United Nations

A/54/69 - E/1999/8


General Assembly
Economic and Social Council

Distr. GENERAL  

26 March 1999

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


General Assembly                         Economic and Social Council
Fifty-fourth session                     Substantive session of 1999
Item 108 of the preliminary list*        Item 14 (c) of the provisional
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice    agenda**
                                         Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice



           Elimination of violence against women

           Report of the Secretary-General


Contents
                                                           Paragraphs  Page

       I.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   1-6       2

      II.  Relevant action related to crime prevention 
           and criminal justice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7-22      2
           A.  Elaboration of a United Nations Convention 
               against Transnational Organized Crime  . . .  .    7       2
           B.  Global programme and technical advisory 
               services   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-12       2
           C.  Tenth United Nations Congress on the 
               Prevention of Crime and the Treatment 
               of Offenders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13-14       3
           D.  Other activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15-22       3

     III.  Implementation of the Model Strategies 
           and Practical Measures    . . . . . . . . . . .    23-54       4

           A.  General overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24-25       4
           B.  Specific initiatives and measures  . . . . . . 26-51       5
           C.  Activities by other Organizations  . . . . . . 52-54       9

      IV.  Concluding remarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55-60       9


Annex.     Resolutions of relevance to programme activities 
           related to the elimination of violence against 
           women and the implementation of General Assembly
           resolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  52/86      11


*/   A/54/50.
**/  To be issued under the symbol E/1999/100.


      I.   Introduction


1.  The present report is submitted in accordance with General
Assembly resolution 52/86 of 12 December 1997, entitled "Crime
prevention and criminal justice measures to eliminate violence
against women", by which the Assembly adopted the Model
Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence
against Women in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal
Justice, annexed to the resolution.

2.  In the same resolution, the General Assembly, inter alia,
urged Member States to review and evaluate their legislation and
legal principles, procedures, policies and practices relating to
criminal matters to ensure that women were treated fairly by the
criminal justice system, and to be guided by the Model
Strategies and Practical Measures in developing and undertaking
strategies and practical measures to eliminate violence against
women.

3.  The General Assembly invited the Economic and Social Council
to consider including the question of violence against women at
the high-level segments of one of its forthcoming sessions, in
the context of its discussion on the human rights of women, and
called upon the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal
Justice to continue to consider the elimination of violence
against women within the training and technical assistance
efforts of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal
Justice Programme. The Assembly requested the Secretary-General
to ensure the wide dissemination of the new instrument with a
view to promoting its use.

4.  It will be recalled that the Model Strategies and Practical
Measures are divided into 11 sections that deal with criminal
law, criminal procedure, police, sentencing and correction,
victim support and assistance, health and social services,
training, research and evaluation, crime prevention measures,
international cooperation and follow-up activities.

5.  The Model Strategies and Practical Measures build on the
measures included in the Platform for Action 1/ adopted by the
Fourth World Conference on Women and derives its definition from
the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women
(General Assembly resolution 48/104).

6.  The Model Strategies and Practical Measures specifically
acknowledge the need for an active policy of mainstreaming a
gender perspective in all policies and programmes related to
violence against women and of achieving gender equality and
equal and fair access to justice, as well as establishing the
goal of gender balance in areas of decision-making related to
the elimination of violence against women.


      II.  Relevant action related to crime prevention and criminal
           justice

      A.   Elaboration of a United Nations convention against 
           transnational organized crime 

7.  In its resolution 53/111 of 9 December 1998, the General
Assembly decided to establish an open-ended intergovernmental ad
hoc committee for the purpose of elaborating a comprehensive
international convention against transnational organized crime
and of discussing the elaboration, as appropriate, of
international instruments addressing trafficking in women and
children and illegal trafficking in and transporting of
migrants, including by sea. (For details concerning the
deliberations and progress made with regard to the elaboration
of the convention and a legally binding instrument against
trafficking in women and children, see the report of the
Secretary-General on the subject (E/CN.15/1999/5).) The
Governments of Argentina and the United States of America
presented a draft protocol to prevent, suppress and punish
trafficking in women and children, supplementary to the United
Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime
(A/AC.254/4/Add.3 and Rev.1 and A/AC.254/8) for consideration by
the Ad Hoc Committee.

       B.  Global programme and technical advisory services

8.  The Centre for International Crime Prevention and the United
Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute have
prepared a Global Programme against Trafficking in Human Beings,
in order to enable Governments and the international community
to respond better to the worldwide problems of smuggling of
migrants and trafficking in human beings (see
E/CN.15/1999/CRP.2). The Global Programme will bring to the fore
the involvement of organized criminal groups in such crimes and
will promote the development of  effective criminal justice-
related responses to it.

