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Misconduct

Laws on misconduct by security sector personnel should:

  • establish criminal responsibility for any members of the police service, armed forces or other security actors who engage in any form of violence against women in the course of performance of their duties and defines the action that will be taken to investigate and prosecute any such acts, including sanctions related to possession of weapons or other arms. See for example, Argentina’s Ministry of Defense Resolution 208/08 (2008).

  • establish sanctions/ disciplinary processes to combat police or armed forces attitudes that foster, justify or tolerate violence against women.

  • ensure that guidelines governing conduct by police as well as armed forces are in place. In some cases, misconduct or obstruction of justice by uniformed personnel may impede effective investigations of crimes against women. Drafters should work closely with civil society to ensure effective civilian and independent oversight of the police and armed forces and to ensure the availability of procedures complaints about police misconduct to an independent investigatory body.

  • require the collection and tracking of data on reported incidents of violence against women by uniformed personnel and provide regular reports on information collected to appropriate authorities (See for example, US Military Code, Sub-section A, Section 920).

See examples and information on national laws in the Secretary General’s Database on Violence against Women and the Legislation module.