other actors (enemy forces, armed groups, paramilitaries, organizations and individuals in a woman’s community or family) from committing such acts. Where states have failed to prevent such abuse, they must ensure reparations and rehabilitation for victims, and strive to bring perpetrators to justice, whether nationally or internationally.


Caption

AI Chile highlights the murders of hundreds of women and girls in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, with a vigil outside the Mexican embassy in Santiago, March 2004. © AI Chile


The step-by-step guide below is designed to help you hold your government to account under international law using the concept of due diligence as a campaigning tool to stop violence against women.


In practical terms, invoking the standard of due diligence:

Gives campaigners a way of using the human rights framework to stop violence against women by invoking state responsibility for violations by state and non-state actors.

Provides a concrete framework for demanding a range of reforms, from bringing non-state perpetrators to justice to preventative measures.

Can be invoked at the local level, and sets the basis for dialogues with local authorities, politicians and other leaders.


4. Step-by-step guide to using due diligence as a campaign tool

This step-by-step guide aims to help you to set clear objectives and devise tactics that will deliver those objectives. AI resources such as the Amnesty International Campaigning Manual(AI Index: ACT 10/002/2001) and the reference materials listed in Appendix I will offer more detailed help in working through this process.


For your campaign, you’ll need to:

Identify the problem.

Map the background context.

Set objectives.

Identify the critical steps in your campaign.

Identify target audiences and approaches.

Plan campaign activities.

Monitor and report back.


Step One: Identify the problem in your country

Violence against women is one of the most pervasive human rights abuses, as well as one of the most hidden. It is almost universally under-reported. It cuts across all boundaries and often goes unchallenged. Violence is both rooted in discrimination and serves to reinforce discrimination, preventing women from exercising their rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men. Too often, those committing violence against women enjoy impunity, and governments fail to provide an environment that is free from violence.

As outlined above, states have a responsibility to protect people within their country from violence: both in the public sphere and in private, for example within their family unit. This holds true whether the violence is committed by agents of the state (such as police officers, officials or soldiers) or by private individuals and groups. This responsibility is enshrined in international law, which prescribes a range of responsibilities by states to ensure respect for human rights.

However, not all states fulfil this responsibility. Culturally accepted assumptions about the roles of men and women in society mean that many countries simply do not have the laws in place to protect women adequately. For example, some countries have no law prohibiting the rape of a woman by her husband.

Where countries do reflect their international legal obligations to protect women from violencein domestic laws, those laws are not always invoked or enforced. For example, military and civil leaders repeatedly ignored the allegations of a woman in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that soldiers had raped her. See Democratic Republic of the Congo: One woman’s struggle for justice (AI Index: AFR 62/001/2004). "Gender blindness" means that women’s specific concerns are not identified and therefore are not addressed which can lead to violence against women being sometimes accepted by society as inevitable, and not recognized as a crime.

As part of this activists’ toolkit, AI has produced a report outlining the international legal standards about women and violence that apply to individual countries in peacetime. See Making Rights a Reality: The duty of states to address violence against women(AI Index: ACT 77/049/2004). AI has also produced a document outlining the international legal standards about women and violence that apply to individual countries in conflict situations: Making Rights a Reality: Violence against women in armed conflict(AI Index: ACT 77/050/2004). You can use these reports to identify the problem in your own country and to assess your government’s record on these issues. You can then publicize any failings and lobby for change in national legislation and practice to reflect your country’s obligations under international human rights treaties and international humanitarian law.


Analyze your national legislation


You need to analyze the legal situation in your country and to identify, for example:

1. Which of the main human rights treaties has your country yet to ratify?

2. What laws are in place that perpetuate gender inequity or allow gender discrimination or violence to take place with impunity? For example, customary (traditional) laws often discriminate against women. Discriminatory laws that limit a woman’s right to divorce, inheritance or owning property restrict women’s rights and their ability to leave violent relationships.

3. What laws are required to allow the authorities in your country to prosecute those who commit violence against women? Examples include laws making rape in marriage a crime, and the introduction or strengthening of laws on equality. (For example, in the Philippines, after successful lobbying by women’s groups, a new criminal law on rape was introduced in 1997 which defined rape as violence against a person and included oral sex and acts of sexual torture.)

4. How common are acts of violence against women in conflict situations and how often are the perpetrators brought to justice?

5. Are there effective independent monitoring and complaints mechanisms for investigating complaints against national armies?

6. What protection is available for women asylum-seekers fleeing violence? (For example, in 1993 the Canadian government adopted new guidelines to recognize gender-based persecution as grounds for asylum following public pressure on a number of cases, including a Saudi Arabian woman who had initially been refused asylum. She had been harassed and threatened for not wearing a veil.)

7. What access do survivors have to appropriate medical treatment, protection and redress? Is this treatment available regardless of the survivor’s social, economic or citizenship status?

8. What measures are being taken to protect women from violence? (For example, do women fleeing violent situations have access to safe housing? Are refuges available for them and their children?)


You could do this legal analysis in conjunction with other women’s or human rights organizations. Contact women’s organizations, support groups, advice centres and others working on violence against women to find out what kind of research has already been carried out. If there are gaps in the available information, you could work in collaboration with such groups to obtain it.


Make sure that you do the research within the framework of the international standards as set out in Making Rights a Reality: The duty of states to address violence against women(AI Index: ACT 77/049/2004) and Making Rights a Reality: Violence against women in armed conflict(AI Index: ACT 77/050/2004). You may also like to refer to Freedom from terror, safety from harm: challenge your government to stamp out the torture and ill-treatment of women(AI Index: ACT 77/002/2001) and "There is no excuse"; Gender-based violence in the home and protection of the human rights of women in Spain(AI Spain, November 2003).


You should be able to get a copy of the relevant legislation in your country from your national justice department, department of constitutional affairs or equivalent government department. It may be available online directly from the department’s website, or through a library.