9.  The Global Programme will involve assessing regional and
interregional trends, taking stock of promising practices ("best
practices") worldwide, carrying out demonstration projects in
selected countries or regions and evaluating the projects based
on standardized criteria. The end products of the Global
Programme will be an overview of some of the most serious
manifestations of smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human
beings, a database of best practices, which will be accessible
through the Internet, and a knowledge-based global strategy,
which will be presented at a high-level forum.

10.     In chapter VIII of the Model Strategies and Practical
Measures, Member States and relevant entities of the United
Nations system, inter alia, are urged to gather data and
information, in particular concerning the extent to which
economic deprivation and exploitation are linked to violence
against women. In response to that call, the Global Programme
consists of an integrated package of policy-oriented research
and targeted technical cooperation to be carried out by the
United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention and
the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research
Institute. At various stages of the Global Programme,
cooperation will be sought from other United Nations entities,
Member States, intergovernmental organizations, including the
European Union, the academic community, non-governmental
organizations and other organizations involved in addressing
trafficking in human beings and related phenomena. The outline
of the Global Programme will be available as a conference room
paper for consideration by the Commission at its eighth session
(E/CN.15/1999/CRP.2).

11.     In addition to the Global Programme, technical assistance
projects at the national and subregional levels are envisaged.
For example, the Centre is in the process of developing a pilot
project in the Philippines on trafficking in human beings, in
cooperation with the Governments of the Philippines and the
United States.

12.     The Centre is engaged in a three-year project in South
Africa entitled "Establishment of two outreach centres to
counteract violence against women", which was initiated in 1998
and addresses violence against women by establishing two pilot
outreach centres in Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape provinces, in
line with the national crime prevention strategy. Each centre
provides a range of services (legal advice, counselling, medical
attention and support) to victims and counselling for
perpetrators and potential perpetrators. 

       C.  Tenth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of 
           Crime and the Treatment of Offenders

13.     The Tenth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of
Crime and the Treatment of Offenders will be held from 10 to 17
April 2000. Measures to eliminate violence against women could
be discussed, in particular, under topic 4 of the programme, on
offenders and victims.

14.     One of the four research-oriented workshops that will be
held within the framework of the Tenth Congress will be devoted
to women in the criminal justice system. The workshop will be
coordinated by the European Institute for Crime Prevention and
Control, affiliated with the United Nations. The workshop will
cover the following issues: female criminality, the treatment of
female offenders, women as victims and women as practitioners in
criminal justice systems. The workshop will include
presentations on the main topics and discussion of gender
mainstreaming in relation to the criminal justice system and
will provide an opportunity to illustrate best practice examples
of the draft resource manual on the implementation of the Model
Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence
against Women in the field of Crime Prevention and Criminal
Justice and the compendium of promising practices on the Model
Strategies (see paras. 15-20 below). (Further details are
included in the discussion guide on the workshops, ancillary
meetings, symposia and exhibits to be held at the Tenth Congress
(A/CONF.187/PM.1/Add.1).)

       D.  Other activities

15.     The International Experts Group Meeting on the
Development of Instruments to Implement an International
Criminal Justice Strategy to Eliminate Violence Against Women
was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, from 17 to 19
December 1998. The meeting brought together 45 experts from
governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental
organizations and academic institutions from 16 countries,
representing the regions of Africa, Asia and the Pacific, North
America, Latin America and the Caribbean and eastern and western
Europe. It was a joint initiative of the International Centre
for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy, the Centre
for International Crime Prevention of the United Nations
Secretariat, the European Institute for Crime Prevention and
Control, affiliated with the United Nations, and the Latin
American Institute for Crime Prevention and the Treatment of
Offenders. The meeting was made possible through the support of
the Government of Canada and in particular the Department of
Justice.

16.     The expert group was asked to review two practical tools:

           (a)A draft resource manual on the implementation of the
Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of
Violence against Women in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal
Justice;

           (b)A draft compendium of promising practices on the Model
Strategies.

17.     Both documents were developed to assist policy makers,
criminal justice and law enforcement professionals and other
concerned groups put the Model Strategies and Practical Measures
into practice.

18.     The resource manual is intended to offer concise
information on the experiences acquired in various countries in
successfully implementing the Model Strategies and Practical
Measures. An accompanying reference tool is the compendium of
promising practices on the Model Strategies to provide users
access to detailed information on specific measures being
undertaken in different contexts, resource persons and
organizations with their contact information and references to
other sources of information. 

19.     Throughout the resource manual, each provision of the
Model Strategies and Practical Measures will be accompanied by a
statement of the challenges entailed, a description of
initiatives from around the world that address each provision
and, where applicable, a discussion of what is known about the
impact of implementation efforts.

