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Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
19 May 2023
Over 40 years ago the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women came into force with the aim of bringing half of humanity into its scope, ensuring the equal rights of women to enjoy all economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights. Although progress has been made towards the enjoyment of these rights, women and girls around the globe continue to be deprived of the most fundamental right: the right to life.
Gender-related killings, which is among the most serious forms of violence against women and girls, is perpetrated in countries across the globe. Gender related killings are the extreme manifestation of existing forms of gender-based violence. the intentional killing of women and girls with a gender-related motivation. Gender-related motivation refers to the underlying factors that put women and girls at risk, including discrimination, social and economic marginalization and inadequate access to safe, affordable housing (A/HRC/35/23, para. 54).
Most femicides result from intimate partner violence; however, femicides manifest in many ways including honour and dowry related killings and female infanticide among other femicide categories. This term does not refer to all intentional killings where victims are women and girls but imposes the need to conduct an analysis of the underlying causes to establish if these are rooted in gender inequality and discrimination. The killing of a woman in a car crash or as the indirect consequence of the commission of another crime may not be femicide. The killing of a woman because she has had a relationship with a man outside marriage is. States may be complicit in or may be perpetrators of femicide. The failure of a State to prevent and effectively investigate acts of femicide may also constitute a violation of international human rights law.
The true rate at which femicide occurs is unknown, as gender-motivated killings are often not distinguished from other unlawful deaths. The Special Rapporteur believes that recognising femicide as a particular form of unlawful death rooted in gender discrimination allows these to be identified, including through specific signs, characteristics and manifestations. Using a gendered lens and specialized Protocols in investigating gender-based killings of women and girls, such as the 2014 Latin American Model Protocol for the investigation of gender-related killings of women (femicide/feminicide), enables these deaths to be identified, documented and counted as femicides to help ensure truth, justice and reparations for victims, including more accurate data collection and analysis required to inform and strengthen prevention strategies.
The Special Rapporteur is particularly interested in receiving information on any laws, policies, standard operating procedures and practices for investigating and documenting the gender-based killing of women and girls that might be characterised as femicide/feminicide, in particular:
Responses should be submitted by 19 May 2023
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Contribution to the call for input on gender-based killings of women and girls
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