You can check which human rights treaties your government has ratified, what reservations it has made to limit the application of the treaty, and when it is due to report on the implementation of those treaties. This information is available on the website of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at: http://www.unhchr.chor http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw


All states are required to pay particular attention to the issue of violence against women, and to take active steps to eradicate it, through prevention, investigation and punishment. This has been spelt out by international political bodies such as the UN General Assembly in its Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and its Resolution 52/86 on crime prevention and criminal justice measures to eliminate violence against women; the UN Commission on Human Rights in its resolutions, particularly on violence against women; and the UN Security Council in its Resolution 1325 on the rights of women and children in armed conflict. This requirement has been reiterated by human rights treaty bodies such as the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, in its General Recommendation 19, and the UN Human Rights Committee in its General Comment 28. See Making Rights a Reality: The duty of states to address violence against women(AI Index: ACT 77/049/2004), chapter two. Several international and regional laws and treaties are directly relevant to defending women’s human rights. Treaties are legally binding agreements, which must direct the behaviour of states. The key areas of international law are outlined below.


Caption

Participants in the Nepal launch of the Stop Violence Against Women campaign, Banepa, near Kathmandu, March 2004. © AI Nepal


International human rights law


The obligation to ensure equality between women and men and to prohibit discrimination against women is set out in detail in the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This obligation finds its source in core human rights documents – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). These three documents, collectively known as the "International Bill of Human Rights", proclaim, among other things, the rights to equality, liberty and security and the rights to be free from discrimination, torture, and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not a treaty, and therefore not legally binding in itself, many of its provisions, such as the commitment to non-discrimination and the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment, are part of general international law, and have been reiterated in legally binding treaties such as the two Covenants listed above.


CEDAW provides for the right to equality in law, in political participation and within the family, as well as in all areas of economic and social life, including education, work and healthcare. The ICCPR provides that men and women shall equally enjoy all civil and political rights specified in the treaty without discrimination, as does the ICESCR for the rights it contains.


There are also a number of declarations and other documents adopted by the UN General Assembly, and other international forums, that address violence against women as a human rights issue. These include the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the Outcome document of the UN General Assembly Special Session in 2000 (Beijing + 5).


It is widely agreed that the legal prohibitions of the worst types of violence against women (such as murder, torture and other ill-treatment, rape and other sexual violence, and other violence grounded in discrimination) reflect rules of customary international law.(1)


When a country ratifies a treaty, it becomes a state party and undertakes to ensure that domestic legislation is in line with provisions of the treaty. If you establish that there are domestic laws that are contrary to the provisions of the treaty, then you should bring this to the attention of the relevant treaty monitoring body, for example through a shadow report at the time of the review of the country’s periodic report. You should also bring it to the attention of the parliament, government and other relevant authorities in your campaign to end violence against women.


International human rights law provides that all states must ensure that those within their jurisdiction enjoy their human rights. This includes the responsibility of states to intervene when individuals act in a way that affects other peoples’ rights. See Article 12, International Law Commission’s draft Articles on State Responsibility and Article 1, European Convention on Human Rights. The state also has a duty to intervene when women are being subjected to violence by armed groups in conflict situations and also in the context of violence in the family. See Making Rights a Reality: The duty of states to address violence against women(AI Index: ACT 77/049/2004), and Making Rights a Reality: Violence against women in armed conflict(AI Index: ACT 77/050/2004).


International humanitarian law and international criminal law


International humanitarian law (including the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols), while applying mainly to states, includes rules which apply to the conduct of all parties to armed conflicts, whether international or internal. International human rights law also applies to the actions of the state and its security forces during periods of armed conflict. In all cases, the state is accountable for the actions of armed groups that work in association with it or are tolerated by it (such as paramilitary forces, militias, "death squads" or vigilantes). Members of armed groups, whether allied to the state or not, are required, as a minimum, to respect the provisions of common Article 3 of all four Geneva Conventions, which also reflects customary international law. This requires them to refrain from committing violent acts against civilians, such as murder, torture and inhuman treatment of all kinds, which clearly includes rape and other forms of sexual violence, though this is not explicitly stated. They are also liable under international criminal law for war crimes (including breaches of common Article 3) and crimes against humanity.

Gender-based violence against women in conflict is prohibited under both international human rights and humanitarian law. Rape and several other forms of violence against women committed by parties to a conflict constitute torture. In addition, the following acts are war crimes: rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization and certain other forms of sexual violence of comparable severity. If these acts are knowingly committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack on a civilian population, they constitute crimes against humanity.

Torture of women in an international armed conflict is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions, and, in certain circumstances, may constitute an element of genocide. Acts of violence against women amounting to torture, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide are subject to universal jurisdiction. This means that under international law, the authorities in any country where people suspected of such crimes are found can – and should – investigate, regardless of where or against whom the crime was committed. If there is sufficient admissible evidence, that state should prosecute the suspects, extradite them to a state able and willing to do so in a fair trial without the death penalty, or surrender the suspects to an international criminal court.


Regional human rights treaties

Regional human rights treaties also require states to implement rights equally between men and women. The main relevant treaties are: the European Convention on Human Rights; the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and its Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa; and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women ("Convention of Belém do Pará") is the one regional treaty that specifically addresses violence against women in detail. See Making Rights a Reality: The duty of states to address violence against women(AI Index: ACT 77/049/2004).


Step Two: Map the external and internal context

The next step is to analyze the context in which your campaign will be operating. What are the key factors that will affect the way you choose your objectives and position your campaign? You should consider how economic, social, cultural, political and legal trends in your country are impacting on the reality and perception of women, human rights and violence.

These factors will influence what objective you think will most improve the situation in your country at present; what change you can realistically hope to make; which opinion formers and decision-makers you target; and the "mood" of your campaign.