20.     Both documents will be available as a conference room
paper for the consideration of the Commission at its eighth
session.

21.     In its resolution 52/86, the General Assembly called for
the publication and dissemination of the Strategies for
Confronting Domestic Violence: A Resource Manual 2/ in all the
official languages of the United Nations as well as in local
languages, in particular for use in training and education
programmes. The Secretariat has translated and disseminated the
Resource Manual in English, French, Russian and Spanish.

22.     Work is under way to revise and reissue the Compendium of
United Nations Standards and Norms in Crime Prevention and
Criminal Justice 3/ to include the Model Strategies and other
newly adopted international instruments. Resources permitting,
the publication will be issued in all the official languages of
the United Nations.


     III.  Implementation of the Model Strategies and 
           Practical Measures

23.     A list of resolutions of relevance to programme
activities related to the elimination of violence against women
and the implementation of General Assembly resolution 52/86 is
contained in the annex to the present report. Twenty-six Member
States responded to the request of the Secretary-General for
information on the implementation of resolution 52/86, as
follows: Algeria, Austria, Belarus, Brunei Darussalam, Colombia,
Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany,
Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Kuwait, Madagascar, Mauritius,
Morocco, Netherlands, Niger, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain,
Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine. 

       A.  General overview

24.     In line with the Model Strategies and Practical Measures,
some countries have recently reformed their laws and regulations
or have adopted strategic plans, programmes and plans of action
to reflect the issues addressed by that instrument. Major
developments were prompted  by  it  and  new  initiatives  taken
by States have related to review and reform of legislation
(including criminal law and criminal procedural law) by which
acts of violence against women were criminalized; empowerment of
the police and judiciary with authority to intervene in certain
cases of domestic violence; and introduction of victim
reconciliation and compensation, either by the offender or by
the State. 

25.     Safeguarding both the short- and long-term safety and
security of victims and prospective victims was of sufficient
concern to prompt the institution of legal means of physical
deterrence, such as preventive detention and imprisonment,
cooling-off periods, longer-term imprisonment and court-ordered
rehabilitation. Serious efforts were made to facilitate
investigative processes, both in reporting and in bringing
charges and prosecuting perpetrators. Major changes were
introduced in evidence requirements and related procedure.
Action was taken to provide or extend infrastructures,
facilities, services and expert help and legal aid for female
victims and their families, as well as to establish referral
systems at the community level. The establishment of special
police forces, additional personnel training and the setting up
and extension of a system of crisis intervention centres and
shelters were key features of efforts to ensure victim
assistance and promote safety and security. Ministerial-level
and other internal coordination committees across ministries and
protocols for various agencies were reported.

       B.  Specific initiatives and measures

26.     In Algeria, criminal law and procedure made no
distinction as to gender, including that of the offender, but
the Penal Code guaranteed special protection for female victims
of violation of their honour or physical abuse. Rape carried a
relatively severe penalty, which was increased in cases where
the victim was under 16 years of age. The Penal Code had been
amended to rectify what was considered a source of legal
discrimination, the provisions governing adultery, which had now
been extended to include men, making both men and women
convicted of adultery equally liable legally. Proceedings that
could be instituted solely on the submission of a complaint by
the injured spouse and terminated by the victim's pardon were
now subject to the same conditions regardless of gender. 

27.     In Austria, a Programme of Action against Violence in
Society introduced in 1997 catalogued measures to  combat
violence against women. It addressed protection for victims and
work with offenders; control over the sale, purchase and
possession of firearms; training and research to promote
violence-free parental education; sensitization and networking
via an anti-violence information campaign; and restricting
dissemination of violence-inducing material in electronic media.
A new law had been introduced governing sex offences,
trafficking in human beings and pornographic presentations
involving minors in electronic media. The Protection against
Violence Act of 1997 empowered the police to require an offender
to leave and stay away from a common domicile. Intervention
centres against domestic violence, the first of which was
established in 1996, had become part of networks of rapid and
coordinated response to victims of violence. The new aliens law,
which entered into force in 1998, offered protection to victims
and witnesses of trafficking in human beings. All police
officers in Austria were required to attend a two-day seminar on
violence in the family as part of their basic training.

28.     In Belarus, the Penal Code provided that the threat of
murder, the infliction of grievous bodily harm or the
destruction of property in a dangerous manner were punishable
offences. Compulsion of women to engage in sexual intercourse or
the like by a person on whom a woman was materially dependent or
of whom she was an employee was punishable by a term of
imprisonment of up to three years.

