UNITED NATIONS

Press Release

COUNCIL HOLDS INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE

WITH EXPERTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS

DEFENDERS, VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

AND EFFECTS OF ECONOMIC REFORM

POLICIES

Human Rights Council

MIDDAY 12 March 2008

The Human Rights Council today held an interactive dialogue with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, and the Independent Expert on the effect of economic reform policies and foreign debt on the enjoyment of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights.

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Interactive Dialogue

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IMAD ZUHAIRI (Palestine), speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, said the Arab Group supported the continuation of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women. Arab societies protected the dignity of men and women. Violence against women was a crime and it was made clear in the Arab Charter on Human Rights. On the indicators that the Special Rapporteur on violence against women had suggested, it was important for the United Nations bodies to be involved in this but countries should also be consulted and they had to approve them before they were adopted. On the other hand, these indicators did not mention violence against women under foreign occupation. What about the torture inflicted on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, particularly the women, wasn't this also a crime against women? Neither did the indicators mention violence against migrant and indigenous women.

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For use of the information media; not an official record