Call for inputs – Report on femicide
Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences
To inform the Special Rapporteur’s report on femicide to be presented at the 76th session of the General Assembly
The issue of femicide, or gender-related killings of women, has been a thematic priority for the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Dubravka Simonovic. In 2015, she issued a call to States to establish a “femicide watch” and/or observatories, and in her report to the General Assembly in September 2016 (A/71/398), she further elaborated on the modalities for establishing such a mechanism. Since then, she has made yearly calls to States to submit information on the measures taken and provide data on cases of femicide.
The Special Rapporteur intends to take stock on progress made to prevent and combat femicide, particularly in the context of the Femicide Watch initiative, as well as to collect good practices and issue recommendations on the use of data to design and implement effective prevention strategies on femicide. Her findings will be presented in a report to the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.
The overall aim of the Femicide Watch initiative has been to promote evidence-based policies and strategies for the prevention of femicide, through the collection of comparable data on femicide rates at the national, regional and global level. Analysed from a human rights perspective by national multidisciplinary bodies, data on femicides can be used by Governments in order to determine shortcomings within national laws and policies, including their lack of implementation, and to undertake preventive measures.
Important steps have been taken to implement the Special Rapporteur’s recommendations in this regard, particularly in the establishment of femicide watches / observatories. Tasked with collecting and disseminating data on femicides, a number of such observatories have been set up in the past three years by Governments, independent human rights mechanisms and civil society or academic institutions.
As more data has been collected and made available by femicide observatories, including detailed information on the relationship between victims and perpetrators, Governments in those countries are equipped with a useful tool that should be applied towards prevention. The Special Rapporteur would like to highlight the need to use effectively this data towards evaluating and improving policy responses to femicide, including reviewing the efficacy of protection mechanisms, improving training to judicial and police officials, and amending legislation where necessary.
Key questions and types of input sought
The Special Rapporteur kindly seeks the continued support of States, National Human Rights Institutions, civil society actors, international organizations, academics and other stakeholders to provide information:
- On the existence, or progress in the creation, of a national femicide watch and/or femicide observatory and/or observatory on violence against women with a femicide watch role; observatories at Ombudspersons’ office or Equality Bodies; academic institutions and/or NGOs, or any plans to create one.
- On other measures including research and studies undertaken to analyse femicide or gender related killings of women and girls, or homicides of women by intimate partners or family members and other femicides. If available, please share a copy of such studies.
- On the results of analysis of femicide cases, including the review of previous court cases and recommendations and actions undertaken in this respect.
- On concrete measures taken to improve support to victims of violence and to prevent femicide, (risk assessment, efficiency of protection orders), in connection with the information gathered via femicide watches or observatories.
- On good practices and challenges in implementing an evidence-based response to the prevention of femicide.
- On data, if available, on femicides or intimate-partner and family-related homicides of women and men in the past 3 years, including during the Covid-19 pandemic (indicating the time period e.g. since March 2020 to the end of December 2020) and its comparison with such data before the COVID-19 pandemic.
National Human Rights Institutions
UN entities and regional mechanisms
Civil Society Organizations