29.     Brunei Darussalam reported on provisions of its Criminal
Procedure Code. The Code, inter alia, gave the police judicial
authority to enter premises, conduct searches, effect arrests
and confiscate weapons in cases of violence against women. Women
victims of violence could testify in court proceedings as
witnesses and measures available to facilitate providing
evidence and protecting privacy included in camera testimony.
The Women and Girls Protection Act aimed at the suppression of
prostitution of and trafficking in women and girls. Its
provisions covered selling, hiring for purposes of prostitution
and trafficking, and living on or trading in prostitution; it
also provided for the suppression of houses of prostitution. 

30.     Colombia had ratified the Inter-American Convention on
the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against
Women of 1996, on the basis of which it had introduced a new law
prohibiting violence against women. The law prohibited the use
or threat of violence in a broad sense, ranging from minor to
serious acts of aggression. Violence encompassed physical and
psychological harm and maltreatment, including the restriction
of personal freedom and forced sexual contact between partners.
Authorities could issue various protection and restraining
orders, including eviction of the offender from the domicile,
and could impose compulsory treatment on the offender. Payment
of damages for the offender's conduct, special protections for
victims at home and in the workplace and free legal aid were
provided for. An Inter-Institutional Committee for Action to
Combat Trafficking in Women and Children had been established.

31.     Cuba reported a low incidence of violent crime directed
against women, which did not necessitate promulgation of
specific new or supplementary legislation. Legal instruments in
effect, such as the Family Code and the Criminal Code,
adequately defined as an offence that which infringed on an
individual's right to equality and the committing of acts of
violence or incitement to commit them. Gender equality was
guaranteed by law.

32.     The Dominican Republic reported on its 1997 legislation
to deal with violence against women and had taken action to
ensure implementation of the law. Amendments had been introduced
to the Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Code
for the Protection of Children and Adolescents. The Government
had established a Women's Protection Team, a group of
prosecutors available to provide legal aid to victims, and the
Abused Women's Support Centre at the National Laboratory of the
National Institute of Forensic Pathology, to provide clinical
certification of maltreatment. The Government had also
introduced an anti-violence campaign and initiated a study on
modification of cultural patterns conducive to violence. The
Ministry of Education was fostering non-sexist education, the
revision of educational material and courses for gender
neutrality and training on gender for educators.

33.     In Ecuador, a bill had been introduced to reform the
Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure. This would extend
the statutory definition of rape, increase penalties for sexual
assault and rescind provisions that enabled perpetrators of
offences against women to go unpunished. As the bill had not yet
been debated or adopted, the establishment through the National
Women's Council of an ombudsman's office for women and family
rights was considered the only tangible response aimed at
penalizing domestic violence and promoting women's safety in the
country. The Council had stepped up efforts to foster gender
equality and promote gender-sensitive crime prevention. A gender
and human rights programme was being developed to provide
training to the police. Prevention and support measures were
central and needed to be placed high on the national priority
list for future work and action by the State and civil society. 

34.     Finland reported that substantial action had been taken
in line with the Model Strategies and Practical Measures. The
development goal of preventing violence against women was
included in the target agreements between the Ministry of Social
Affairs and Health and the provincial state offices. Violence
was comprehensively criminalized in the Penal Code. The victim
was no longer required to report an assault in order to bring
charges; instead, the offence was subject to public prosecution
even when committed within the family. Pending legislation on
restraining orders would prevent offences directed at life,
health, liberty and peace and would provide protection against
continuous harassment. Regarding victim assistance, a court had
appointed legal counsel for victims in certain legal
proceedings. The Resource Manual on Domestic Violence had been
translated into Finnish, in cooperation with the European
Institute.

35.     France reported that its actions to combat violence
against women were mostly of a legislative and procedural nature
and consisted of assistance to victims. Violence committed
against a person in a particularly vulnerable situation, visible
or known to the offender, or violence perpetrated by the spouse
or partner of the victim were aggravating factors. Punishment
for the offence of rape had been increased to carry a 15-year
term of imprisonment. The Court of Cassation had on two
occasions acknowledged spousal rape. A system of victim redress
had been introduced by law in 1997 and established compensation
boards. In civil law, a victim of violence had recourse to civil
codes on matters of domicile; the court could issue emergency
protection orders.

36.     In Germany, a working group on trafficking in women was
established in 1998. Criminal law envisaged harsh penalties for
gender-specific violence. In 1997, intra-marital rape, which
previously could amount only to bodily injury, was made a
punishable offence. The previous definition of violence
(substantial physical violence) was broadened so that taking
advantage of a particular situation constituted the offence of
sexual coercion or rape, and all forms of penetration were made
equally liable to prosecution. Further protective measures for
victims were adopted; they extended to participation rights and
ensured that female victims were cared for during criminal
proceedings. The Act on the Combating of Sexual Offences and
Other Dangerous Criminal Offences of 1998 provided for new and
more flexible possibilities for courts and prison authorities in
sex offence cases.