Alongside analyzing the external context you should also, as with any campaign, conduct a brief analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your organization to ensure that your plans match your resources and organizational plans. (This is known as a SWOT analysis.) You should focus first on what you are good at and where your strengths lie in relation to the campaign, before moving on to new areas.

This is a good stage to approach other organizations working on women’s rights in your country, before you move to setting objectives and individual activities.


Women’s organizations play a key role

If your organization has traditionally been focussed on other areas of human rights work, it is important to recognize that there is a strong, well-established international network of women’s organizations with many years’ experience of campaigning for women’s rights, including on the issue of violence.

It is important to support and complement the work that is being done in the field already, as other organizations may have greater expertise and you can learn from the groundbreaking work that these groups have done. The next step in your campaign planning therefore should be to contact the women’s organizations in your country, ask what they are working on and how you could help.

Be aware that in many countries violence against women is seen as a women’s issue, so human rights organizations may find it difficult at first to initiate a dialogue with women’s organizations. An approach that acknowledges the greater experience of the women’s movement should help facilitate this dialogue. For example, AI United Kingdom consulted local women’s movements, recognizing their depth of experience in research and action on this issue, before developing its own project to combat violence against women in the UK.


Ensure the involvement of men


You should also consider how you are going to involve men in your campaign. Men are both an internal and external audience. Mainstream human rights organizations with women and men members, like AI, are well placed to engage men on the issue. Partnerships with men can be built to encourage them to become advocates to stop violence against women. Some men have been actively engaged in challenging violence against women, but for many men the issue is remote. They have limited awareness of violence against women and little idea of how to engage with it or affect it. You need to take this into account in your planning and activities.


Caption

AI Croatia’s Stop Violence Against Women campaign launch in Zagreb, March 2004. © AI


Other allies


Potential allies include: medical professionals, lawyers, teachers, housing authorities, police officers, trade unions, and journalists.

In addition to identifying allies, you should identify those groups who will oppose any campaign to stop violence against women. You will need to think through what arguments and tactics they may use against you and how best to counter them, as part of your campaign plan.


Step Three: Set objectives

Each objective you set should take you one step nearer to reaching the overall goal to Stop Violence Against Women.

The objectives will use the concept of due diligence to reach these goals. In other words they will reflect the responsibility of your country’s government to reduce violence against women.

The objectives should be SMART:

Specific.

Measurable.

Achievable.

Relevant.

Time bound.


Developing a strategy

[illustration]

SITUATION ANALYSIS

What are our strengths and weaknesses? What external factors affect our work?

OBJECTIVES

What can we realistically hope to achieve? How will we measure whether we have succeeded?

TACTICS

How can we achieve our objectives? Who should we approach? What techniques will be most effective?

ACTION PLANS

What do we need to do? Who will do it? When? How much will it cost?

ACTION

Do it! NB Periodic reviews How's it going? Do we need to modify our plans?

EVALUATION

Did we achieve our objectives? What went well? Less well? What have we learnt for next time?


Are our plans realistic and achievable? Do we have enough resources?

(Time? Money? People?) Do we need to modify our objectives?

[end illustration]


This will help clarify what you are trying to achieve, help you plan activities so that they bring the result you want, and make evaluation easier.

There are a number of tools you can use to develop your campaign strategy, including the "Strategic campaigning cycle", and the "Problem and Solution tree". Details of how to develop a "Strategic campaigning cycle" are given below, from page 25 of the Amnesty International Campaigning Manual(AI Index: ACT 10/002/2001):

Page 13 and pages 24-28 of the Campaigning manual will also provide more help with this process. The "Problem and Solution tree" can help to analyze a situation and identify the core problem you want to focus on. By placing the problem in the centre and brainstorming the causes and effects of the problem to create the problem and tree and then transforming it into a solution tree by reversing the core problem to create a goal, transforming the causes to objectives and effects to benefits. A "Problem and Solution tree" can be used in a group or with other organizations.


[box]

Problem Tree

[illustration]

Secondary effect

Primary effect

CORE PROBLEM

Primary cause

Secondary cause

[end illustration]

You could identify, for example, your problem to be the lack of laws in your country to protect women. You might decide that one primary cause is the low level of public debate about women’s human rights and violence against women and a secondary cause (that contributes both to the problem and the primary cause) is the tolerance of violence in the family.



Solution Tree

[illustration]

Secondary benefit

Primary benefit

GOAL

Objective

Sub-objective

[end illustration]

You might identify the ratification and implementation

of CEDAW into national law as your ultimate goal,

but choose to begin with awareness-raising objectives to change prejudices and put violence against women on the public agenda. This will assist in getting more support for the need for the ratification of CEDAW.

[end box]

Below are some examples of the objectives you could choose, based on your analysis of the legal situation in your country and the broader context. Many of these are real objectives that have been set by AI’s International Secretariat or by AI sections and structures.


Type A: Legislative change


Your analysis of the legal situation in your country will show which international standards your government has not ratified and where its legislation is failing to provide protection from violence for women. You can develop campaign objectives that aim to fill those gaps.

The objectives may be broad in focus – to ratify CEDAW – or narrow – to modify an existing customary law. This will depend on where your research, including your conversations with other organizations, shows the greatest need and the greatest chance of success.

The objectives could challenge discriminatory laws that impede women’s rights and access to justice and allow for gender-based violence. They could also hold your country accountable to the standards it has agreed to through the UN or regional intergovernmental bodies.


Examples of objectives that you could adopt or adapt:

Your country to ratify CEDAW and/or the Optional Protocol, if it has not yet done so.

Your country to withdraw any reservations it has placed on CEDAW (for example, refusing to be bound by articles which conflict with customary laws).

Your government to bring laws into line with CEDAW, if they have ratified it. That is, it should incorporate the human rights principles in CEDAW into domestic law.

