1. Develop policies, procedures and protocols to improve the response of police, judges, forensic doctors, and other professionals.
2. Invest in appropriate infrastructure:
3. Ensure training for all legal/justice sector personnel including on gender and issues related to VAWG:
4. Improve coordination among all justice sector operators (state attorneys, public defenders, prosecutors, and police) and between multiple sectors
Example: Gender training for judges. The International Association of Women Judges brings together more than 4,000 judges from 87 countries. In 1997, it launched a 3-year human rights training programme for judges and allied professionals in five South American countries on the application of international and regional human rights conventions to cases arising in domestic courts involving discrimination or violence against women. Since 2000, its Jurisprudence of Equality Programme (JEP) has expanded to Central America, East Africa and Southern Africa. In total, more than 1,300 judges, male and female, have taken part in JEP training in 12 countries. JEP workshops and seminars bring judges together to focus on the concrete meaning of abstract guarantees of equal protection and nondiscrimination. Through case studies and problem-solving exercises, judges share insights with colleagues and deepen their understanding of international law as applied to domestic contexts. The JEP has:
Source: excerpted from Valasek, 2008 pg. 20.
Example: ARC International’s GBV Legal Aid Clinics.
ARC International’s GBV Legal Aid Clinics (based in Guinea) work only with refugees and specifically refugee survivors of GBV from Liberia and Sierra Leone. The clinics prosecute cases of physical and sexual violence, domestic abuse, sexual exploitation, child prostitution and the pimping of children, forced prostitution, threats, paternity suits, and child custody/kidnapping. Throughout the legal aid process, survivors continue to have access to psychosocial support from ARC and other organizations in Guinea. In addition to conducting advocacy, the Clinics provide three primary services:
ARC’s programme in Guinea embarked on legal aid after the minimum GBV prevention and response services were in place and trust had been gained from the community. Given this approach—legal aid was instituted at the appropriate time and as a part of a comprehensive programme—the clinics were successful in aiding survivors to maintain their safety and to obtain justice.
Gender-Based Violence Legal Aid: A Participatory Tool Kit (American Refugee Committee International, 2005). Gender-Based Violence in Conflict-Affected Settings. Minneapolis, MN. One of three documents in a series designed to assist communities and humanitarian workers assess the situation in their particular setting and to determine the needs and next steps to implementing comprehensive and multi-sectoral programs to address GBV. The Tool Kit includes a “GBV Legal Aid Matrix” and participatory exercises to aid in the design of programs to address gender-based violence. Available in English.
Stop violence against women: How to use international criminal law to campaign for gender-sensitive law reform (Amnesty International, 2005). This tool was created for Amnesty International and other non-governmental organizations, in particular women's groups, to campaign for national legal reform on the criminalization of violence against women that meets the highest standards of international practice. It aims to provide greater detail in the area of criminal law. Available in English.
Additional ResourcesUNHCR. “Access to justice and sexual and gender-based violence: UNHCR’s call for more concerted action”.
Sexual Violence Beyond Conflict Termination: Impunity for Past Violations as a Recipe for New Ones? (Lindgreen, M./ ACCORD Policy & Practice Brief, Issue 015, November 2011). Available in English.
This is What We Demand, Justice! Impunity for Sexual Violence against Women in Colombia’s Armed Conflict (Amnesty International, 2011). Available in English.
Justice for Women: Seeking Accountability for Sexual Crimes in Post-Conflict Situations (FRIDE, 2008) Available in English.
Access to Justice for Victims of Sexual Violence (UNHCR, 2005). Available in English.