37.     In 1998, Guatemala promulgated the Act to Prevent and
Eliminate Domestic Violence, which envisaged great progress as
regards women's safety and authorized the courts and police to
intervene. New provisions governed domestic violence and the
issuance of orders against the perpetrator. Such orders provided
for compulsory attendance at institutions offering therapy for
the perpetrator; eviction from the domicile and prohibition of
further intimidation of family members, of gaining access to the
permanent or temporary home and any other place of contact, and
of custody, visitation and interference in any way in child
rearing; entry warrants for situations of risk of physical,
sexual or psychological harm to a person and damage of property;
prohibition and confiscation of weapons; provisional maintenance
obligations in accordance with the Civil Code; and cash
compensation for the harm caused to the victim and/or damage to
property. Proposed amendments to the Penal Code would establish
domestic violence as an offence and provide for heavier
penalties for rape, sexual assault and abduction.

38.     In Honduras, the Domestic Violence Act of 1998 had
established penalties for violent acts that did not constitute
criminal offences under the Criminal Code. It aimed at
protecting women against physical, psychological and sexual harm
and property damage resulting from the violence of an intimate
relation. Violence was categorized as physical violence,
psychological harm, sexual violence and violence against
property. The Act provided for safety measures designed to stop
the violence and prevent further harm, including temporary
removal of the offender from the domicile, prohibition on
visiting the home and other places frequented by the victim,
arrest and disarming of the offender and removal of weapons.
Court hearings with parties concerned were to be held within 24
hours. Special police training was set up with the support of
the Latin American Institute for Crime Prevention and the
Treatment of Offenders.

39.     In Jordan, the Penal Code provided for gender equality in
all provisions and aspects with the exception of those having to
do with adultery; the latter were under examination. The Legal
Committee of the National Committee for Women had proposed
modifications to the  Penal Code to remove gender discriminatory
provisions. Laws provided specific protections for women and
ensured their safety. Anyone who intentionally beat, injured or
harmed another person, by any effective act of violence or
assault whatsoever, was subject to punishment of imprisonment
for a period of from three months to three years. The Penal Code
provided for imprisonment of those  who sold or acquired for the
purpose of sale or distribution any obscene article in any form
that implied immorality.

40.     Kuwait reported that full gender equality and the
exercise of rights and freedoms without discrimination were
guaranteed by law, including the rights of women subjected to
violence to equal access to justice and to recourse for any act
of violence perpetrated against them. A victim of any harmful
act had the right to request appropriate compensation from the
judiciary. Acts of kidnapping and slavery, including
prostitution and incitement thereto, had been criminalized and
the perpetrators of such crimes received severe punishment,
ranging from 10 years' imprisonment to life imprisonment and the
death penalty. Violence against women was considered a grave
violation of human rights; the rights of women and children were
integral to the definition of universal human rights. Kuwait
reported that during its occupation by Iraq many Kuwaiti women
had been subjected to inhumane forms of violence, for which
reason the State had established the Social Development Office
so as to continue developing society and its process of
reconstruction. 

41.     Madagascar reported its criminal law to be in conformity
with the Model Strategies and Practical Measures. No provision
of its law allowed the possibility of condoning violence against
women: perpetrators were not allowed to escape criminal
responsibility. By law, those convicted of an offence were
administratively denied the right to purchase, possess and carry
weapons. Sexual harassment was not provided for or punished
under the law, but a special law was envisaged penalizing
threats of violence. In cases of violence, in particular those
involving acts discovered during or after their commission,
regardless of the gender of the victim, the police were
authorized, with a warrant, to enter premises, including private
premises, and to effect arrest and seizure.

42.     In 1997, Mauritius introduced a law to criminalize
domestic violence. That legislation covered acts as well as
attempts to cause physical and psychological injury and damage
to property and provided for the issuance of  protection and
restraining, occupation of domicile and tenancy orders for
premeditated and repeat offences. The Government had established
protocols for the police and probation services and an inter-
ministerial coordination committee. A more effective referral
system had also been established. Legal resource persons were
recruited to provide legal aid for victims in taking up court
proceedings, the cost of which was borne by the Government. A
domestic violence intervention unit provided a 24-hour
intervention service. Female police officers were posted in all
police stations and temporary police emergency shelters. In
cooperation with the United Nations Children's Fund, the
Government had launched a training programme for professionals
and a national education and awareness campaign that included
legal literacy courses.

43.     In Morocco, in accordance with the legal, religious,
cultural and social precepts of Islam, which guarantee gender
equality and equal protection and treatment under the law, no
separate law existed for the protection of women. The basis of
action to combat violence against women was derived from the
Islamic legal system. Criminal law provided severe penalties for
those who committed offences against women.