Your country to submit periodic reports to the treaty monitoring bodies on time. A coalition of organizations to produce a shadow report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on your country’s progress in preventing violence against women. See Making Rights a Reality: The duty of states to address violence against women, (AI Index: ACT 77/049/2004), and Making Rights a Reality: Violence against women in armed conflict(AI Index: ACT 77/050/2004).

Your government to implement the recommendations by the treaty monitoring body following its review of your country’s periodic report.

Your country to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, if it has not already done so.

Your government to use the definitions of crimes and rules of procedure of the International Criminal Court as a model for domestic criminal law relating to violence against women. These definitions are sensitive to the needs and safety of victims and witnesses. See Making Rights a Reality: The duty of states to address violence against women(AI Index: ACT 77/049/2004).

Media coverage of the need for the government to pass new laws to protect women from violence. For example, at least 78 countries need new laws to make domestic violence a crime. Some countries still need to introduce laws to make rape within marriage a crime.

Public campaigns to abolish laws that grant impunity to those using violence against women or that actively discriminate against women. These laws are present in at least 54 countries.

Remove discriminatory provisions in laws relating to forced marriage, wife inheritance, marital rape, consensual sex between adults outside marriage and Female Genital Mutilation.

Government to analyze the impact of domestic violence legislation in partnership with women’s organizations and develop a plan of action.


Type B: Changes to policies and practices


You may also set campaign objectives that call for a change in official policies and practices, which do not require changes in the law. These may target the justice system, the police, the military and other national institutions.

Example objectives that you could adopt or adapt:

Identify and bring to justice at least two perpetrators of violence against women in armed conflicts – for example in Algeria, Colombia, Iraq or Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Establish at least two supportive practices in law enforcement.

Specialized medical treatment to be provided to every rape survivor in your country.

Gender-sensitive training to be provided to all police and security officials in your country.

All survivors to have access to effective treatment and redress, regardless of their identity. (Although violence against women is universal, many women are targeted for specific forms of violence because of particular aspects of their identity. Women are discriminated against on the basis of their race, ethnicity, culture, language, sexual identity, poverty and health. AI has identified patterns of racial and ethnic discrimination in gender-based violence in a variety of situations. These include police ill-treatment of immigrant and ethnic minority women in Spain and the torture and ill-treatment of lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.) See "There is no excuse"; Gender-based violence in the home and protection of the human rights of women in Spain(AI Spain, November 2003) and Crimes of hate, conspiracy of silence: Torture and ill-treatment based on sexual identity(AI Index: ACT 40/016/2001).


Type C: Stimulate public debate


Different countries vary greatly in both their tolerance of violence against women and the level of public debate about women’s human rights and violence against women. All countries and cultures without exception could benefit from greater public debate and a higher level of awareness about gender-based discrimination and violence. Stimulating this debate will create a positive environment in which to campaign for concrete legislative or policy change.

In some countries, however, awareness raising may be an essential prerequisite for starting campaigns for legislative or social change. You may need first to challenge a tradition of cultural and social impunity for violence against women.

It may be realistic in your country to begin by setting objectives that aim to put violence against women on the public agenda and to raise awareness and change prejudices. You could then plan to campaign for concrete legislative change in the second phase of the campaign and use that as a means to continue your awareness raising.


[photo caption]

Thousands of women join a lesbian march in Mexico in March 2003. All over the world, women are asserting their right to sexual self-determination despite the widespread use of violence to control women's sexuality. © AP

[end photo caption]


Example objectives and approaches that you could adopt or adapt:

Put violence against women on the public agenda; one approach might be to influence decision-makers in your country, such as members of the judiciary, police, military, and teachers, by running human rights education workshops that show how gender discrimination is used to deny women their human rights.

Raise public awareness and change prejudices surrounding violence against women; one approach might be to challenge cultural and social impunity for violence against women through media, education, and coalition building.


Type D: Strengthen your organization’s capacity to work on violence against women


You may also need to set objectives to strengthen your organization’s capacity to work on violence against women. For example, building this capacity is identified as one of the overall and ongoing goals of AI’s Stop Violence Against Women campaign.

Societal conditioning affects everyone. Male human rights activists may not be aware of how much societal constructions of gender have affected their approach to women’s human rights. Female human rights activists may not be aware of how their class, race or sexuality


[photo caption]

Schoolgirls taking part in the launch of AI Benin's Stop Violence Against Women campaign in Porto Novo, Benin. © AI (Women Teachers Group Porto Novo)

[end photo caption]


affects the way they view other women. The human rights education (HRE) workshop material included in this toolkit will be helpful in addressing these complex issues.

You may also need to strengthen ties with organizations already working in the field, particularly women’s organizations but also other human rights organizations, religious leaders, social movements, development and humanitarian agencies.


Example objectives that you could adopt or adapt:

Key activists to develop skills to run HRE workshops with your own staff, volunteers and members to challenge their perception of gender.

Staff to develop skills to deliver gender mainstreaming as an integral part of your organization’s work on human rights. For example, collect statistics on the percentage of cases in your country that involve women; and check that gender-based crime is included among the cases on which you work.

l Identify, build alliances with, share joint platforms and issue joint statements with at least three other organizations working on violence against women.


Step Four: Identify the critical pathway

The critical pathway is a tool to help you identify how that change set out in your objectives will happen and who will make it happen. It is important to set up milestones to help you monitor the effectiveness of your actions and to evaluate your success.

This allows you to set out a pathway or logical pathway from one campaign activity to the next until you reach your objectives. A campaign is a trail, a series of steps. While some activities will coincide, you should plan to achieve one step before you start the next one, wherever possible.

You will need to think about which activities should take place first to increase the chances of success of the later activities. Think creatively about opportunities to engage your activists in the campaign. The critical pathway will show a natural flow from raising awareness and laying seeds of ideas to increasing pressure on decision-makers from different directions all leading to a final push for change.

