Womens Justice Center

News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias


Take action!

Human rights defender, Gladys Lanza Ochoa, continues to face intimidation and harassment following her sentencing to 18-months imprisonment on 26 March 2015. An appeal against the sentencing has been lodged before the Supreme Court of Honduras.

Gladys Lanza Ochoa is Coordinator of the Movimiento de Mujeres por la Paz Visitación Padilla (Honduran Women's Committee for Peace "Visitación Padilla"), a collective of women human rights defenders from across Honduras who work on issues such as gender violence and women's participation in public life, in addition to advocating for democracy and human rights in Honduras. Over the last years, Gladys Lanza Ochoa, as well as other members of Visitación Padilla have been regularly victims of threats, intimidation and surveillance in connection with their human rights work.

Most recently, on 14 May 2015, the human rights defender was followed by unidentified persons riding motorcycles and driving a car that did not bear registration plates. This intimidation occurs right after Gladys Lanza Ochoa's lawyer launched her appeal before the Supreme Court against her sentence to 18 months in prison.


[printable page]


profile photo

By Becky Owens Bullard

Over the past 6 years working in the anti-trafficking field, I’ve seen an enormous amount of positive growth in conjunction with many negative challenges.  I’ve often attributed this to the anti-trafficking movement being in its “adolescence,” as it is technically much younger than the anti-sexual and domestic violence movements that began in the 1960s and 70s.Human-Trafficking-Word-Cloud

This so-called adolescence has its benefits: the anti-trafficking movement is energetic, optimistic, and very popular. Everyone seems to want to work on human trafficking, the news media consistently covers the topic, and donors are looking to fund anti-trafficking efforts.  Additionally, passionate organizations and experts are doing ground-breaking work to combat trafficking. The field is understandably taking advantage of this energy and popularity by gaining some of the strongholds that the domestic violence and sexual assault movements were able to gain in the 80s and 90s – longer-standing organizations are solidifying their leadership, shelters are developing and programs expanding, and anti-trafficking laws are moving through political gridlock to assist survivors and hold exploiters accountable.

However, adolescence also has its “growing pains” and the anti-trafficking field can sometimes be just as erratic and impetuous as your average teenager.  


[printable page]

Journal: ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science  Volume:653  Issue:1  Dated:May 2014  Pages:46 to 64
Author: Amy Farrell ; Rebecca Pfeffer



Using data from case records and qualitative interviews with police, prosecutors, and victim service providers in 12 counties, this article discusses the challenges local police face in identifying cases of human trafficking.



Since 2000, the Federal Government and all 50 States have passed laws that criminalize the trafficking of persons for labor and commercial sex. To date, relatively few human trafficking cases have been identified, investigated, and prosecuted by local criminal justice authorities.

The current study found that the culture of local police agencies and the perceptions of police officials about human trafficking do not support the identification of a broad range of human trafficking cases. Since local definitions of human trafficking are still evolving, police focus on sex trafficking of minors, which they perceive to be the most serious problem facing their communities. Reluctance to differentiate between vice and sex trafficking minimizes the problem of human trafficking and makes labor trafficking seem largely nonexistent. (Publisher abstract modified)


[printable page]

In 2002, Germany decriminalized prostitution, reportedly due to pressure by the sex trade lobby and a few brothel managers who petitioned the government to develop safety standards and reduce the stigma and violence found in the sex trade. This law effectively rendered the prostitution industry a legitimate business. Today, this experiment is failing. Violence, abuse and trauma have increased for prostituted women in Germany. Some 400,000 women are now in prostitution, the vast majority poor women from abroad, with a linked exponential spike in sex trafficking. Alarmed by this state of affairs, prominent German trauma experts and psychologists signed a petition in December 2014, calling on their government to repeal its decriminalization law as a preventive measure against sexual violence and trauma. Below is an interview with Dr. Ingeborg Kraus, who initiated the petition.

Q: The media has recently labeled Germany the "Bordello of Europe"when describing countrywide mega-brothels. Are these a product of the decriminalization of prostitution in Germany?