44.     The Netherlands provided its strategic plan for
confronting domestic violence. The plan encompassed areas such
as the role of professionals in identifying domestic violence
processes; the development of domestic violence identification
and registration programmes; study of the behaviour and
motivation of offenders; provision of primary care and other
victim assistance; awareness-raising among migrants;
information-exchange and coordination among relevant bodies; and
surveying of existing facilities and services. A policy paper on
the sexual abuse of children identified areas in need of
research and points for action against sexual abuse of children.

45.     The Penal Code of the Niger established penalties
intended to suppress particular forms of violence against women
and children. However, there were certain customary practices
tolerated in society that constituted violence against women,
both physical or mental. Among such practices were female
genital circumcision, which also posed grave health risks for
females; arranged marriages without consent and contracted
against personal will; sexual harassment, which had become
widespread; force-feeding; and removal of children from their
mother at an early age. To date, no legislative or regulatory
provision had been introduced to eradicate violence of that
kind. The legal system of the Niger was regarded as outdated,
texts having been inherited from colonial times being still in
effect. Legal reform was necessary; new legislation should
codify legal precepts embodied in international conventions and
covenants that explicitly affirmed the fundamental rights of
women.

46.     The Republic of Korea had adopted measures to eliminate
violence against women, including revision of the special act
providing for increased penalties for sex offences that took
women and girls as their principal victims and the introduction
of a new special act providing for protection orders against
domestic violence offences. The Sexual Assault Act, amended in
1997, enhanced law enforcement's response to sexual violence
against relatives. Harsher penalties were enacted for sexual
assaults, such as rape and molestation of children, the
prosecution of which were not subject to a victim■s complaint.
The Domestic Violence Act of 1997 allowed for active crisis
intervention on the part of the Government and society. It also
adopted a protection order system for the safety of the victim
and those affected and ensured restitution for victims through
civil process.

47.     Slovakia reported statistics on violence against women
for the years 1990-1997. It reported that constitutional
guarantees applied to all persons, regardless of gender.
Domestic violence as such was not codified in criminal law but
was covered by many categories of offence, having to do, for
example, with assault and unlawful entry of premises. In the
code of criminal procedure, no differentiation was made by
gender in terms of criminal responsibility. Various measures had
been put into effect, especially in terms of prevention and
assistance to victims. The police was particularly active in the
prevention of sexual abuse of women and girls. Research had been
undertaken in recent years into changing stereotypical conduct
and views of the roles of men and women in the family and
society, particularly in the labour force. The text of the Model
Strategies and Practical Measures had been translated into
Slovak and widely disseminated among relevant offices and
personnel. 

48.     Spain had adopted a Plan of Action against Domestic
Violence, prepared by the Institute for Women's Affairs with the
participation of five ministries. The Plan, with its 57 measures
covering education and training, social resources, public
health, law, judicial practice and research, was prevention-
oriented and included the introduction of a public awareness
campaign.

49.     In Sweden, a 1998 law reform had widened the definition
of rape and criminalized certain acts, such as attempting to
obtain all forms of casual sexual services against payment.
Penalties were increased for genital mutilation. Provisions on
sexual harassment in the workplace were strengthened. Gender-
neutral language was introduced into the Penal Code. A law
commission on sexual offences was set up to review legal
provisions relating to sexual offences and consider to what
extent rape should focus on consent rather than on force. The
commission was also mandated to review provisions on rape in
relation to children and to study court practice in determining
punishment. The National Council for Crime Prevention
considered, inter alia, putting into place measures to improve
assistance for women who had been subjected to violence.
Improved statistics and special research studies were also
necessary, as well as the integration of a gender perspective in
criminological research and the appointment of a national
rapporteur.

50.     Switzerland introduced measures to facilitate the
testimony of victims, in particular the victims of sexual
offences. Victims of crime could bring civil claims in criminal
proceedings. Victims of crime could seek compensation or
punitive damages from the State. The cantons were required to
provide victims with access to independent public or private
counselling centres whose task it was to offer medical,
psychological, social, material and legal support and to give
information on victim assistance. Judges and police were
undergoing specialized training in victim assistance. Two
publications had been issued, on stopping violence by partners
and on protection against sexual harassment in the workplace. 

51.     In Ukraine, the prevention of all forms of violence
against women was acknowledged as a problem of ever-increasing
urgency, especially as the State was at a complex stage in its
socio-economic development. The sharp drop in the standard of
living enjoyed by the population and the high unemployment rate
affected women and their status to a considerable degree.
Phenomena such as sexual exploitation and trafficking in women
jeopardized the safety of women as well. Their protection from
all forms of violence was a key feature of the Ukraine national
plan of action to improve the status of women and upgrade their
position in society. In March 1997, amendments to the Criminal
Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure had established
trafficking in persons as a criminal offence. Another plan aimed
at preventing trafficking in women and other forms of violence
against women and involved expanding regional and international
cooperation.