Remember that NGOs can be catalysts for change but cannot themselves directly deliver either legislative change or substantive educational or other support measures on the ground that reach whole populations.

Where the government is strong, you can lobby government ministers and officials for the legislative and policy change needed to ensure that they meet their responsibilities as measured by the concept of due diligence. Where the government itself is weak, you may need to think laterally to find other ways to bring about change. For example, international corporations can be influential in countries where governments are weak. You may be able to achieve some changes through them, such as support for community-based advocacy projects, gender-sensitive conditions of work for the people they employ, or ongoing human rights education for large groups of people or opinion formers.

Example:

You may start by identifying that your country has failed to ratify CEDAW and has two key pieces of legislation that serve to perpetuate gender inequity or allow gendered violence to take place with impunity. In addition there is considerable violence against women in a local conflict but no perpetrators have been brought to justice.

Your objectives may be to:

Persuade your government to ratify CEDAW.

Remove or at least rework the legislation that perpetuates gender inequity.

Obtain the commitment of military leaders to reduce violence against women in the conflict zone.

Identify and bring to justice some of the perpetrators of violence in the conflict zone.

The critical pathway might look something like this:

1. Run awareness-raising workshops for the relevant decision-makers and those who influence them (civil servants, army officers, members of the judiciary).

2. Produce authoritative research on the national legislative situation, where it fails to meet international standards and the impact on people’s lives and human rights.

3. Submit this research as a shadow report to a human rights treaty body to coincide with their review of your country’s periodic report.

4. Mobilize activists to write to the decision-makers calling for change.

5. Release the full research report at a media event held jointly with other organizations and other allies.

6. Publish your report on your organization’s website with an online petition and other actions.

7. Lobby decision-makers at face-to-face meetings, asking for a clear list of achievable demands, which they can grant directly.

8. Monitor and evaluate the impact of activities undertaken.

Campaigning is a dialogue with society; it needs to be systematic, but also flexible to respond to audiences and react to unexpected events. The critical pathway is a way of identifying the first steps in the ‘journey’. Keep analyzing the impact of your work to check if the critical pathway needs to change.


Step Five: Identify target audiences and approaches

Identifying target audiences can both help you with developing your critical pathway and working out how to deliver the first step on your critical pathway. Ask yourself:

Who has the power to make the changes that your objectives call for?

Can you reach them directly? If not, who can?

What is their current understanding of the legal situation and of the cultural construction of violence against women?

What barriers or misconceptions do you need to address?

What messages do you need to get across to inspire them to take the action you want?

You will need to identify the individual decision-makers themselves, such as:

The Minister of Justice and other government Ministers.

Army leaders responsible for the conduct and disciplining of soldiers.

Professional groups, for example police officers, soldiers and other military personnel; lawyers and judges; teachers and educators; health workers and social workers.

You will also need to identify the people who influence the decision-makers, such as:

Civil servants.

Journalists.

International donors.

Religious and community leaders.

Individual activists.

Consider targeting non-traditional audiences who are likely to be influential in ending violence against women, such as sports people or business people. You will need to consider what channels to use to reach these targets and tailor what you produce to your audience.

When you know who your target audiences are and what motivates them, you can plan how to inspire them to make the changes you want. Remember that they may view the issue very differently from you. You must put yourself in their place and imagine what arguments or pressure will motivate them to make change. Is public pressure from the voters via the media and letter-writing campaigns going to force them to put the issue on the agenda? Will you need to show civil servants the benefits of enshrining international legal obligations in domestic law?

The influence map, chains of influence diagram and channels of influence, may be useful tools to help you identify your target audiences. An example of one is given below:


1. A simple influence map:

[illustration]

Issue: access to appropriate medical treatment for survivors of family violence


Minister of health

Health workers

Women's Ministry

Survivors of violence

National Media

Women's Equality Commission

Organizations working with survivors of family violence

[end illustration]


2. Chains of Influence:

[illustration]

Your organization

Audience

Audience 1

Audience 2

Audience 3

Target

[end illustration]


3. Channels of Influence:

[illustration]

Resources:

Funds

People

Other

You

Health workers

National media

Survivors

Women's Ministry

Organizations working with survivors

Minister of Health

Issue or beneficiaries

[end illustration]


A simple grid like the one shown below can also be effective:

[illustration]

Audience

National government

Corporations

Action you want them to take

Make rape in marriage a crime

Run human rights education programs on gender for staff

How you will get them to do it

Pressure from voters, public debate, lobbying meetings

Direct approach jointly with unions with argument about corporate responsibility

[end illustration]


Step Six: Design campaign activities

Every separate campaign activity should have a place in the grid (see Step Four above), which shows how you will get your targets to act as you want. Posters, reports and other products are only meaningful and effective if they play a clear role in moving your objectives forward.

Remember also that the issue here is due diligence. Campaign activitiesshould focus on the responsibility of governmentto reduce violence against women, rather than getting sidetracked onto other aspects of the issue. Violence against women is complex and has many causes and solutions. Keeping the focus on due diligence will strengthen your campaign and make it more likely to succeed.

You should plan your activities to involve your activists and others. They can engage in public campaigning activities as well as writing or e-mailing target groups, using for example, material produced on AI’s website http://web.amnesty.org/actforwomenin the course of the Stop Violence Against Women campaign. You can also urge them to write to decision-makers about the specific legislative change you want to bring about in your country.

There is a wide range of other activities open to you. A campaign activity can be a demonstration, a letter or e-mail, a leaflet, an item of research, a web page, a media interview, a sponsored walk, a meeting with a politician, non-violent legal direct action, a petition, a vigil, or action appeal cases. All these have helped win campaigns. The organization New Tactics


[photo caption]

Getting the message across: AI Canada's Stop Violence against Women campaign website: http://www.amnesty.ca/stoptheviolence/

[end photo caption]


provides practical tools, an online database and an online discussion forum for human rights organizations to obtain and share information about effective tactics to use in campaigning. Visit their website for further information: www.newtactics.org.