Dr. Ingeborg Kraus: Yes. The 2002 law is the most liberal prostitution law in the world in that it eliminates any kind of regulation. The law renders prostitution "a job like any other job" and calls the women "sex workers." This was supposed to make the industry safer and less exploitative, but it hasn't worked. Even theBundeskriminalamt [German federal police] reported that the sex trade and related human trafficking has become more organized and aggressive as a result.


Q: What is a "brothel menu"?

IK: Since the law destroyed any questioning of the harm in men buying women for sex, the acts are becoming increasingly dangerous, violent and degrading. Buyers pick from a long list of sexual acts, most of which could easily be defined as torture. They are too graphic to describe here, but for example you can order a "sandwich" (two men and a woman), "blood sports" (involving cutting the woman) or myriad "à la carte" selections involving urination, ejaculation, defecation or worse inflicted on women. The brothels have "gang-bang" floors if a man wants to bring his friends andnudist floors where all women wear are stiletto heels. Even Ellen Templin, a well-known dominatrix and brothel owner in Berlin, says that before the 2002 law she sold sexual services to men, but since the law, she has to sell sexual violence. These acts cause extremely deep, enduring and traumatizing harm to the women.

[printable page]

Sesión de la Comisión de Justicia y Derechos Humanos del Congreso de la República del Perú en la cual se debate el "Proyecto de Ley que despenaliza el aborto en los casos de embarazos a consecuencia de una violación sexual, inseminación artificial o transferencia de óvulos no consentidas".

El proyecto ha sido presentado por diversas organizaciones abortistas tales como el Movimiento Manuela Ramos, Demus, PROMSEX, Flora Tristán y CLADEM Perú, entre otras.

Intervienen en esta sesión como invitados:
- Dr. Juan Velásquez Salazar. Asesor Legal del Arzobispado de Arequipa.
- Dra. Amparo Medina Guerrero. Ex funcionaria del Fondo de Población de la ONU
- Lic. Carol Maraví. Secretaria Ejecutiva de la Comsión Episcopal de Familia


[printable page]

The Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN) is one of the organizations supporting the Unaccompanied Children’s Interfaith Ministry of Chicago.  We witness the children’s stories, prayers, and dreams, and are compelled to ensure that due process is upheld in each case.

Domestic and international law require the US to provide protections and due process to refugees who are arriving at our borders, especially when they are children. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) protects children’s basic rights to due process and ensures they will have a day in court. If the TVPRA is rolled back, the US will be endangering the safety of refugee migrant children and will be in grave violation of international conventions.

The TVPRA stipulates that unaccompanied children from non-contiguous countries should be placed under the care and custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within a period of 72 hours. Through the ORR they are housed in facilities suited to meet their needs and concerns. The TVPRA does not grant children immediate legal status; it protects their right to due process by giving them an opportunity to appear before an immigration judge.All children remain in deportation proceedings, regardless of whether they remain in ORR custody or have been released to a legal guardian or family member. Their families or advocates are responsible for their legal fees, and if they fail to prove that they qualify for asylum or another form of relief under current US law or fail to appear before court, they are ordered deported.  

If the TVPRA is rolled back, “screenings” for the children would likely be conducted by border patrol agents who lack both the social training and legal skills necessary to be able to accurately assess whether or not a basis for relief exists. This is the process currently in place for the Mexican children arriving at our borders tired, hungry, and disoriented. In a short span of hours, they are expected to coherently articulate and convey any and all trauma they have experienced to border patrol agents (who children often fear because of their resemblance to corrupt and violent police authorities back home). This process is considered both ineffective and inappropriate by both the ACLU[1]and the UNHCR,[2] whose studies reveal that 96% of Mexican children are summarily deported, despite many of them having legitimate claims or basis for relief.