       C.  Activities by other organizations

52.     The Division for the Advancement of Women of the United
Nations Secretariat referred to the ongoing work of the
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and
its oversight function in monitoring the implementation of the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women (resolution 34/180, annex).

53.     The United Nations Development Fund for Women,
established as an innovative and catalytic fund for women■s
empowerment and gender equality, supported innovative and
experimental activities benefiting women. The Trust Fund in
Support of Action to Eliminate Violence against Women supported
projects aimed at the eradication of violence against women in
all its forms. The United Nations Development Fund for Women
continued to build up an operational knowledge base to influence
gender mainstreaming.

54.     The Council of Europe informed the Secretary-General
about its efforts to develop and implement strategies for the
elimination of violence against women at the regional and
national levels. Reference was made to the Plan of Action
against Traffic in Women and Forced Prostitution, 4/ the Plan of
Action for Combating Violence against Women 5/ and the
conclusions of the Third European Ministerial Conference on
Equality Between Women and Men, held in Rome in 1993. 6/


      IV.  Concluding remarks

55.     Responses received from Governments on the implementation
of General Assembly resolution 52/86, albeit relatively low in
number, indicate evidence of the persistence of significant
problems in respect of violence against women and of
difficulties encountered in effectively suppressing it. For the
most part, strategies introduced were far from being as
systematic and comprehensive as those recommended in the Model
Strategies and Practical Measures. Steps described to date were
predominantly legal, although many other types of action were
also taken. Some Governments had introduced measures that were
called for by the Model Strategies and Practical Measures.
However, there might be a need for further planned and
coordinated work on the basis of the Model Strategies and
Practical Measures so as to advance the full implementation of
that instrument.

56.     Research and a more scientific policy approach would have
to be pursued as regards key aspects of the Model Strategies and
Practical Measures. In-depth information would have to be
collected and analysed to guide effective reformative action by
Member States, as called for by the instrument, in order to
achieve the universal goal of elimination of violence against
women.

57.     Advisory services could assist Member States in
coordinating their national efforts to plan and institute
a country-specific plan of strategically tailored steps
reflecting the United Nations integrative policy perspective. 

58.     In line with the Model Strategies and Practical Measures,
studies should be pursued that would ascertain the nature and
context of the problem in a given country, using standardized
methodology for data collection. Such studies should include an
assessment of the nature and impact of the criminal justice
response system and processes on incidence and an evaluation of
reformative legal and operational action.

59.     It may also be possible to use a "gender balance index"
and gender-segregated data from the United Nations surveys of
crime trends and operations of criminal justice systems on
numbers of women personnel and to establish benchmarks for
assessing the extent to which the standards of the instrument
are being applied. The benchmarks could also be useful in
assessing the responsiveness of criminal justice systems to
violence against women.

60.     The draft resource manual and compendium are intended to
promote practice in line with the policy and standards
established by the Model Strategies and Practical Measures-a
blueprint and yardstick for reformative action. 


                              Annex

     Resolutions of relevance to programme activities related to the
     elimination of violence against women and the implementation of
     General Assembly resolution 52/86


Resolution               Title                         Action

General Assembly

Resolution 51/65      Violence against women      Invited the Administrative
12 December 1996      migrant workers             Committee on Coordination 
                                                  to examine how to improve
                                                  coordination within the 
                                                  United Nations system on 
                                                  the question of violence 
                                                  against women migrant 
                                                  workers

Resolution 52/90      Strengthening the United    Requested the Secretary-
of 12 December 1997   Nations Crime Prevention    General to assist the
                      and Criminal Justice        Commission on Crime 
                      programme, particularly     Prevention
                      its technical cooperation   and Criminal Justice in
                      capacity                    performing its activities,
                                                  including cooperation and
                                                  coordination with other
                                                  relevant bodies, such as
                                                  the Commission on Human
                                                  Rights and the Commission
                                                  on the Status of Women

Resolution 53/ll6    Traffic in women and girls   Welcomed the initiatives
of 9 December 1998                                and activities of United
                                                  Nations bodies and
                                                  organizations to combat
                                                  trafficking in women and 
                                                  girls and invited them to
                                                  strengthen activities, and
                                                  requested the Secretary-
                                                  General to compile, as
                                                  reference and guidance,
                                                  successful interventions and
                                                  strategies in addressing
                                                  various dimensions of the
                                                  problem, based on reports,
                                                  research and other materials
                                                  from within and outside the
                                                  Organization and to submit a
                                                  report to the General 
                                                  Assembly at its fifty-fifth
                                                  session