Your campaign activities could include:

Face-to-face activity: meetings, events, vigils and networking, tribunals.

Indirect communications: media interviews, briefing advocates, phone trees.


Examples of campaign activities by women’s organizations and AI Sections and Structures:

In San Francisco, USA, women’s groups mobilized to pass a local ordinance incorporating the main components of CEDAW into municipal law. One of its main elements is a gender-sensitive review of the city’s budgeting process, to ensure gender equity in the distribution of resources.

In Senegal, a non-governmental organization, Tostan ("breakthrough" in Wolof), designed a village-level human rights education program, with a strong emphasis on participatory learning. Entire villages – men, women, religious leaders and traditional chiefs – were involved. They started by teaching villagers about their human rights, including those in CEDAW, followed by sessions including problem-solving and reproductive health in which participants identified their needs. During this process, communities themselves invariably identified Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a problem and engaged in debate about ending the practice. After the first phase, in November 1999, around 80,000 people from 105 villages throughout the Kolda region participated in a ceremony at which they issued a public declaration to end the practice of FGM.2

The Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling in Jerusalem (WCLAC) has worked with other women’s groups to ensure that laws codifying "honour killings" have no place on the statute book if a Palestinian state is established.3Faced with a lack of reliable information, since police and court records tend to accept the explanation of death by suicide or accident, WCLAC has been searching for accurate information. They have brought "honour killings" – which they have renamed femicide – into public view and have sought to broaden the definition from an act of murder to a method used to control women’s sexuality and to punish women for non-compliance with social norms.4WCLAC has analyzed information from a variety of sources, including official records, clients, families of victims, health officials, police, and judges, and has conducted surveys and interviews.

In April 2004, AI Sweden published a report entitled Men’s violence against women in close relations: An outline of the situation in Sweden, which was presented at a media seminar with experts, NGOs and members of Parliament, including the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Justice. The launch of the report was covered by more than 80 newspapers and by national radio and television. On the same day, campaigning events were held in at least five cities. In Stockholm and Uppsala, there were "human installations" with women wearing white wedding dresses. Every fourth woman had black roses for her wedding bouquet and a black bridal veil representing violence in marriage. In Gothenburg and Lund, women’s rights groups and members collected hundreds of handprints on a huge white cloth.

The day after the launch of the report, a press release was issued by the Ministry of Justice, stating that a working group with representatives from four different ministries was being set up that very day. In the press release the Minister for Gender Equality Affairs, Mona Sahlin, stated that: "Amnesty’s report on men’s violence against women shows that the tightened laws concerning men’s violence against women are not implemented the way they should be. Many battered women are left with no support from society. This is unacceptable and we are going to change this."AI was invited to meet the working group.

AI Canada has produced an online set of campaign tools for local activists to use. It is available at: http://www.amnesty.ca/stoptheviolence. It includes posters, brochures and action sheets for activists to distribute and display in offices, schools, community centres, shopping centres, libraries and police stations. It identifies action cases for activists to lobby decision-makers. A catalogue of ideas encourages activists to contact local media to raise the issue of violence against women; to organize candlelit vigils, silent marches, or parties to celebrate women’s human rights defenders; to create "violence-free" spaces; and to use street theatre and film to create public debate and display art works on the issue.


Caption

A player at a Turkish football match at which both teams wore Stop Violence Against Women T-shirts, February 2004. The slogan on the T-shirts reads: "Red Card for violence against women". © Radikal


AI Nepal organized a talk program on "Women and Domestic Violence" for 100 students at Dhulabari Campus in the far eastern region of the country, near Bhutanese refugee camps. AI Belgium has an online quiz to play that explores the issue of violence against women and some possible solutions.

AI UK has produced an activists’ pack that includes details of action appeal cases, postcards, posters, a summary report on violence against women in the UK and sample letters and press releases for activists to send to their local news media. AI UK ran an extensive consultation exercise with women’s groups working on domestic violence before planning their national campaign strategy. They also worked with these women’s groups to produce a shadow report for CEDAW.

In February 2004 a professional Turkish football team wore T-shirts showing the Stop Violence Against Women campaign logo for AI Turkey at a major league match. This is a good example of targeting a wider audience, particularly men, when campaigning.

In Mexico, a giant mural was painted honouring the missing and murdered women from Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua.


Communicating the issue


The steps outlined above should help you to map out how the campaign will be communicated to external and internal audiences and how to break down messages according to target audiences.

Next you need to choose the best medium for spreading your message, for example, using local papers, public meetings and the Internet. Base this decision on how the group that you are targeting accesses and absorbs information. Also bear in mind your resources and skills and what is the most cost-effective way to reach the target audience. You can try and develop partnerships with key media to obtain, for example, regular slots on the radio and newspaper coverage of your actions.

All your campaign communication activities should follow these guidelines:

Put the interests of survivors of violence against women at the heart of your communications plans and activities. Consult with women’s NGOs at the forefront of supporting survivors to ensure that your communications activities and materials are sensitive to and are aligned with their and their clients’ interests.

The impact of violence against women affects everyone. Make sure that your communications on violence against women are able to reach and influence men and women regardless of their social status. Ensure that they are sensitive to the cultures of the target communities you are trying to influence.

tab The tone of campaign materials should be positive about the prospect for change. Give examples of how a campaign can make a difference to make it real to your audience.

Shaming perpetrators may not always be effective and could be counterproductive to structural reforms needed to prevent and end violence against women.

Language: be sensitive when choosing what words to use. Refer to women who have experienced violence as survivors not as victims.