[printable page]


(Washington, DC) – Los miembros de las fuerzas armadas de EE.UU. que han denunciado haber sido víctimas de una agresión sexual sufren con frecuencia represalias que quedan impunes, señaló Human Rights Watch en un informe publicado hoy. El informe es el resultado de una investigación de 18 meses de Human Rights Watch en colaboración con Protect Our Defenders, una organización de derechos humanos que ayuda y trabaja por los supervivientes del abuso sexual militar. A pesar de las amplias reformas por parte del Departamento de Defensa para abordar las agresiones sexuales, el cuerpo militar ha tomado pocas medidas para garantizar que los responsables rindan cuentas o para proveer reparaciones efectivas por los daños causados.

El informe de 113 páginas, “Embattled: Retaliation against Sexual Assault Survivors in the US Military”(“Asediado: Represalias contra las víctimas de abuso sexual en las fuerzas armadas de EE.UU.”), revela que tanto los hombres y las mujeres del cuerpo militar que presentan una denuncia por agresión sexual son 12 veces más propensos a experimentar algún tipo de represalia antes que ver que su atacante es condenado por un delito sexual. Las represalias contra los supervivientes van desde amenazas, vandalismo y hostigamiento a malas asignaciones de trabajo, pérdida de oportunidades de promoción, acciones disciplinarias incluyendo la expulsión, e incluso cargos penales.

“El progreso de las fuerzas armadas estadounidenses para conseguir que los militares denuncien agresiones sexuales no continuará mientras las represalias por presentar una denuncia sigan impunes”, dijo Sara Darehshori, asesora legal sénior de Human Rights Watch y coautora del informe. “Acabar con las represalias es fundamental para abordar el problema de los abusos sexuales en el ejército”.

El exclusivo mecanismo diseñado para proteger a los miembros del cuerpo militar de las represalias relacionadas con el empleo, la Ley de Protección de Denunciantes Militares, todavía no ha ayudado a ningún miembro de las fuerzas armadas cuya carrera se haya visto dañada, a pesar de la prevalencia del problema. Encuestas del Departamento de Defensa revelan que el 62 por ciento de quienes reportan una agresión sexual aseguran haber sufrido represalias. El Congreso debe fortalecer la ley para conceder a los miembros del cuerpo militar el mismo nivel de protección que a los civiles, recomendó Human Rights Watch.



[printable page]


(Washington, DC) – US military service members who report sexual assault frequently experience retaliation that goes unpunished, Human Rights Watch said.  The report is the result of an 18-month investigation by Human Rights Watch with the support of Protect Our Defenders, a human rights organization that supports and advocates for survivors of military sexual assault. Despite extensive reforms by the Defense Department to address sexual assault, the military has done little to hold retaliators to account or provide effective remedies for retaliation. 

The 113-page report, “Embattled: Retaliation against Sexual Assault Survivors in the US Military,” finds that both male and female military personnel who report sexual assault are 12 times as likely to experience some form of retaliation as to see their attacker convicted of a sex offense. Retaliation against survivors ranges from threats, vandalism, and harassment to poor work assignments, loss of promotion opportunities, disciplinary action including discharge, and even criminal charges.

“The US military’s progress in getting people to report sexual assaults isn’t going to continue as long as retaliation for making a report goes unpunished,” saidSara Darehshori, senior US counsel at Human Rights Watch and co-author of the report. “Ending retaliation is critical to addressing the problem of sexual assault in the military.”

The exclusive mechanism intended to protect service members from employment-related retaliation, the Military Whistleblower Protection Act, has yet to help a single service member whose career was harmed, despite the prevalence of the problem. Defense Department surveys indicate that 62 percent of those who report sexual assault say they experienced retaliation. Congress should strengthen the law to give service members the same level of protection as civilians, Human Rights Watch said.


[printable page]


*** Between 25 and 40 percent of domestic violence victims will not leave a dangerous situation because they do not want to abandon their pets, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

*** When people are being abused, Zuniga noted, their pets are often victims as well. According to Sojourner, 71 percent of pet-owning women who seek refuge at a centersaid their abuser had also threatened, injured or killed their pet.



The Link, for Prosecutors, American Humane Society 

Red Rover: The RedRover Relief program provides financial and emotional support to Good Samaritans, animal rescuers and pet owners to help them care for animals in life-threatening situations and resources to help victims of domestic violence escape abusive environments with their pets.