Economic and Social Council

Resolution 1997/60   Eradication of poverty      Reaffirmed that the Council
of 25 July 1997                                  would continue to oversee
                                                 system-wide coordination in
                                                 the implementation of its
                                                 agreed conclusions 1996/l on
                                                 the eradication of poverty by
                                                 all organizations of the
                                                 United Nations system and
                                                 called on the functional
                                                 commissions to implement 
                                                 fully the recommendations 
                                                 contained in them

Agreed conclusions                               Adopted the agreed conclusions
1997/2                                           on mainstreaming a gender
                                                 perspective into all policies
                                                 and programmes in the United
                                                 Nations system, calling for
                                                 the mainstreaming of a gender
                                                 perspective into all policies
                                                 and programmes in the United
                                                 Nations system and calling
                                                 upon the functional
                                                 commissions and subsidiary
                                                 bodies to mainstream a gender
                                                 perspective in their work and
                                                 to report on progress and any
                                                 obstacles thereto

Resolution 1998/12   Conclusions of the           Adopted the Conclusions on,
of 28 July 1998      Commission on the Status     inter alia, violence against
                     of Women on critical         women, the girl child and
                     areas of concern identified  strategies to address
                     by the Beijing Platform for  trafficking in women and
                     Action                       girls

Resolution 1998/26   Advancement of women:        Welcomed the opportunities
of 28 July 1998      implementation of the        presented by the reform
                     implementation of the        process in the United Nations
                     Beijing Platform for Action  to better coordinate and
                     and the role of operational  mainstream gender issues as
                     activities in promoting, in  part of a strategic framework,
                     particular, capacity-        and reaffirmed that an active
                     building and resource        and visible policy of gender
                     mobilization for enhancing   mainstreaming should be
                     the participation of women   integrated into operational
                     in development               activities for development

Resolution 1998/43   Mainstreaming the gender     Reaffirmed that the
of 31 July 1998      perspective into all         recommendations contained in
                     policies and programmes in   agreed conclusions 1997/2
                     the United Nations system    should be implemented as a
                                                   matter of urgency

Resolution 1998/44   Integrated and coordinated   Called for action on the part
of 31 July 1998      implementation and follow-   of all relevant entities to
                     up of major United Nations   give effect to the outcome of
                     conferences and summits      the major conferences


Commission on the Status of Women

Resolution 41/4      Violence against women       Requested the Secretary-
                     migrant workers              General to take into account
                                                  and to reflect in his thematic
                                                  report to the Commission at
                                                  its forty-second session the
                                                  various major findings from
                                                  all reports of the Secretary-
                                                  General submitted to the
                                                  General Assembly in order for
                                                  the Commission to make
                                                  recommendations on the issue

Resolution 41/5     Traffic in women and girls    Called for the acceleration 
                                                  of the implementation of the
                                                  Platform for Action of the
                                                  Fourth World Conference on
                                                  Women

Resolution 41/6     Mainstreaming the gender     Encouraged the Economic and
                    perspective into all         Social Council, at its
                    policies and programmes in   coordination segment in 1997,
                    the United Nations system    to develop specific
                                                 recommendations for
                                                 mainstreaming a gender
                                                 perspective into all United
                                                 Nations system activities


Commission on Human Rights

Resolutions 1997/44  The elimination of          Invited all relevant bodies
of 11 April 1997     violence against women      to cooperate with the Special
                                                 Rapporteur in the performance
and 1998/52                                      of her mandated tasks and
of 17 April 1998                                 duties



                               Notes

1/  Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 4-15 September
1995 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.96.IV.13),
chap. I, resolution 1, annex II.

2/  United Nations publication, Sales No. E.94.IV.1.

3/  United Nations publication, Sales No. E.92.IV.1.

4/  See Council of Europe, Plan of Action against Traffic in Women and 
Forced Prostitution, MichŠle Hirsch, Strasbourg, 1996 (EG (96) 2).

5/  Final Report of Activities of the EG-S-VI, including a Plan of Action 
for Combating Violence Against Women, Group of Specialists for
Combating Violence Against Women, Strasbourg, 1997 (EG-S-VI (97) 1).

6/  Third Ministerial Conference Strasbourg, 1993 (MEG-3 (93) 22); 
Ministerial Conference of the European Union to prepare the European
Code to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Women, The Hague, 1997, which
adopted the Hague Ministerial Declaration on European Guidelines to 
Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Women for the Purpose of Sexual 
Exploitation.  See also the result of the work of and the recommendations
of the Budapest Group on illegal migration, Prague, October 1998.

This document has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document - in electronic and/or printed format - is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 12 January 2000 17:15:30
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org