Images: choose empowering images that respect survivors’ dignity and show women as active.

If working with spokespeople and celebrities, make sure they follow these guidelines themselves.


You need to develop key messages to communicate your campaign. The key messages for the Stop Violence Against Women campaign include:


Violence against women is a human rights scandal. It is a hidden atrocity. Living in safety is a universal right, not a privilege. Human rights bring not only universality, but also justice, accountability and redress.

l The authorities must take responsibility. The authorities must guarantee women’s safety.


Caption

The Brazilian non-governmental organization Viva Rio launched a campaign under the slogan Arma Não! Ela ou Eu (Choose gun-free! It's your gun or me) urging women to pressure their partners into handing


It’s in our hands – together we can end it. Stopping violence against women is about changing attitudes as well as laws.

Ending violence against women is a personal as well as institutional responsibility.

Your public awareness messages should emphasize the following four key themes:

A culture that respects equality between men and women is the basis for positive relationships between men and women and could prevent occurrence of violence against women.

Encourage and raise the profile of positive role models of men who are committed to gender equality and are critical of violence against women.

Violence against women takes many forms. Non-physical forms are the most difficult to detect because they are "hidden".

Stopping violence against women requires changes in social attitudes that discriminate against women on the basis of their gender, race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age and disabilities.


Products

Identifying the appropriate products to use in your campaign comes last, as these must be related to your objectives, audience, influence, action, actors and so on. Products could include:

A website.

Leaflets.

Posters.

Postcards.

Letters.

A video.

Radio spots.

Regular newspaper articles.

A play.

Car stickers.

A report.



Step Seven: Monitor and report back

It is important for all organizations to monitor and evaluate their work. Evaluation helps ensure that you are generating the results your effort deserves, and also generates good news to feed into your communications strategy. It is a good idea to evaluate your campaign periodically, for example at the end of each phase or milestone, and use the information you gain from the evaluation to improve your campaign.

To monitor your campaign, you will need to gather and record the following data:

Did you do what you set out to do?

Were the right objectives and activities chosen?

Did you make a difference?

What was the immediate result (outcome) of your activity? What effect did this have on the target? Were your objectives achieved (for example, was the law changed)?

Were there unexpected outcomes?

What other factors influenced the target?


5. Conclusion

Violence against women is one of the most serious human rights issues today. Countless women face physical, sexual and mental abuse at the hands of close relatives and strangers, officials and private individuals, police officers and criminals, soldiers and members of armed opposition groups. All too often, communities tolerate violence against women and deny women the freedom to choose how to live their lives. Local, regional and national authorities fail to exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and punish acts of violence, and do not provide an environment free from violence. In conflict zones, both government forces and armed groups commit atrocities against women with impunity. Internationally, UN bodies, international financial institutions and corporations fail to fulfil their responsibilities towards women.

However this violence has been challenged and continues to be challenged. All over the world, women have led brave and inspiring campaigns against this violence, achieving dramatic changes in laws, policies and practices, using many different campaigning tools. Holding governments, municipal, local and other authorities to account for their responsibility under international law using due diligence is another effective tool in the campaign to end violence against women.

Due diligence is the threshold of action and effort which a state must demonstrate to fulfil its responsibility to protect individuals from abuses of their rights in cases where the perpetrator as well as the victim is not an agent of the state. (This includes family violence.) The state must share responsibility for human rights abuses when it knows, or ought to know, about abuses of human rights, and fails to take appropriate steps to prevent them, or fails to investigate and punish the perpetrators.

Amnesty International believes that states should implement all the positive measures outlined in Chapters 5 to 11 of Making Rights a Reality: The duty of states to address violence against women, (AI Index: ACT 77/049/2004), in order to satisfy the duty of due diligence. These steps provide an effective campaigning tool, and the more often the standard of due diligence is used to hold states to account, the greater its recognition will be.

Under international law governments must exercise due diligence to respect, protect and fulfil women’s rights to: equality, life, liberty and security, freedom from discrimination, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. They must have policies and plans to fulfil these rights and to provide redress and reparations to those whose rights have been violated.

We hope this booklet will help all campaigners in our shared efforts to stop violence against women, whether they are new to the issue or experienced activists.


Appendices


Appendix I


Useful AI resources for campaigning to end violence against women

Amnesty International publications can be accessed online by visiting http://web.amnesty.org/library/engindex, and searching by the document’s title or AI Index number.

Amnesty International Campaigning Manual(AI Index: ACT 10/002/2001)

Broken bodies, shattered minds: Torture and ill-treatment of women(AI Index: ACT 40/001/2001)

Crimes of hate, conspiracy of silence: Torture and ill-treatment based on sexual identity(AI Index: ACT 40/016/2001)

Freedom from terror, safety from harm: challenge your government to stamp out the torture and ill-treatment of women(AI Index: ACT 77/002/2001)

It’s in our hands: Stop violence against women(AI Index: ACT 77/001/2004)

"There is no excuse"; Gender-based violence in the home and protection of the human rights of women in Spain(AI Spain, November 2003)


Other useful resources

Connor, Melissa, Levy, Elisa, Spindel, Cheywa, With an End in Sight: Strategies from the UNIFEM Trust Fund to Eliminate Violence Against Women, NY: UNIFEM, 2000.

"Women Moving Human Rights Centre Stage", The Tribune: A Women and Development Quarterly, International Women’s Tribune Centre, Newsletter 58, May 1999.

New Tactics in Human Rights provides information on campaigning tactics, www.newtactics.org

Instigate! An Online Toolkit for Community Mobilization, Transforming Communities, http://www.transformcommunities.org/tctatsite/instigate/contents.html

Assessing the Status of Women: A Guide to Reporting Under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, United Nations (Division for the Advancement of Women, Department of Economic and Social Affairs), Commonwealth Secretariat and International Women’s Rights Action Watch, 2000.

