United Nations Press Release
Commission on Human Rights
10 April 2001
NGOs highlighted a number of issues which violated the human rights of women including trafficking in women and girls, so-called honour crimes, domestic violence, violence against women during armed conflicts, and female genital mutilation. They also claimed violations of women’s rights in a number of countries and regions around the world.
RITA KOLIBONSO, of the Asian Legal Resource Centre, said there was a lack of legal and institutional remedies in most Asian countries for women who were victims of gender violence. There was discrimination through customary laws regarding divorce and alimony, the social stigma and women’s lack of independent economic resources, which made it difficult for women to leave abusive situations. Also, there was inadequate understanding and interpretation of the law that encouraged further violence as domestic violence was generally considered a private matter. Further, malfunctioning of the legal system and the corruption of law enforcement officials prevented women from filing charges against their abusers because they feared the costs of lengthy processes and additional humiliation at the hands of the prosecuting authorities. And there was the attitude of judicial authorities — the most insidious cause of the lack of remedies for women who were victims of violence.