Toolkit to End Violence Against Women, U.S. National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women and the Violence Against Women Office, 2003, http://toolkit.ncjrs.org/

What Works Where? Successful Strategies to End Violence Against Women, Womankind Worldwide, 2002.

Fried, Susana T, "Violence Against Women", Health and Human Rights: An International Journal,François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard, MA, USA, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2003.


Appendix II


Questions to ask when identifying the problem in your country and setting objectives for your campaign.

Has your government taken enough steps to be able to claim that it has met its due diligence obligations?

Any examination of due diligence needs to address laws and types of policies and programs in place and whether they are stopping violence against women.

The following are some of the questions you could ask:

Respect:State responsibility for violence against women by the state

Is there a legal and policy framework in place to prevent state-actor violations and punish any violations?

What are the practices in prisons? Strip searching?

How are women treated in detention centres?

What is the experience of girls in foster care and state institutions?

Protect: State responsibility for violence against women by non state-actors

Is there a legal, administrative and policy framework in place to prevent non state-actor abuses and punish any abuses?

Are there resources (adequate funding) available to enable individual women at immediate risk to escape family violence?

Is there adequate funding available to provide shelters and support for all women, including those in remote areas, and members of marginalized groups?

Do women have access to counselling?

Has rape in marriage been criminalized?

Has sexual assault been criminalized in all jurisdictions?

Are rates of investigation and prosecution for violence against women comparable to those for other serious crimes?

Are civil remedies (restraining orders) available to all forms of relationships? Are these effective?

Fulfil: Ensuring access to justice

Legal and policy framework

Are legal services specifically for women available?

Is legal aid provided to women?

Are the funding/resources available for these adequate?

Change laws

Are there laws that discriminate against women?

Illegal defences

Is culture or religion used as an excuse by members of the judiciary to "excuse" violence by men against women?

Are "honour crimes" treated more leniently than crimes of similar seriousness?

Focus on civil laws

Are civil law remedies available to address domestic and family violence?

Is this true for all groups of women, including disabled women, indigenous women and lesbians?

Criminal investigations

Do police officers and other security officials receive training on family violence including how to respond to a sexual assault?

Do they receive regular retraining?

Are senior officials trained regularly?

Is the issue taken seriously in investigations?

Is victim safety paramount?

Is this true regardless of where the woman lives, or what community she comes from?

What steps are in place to prevent violence, or even death, in communities where police response will take a long time?

Can women access services?

Do they have the money, transport and ability to leave?

Does the local community condone the violence and assist in preventing the woman from leaving?

What measures have been undertaken to raise

awareness in rural communities?

Promote:Specific programs and measures mandated in international law to make women’s right to freedom from violence a reality

National plans of action

Is there a national plan of action in place?

Has there been thorough research of violence against women using statistics broken down by gender?

Has a national strategy been developed based on the results of the research?

Has responsibility and accountability for delivery of this strategy been allocated?

Are there appropriate monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in place to establish the effectiveness of the action plan?

Are there systems in place to ensure that lessons can be learned?

Has the national plan of action been drawn up in consultation with national women’s rights organizations and human rights organizations?

Statistics

Are statistics and other data on the various forms and prevalence of violence against women undertaken regularly?

Budgets

Are there adequate funding and resources available to ensure the government is able to respond to the needs of women living with violence?

How does this compare to the resources available for other, similar violent crimes?


Education and public awareness

Does the government undertake regular effective public awareness campaigns?

Is this part of a long-term, planned approach working at a number of levels?

Are these campaigns based on research to ensure the appropriate message is developed?

Are they targeted at the most appropriate groups?

Do they focus on the benefits for change?

Do they create partnerships which strengthen the base and spread of the message?

Do they include a focus on men?


Endnotes


1 Customary international law comprises rules developed through states’ legal practice which, over time, have become so prevalent as to be applicable even to states which are not parties to international treaties which include such rules. See Making Rights a Reality: The duty of states to address violence against women(AI Index: ACT 77/049/2004).

2 International Center for Research on Women and The Centre for Development and Population Activities, Washington DC, USA, 1999.

3 Extracted from Spindel, Cheywa, Levy, Elisa and Connor, Melissa, With An End in Sight: Strategies from the UNIFEM Trust Fund to Eliminate Violence Against Women,NY: UNIFEM, 2000.

4 Fried, Susana T, "Violence Against Women", Health and Human Rights: An International Journal,François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard, MA, USA, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2003, pp. 88-111.********


This booklet is designed for human rights activists, women’s organizations, other human rights organizations and Amnesty International members. It offers activists practical advice on how to develop campaigns to stop violence against women and girls. The booklet also includes a step-by-step guide to organizing a campaign, and how to lobby for change at the national level in accordance with the state’s international legal obligations.


Acknowledgements

Amnesty International would like to thank Michaela O’Brien for her invaluable assistance in the preparation of this report.


Amnesty International Publications


First published in 2004 by

Amnesty International Publications

International Secretariat

Peter Benenson House

1 Easton Street

London WC1X 0DW

United Kingdom

http://www.amnesty.org

© Amnesty International Publications 2004


ISBN: 0-86210-366-5


AI Index: ACT 77/052/2004

Original language: English


Printed by:

DS Print/Redesign, Enfield, United Kingdom


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the publishers.

Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights to be respected and protected. Amnesty International’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.


In pursuit of this vision, Amnesty International’s mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights.


Amnesty International is independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion. It does not support or oppose any government or political system, nor does it support or oppose the views of the victims whose rights it seeks to protect.

It is concerned solely with the impartial protection of human rights.


Amnesty International is a democratic, self-governing movement with more than 1.8 million members and supporters in over 150 countries and territories in every region of the world. It is funded largely by its worldwide membership and public donations.



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