[printable page]

 Former President Jimmy Carter

Speaks Out On Abolishing Prostitution

In a May 2015 address to an Atlanta Summit on Ending Sexual Exploitation,
Former President Jimmy Carter said,

“I would like to see each city and state in the United States adopt the Nordic model law.”

- Former President Jimmy Carter May 2015

carter & vendita

Former President Jimmy Carter and Breaking Free’s Vednita Carter
are connected by a common goal: ending prostitution & trafficking.


“The most serious human rights violation on earth is the abuse of women and girls, and prostitution is the foundation for all other abuses of women and girls.”- Former President Jimmy Carter May 2015

“The reason for [prostitution’s] expansion is the men who don’t care whether this abuse continues. Men enjoy the privilege arising from prostitution. It was the same when I was a child in Georgia: we had official legal separation of the races. White men derived a great benefit from the subjugation of Black people. White men got the best jobs, the best schools, they were on juries. We overcame that. But this problem of the greatest human rights abuse continues.” – Former President Jimmy Carter May 2015



[printable page]

La Oficina de la Mujer de la Corte Suprema de Justicia de la Nación elaboró una Guía interactiva de estándares internacionales sobre derechos de las mujeres. Esta herramienta ha sido ideada con el propósito de facilitar el acceso y conocimiento a las normas internacionales, fallos y otros documentos elaborados por organismos del sistema regional y universal de derechos humanos. Por medio de una categorización amplia de los derechos de las mujeres y subcategorías más específicas, permite una búsqueda rápida de normas, fallos o recomendaciones internacionales sobre un tema concreto.
     Los estándares que allí se encuentran retoman textualmente sus fuentes. Además, se indica la cita y se habilita un link al documento completo. La información es de acceso público, a través de la página web de la Oficina de la Mujer, Argentina.


[printable page]



Taina Bien-Aimé

Coalition Against Trafficking in Women


(212) 643-9895




U.S. Congress Takes a Momentous Stand Against Human Trafficking

Anti-Trafficking Organization Celebrates Passage of Groundbreaking Law


New York, May 19, 2015 - The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) applauds the U.S. Congress for passing the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA), the first comprehensive bill to address domestic human trafficking.  It now awaits the signature of President Barack Obama to become law.


The JVTA creates a new funding stream to finance services for U.S. trafficking victims. Up to $30 million of the innovative funding mechanism will come from $5,000 fines on perpetrators of crimes ranging from human trafficking to child pornography. The legislation also redefines federal law to clarify that sex buyers of children and human trafficking victims can be prosecuted as traffickers.


"Not only will the JVTA finance services for U.S. victims of trafficking, it puts the onus on sex buyers who cause the devastating harm. We finally have strong federal legislation that aims to prevent the demand for sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation," says Taina Bien-Aimé, executive director of CATW.


One of the JVTA's most important provisions requires the Department of Justice to incorporate demand reduction strategies into all human trafficking training programs. Survivors have been key in demanding more accountability from commercial sex buyers who cause extensive harm to those they exploit. As a result, the JVTA also creates a new U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, with at least eight survivors, to make recommendations to the US Government on anti-trafficking strategies.


"This victory is not only the result of successful collaborations across political and ideological lines, but it is a testament to the power of survivors enlightening us with the best solutions to end trafficking and exploitation," says Bien-Aimé.


The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) is a non-governmental organization working to end human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls worldwide. CATW engages in advocacy, education, victim services and prevention programs for victims of trafficking and prostitution in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and North America. www.catwinternational.org



[printable page]

from IntLawGrrls

EXCERPT: In the summer of 2014, fieldwork research was conducted as part of a doctoral thesis entitled, “Strengthening Women’s Reproductive Rights in the Inter-American Human Rights System: Gender, Reparations and Reproductive Justice.” Upon completion of interviews with actors engaged in work on reproductive rights in the Inter-American System, a report entitled, “Women’s Reproductive Rights in the Inter-American System of Human Rights: Conclusions from the Field, June-September 2014,” was distributed to interview participants. The objectives of the report were (1) to examine the María Mamerita Mestanza Chávez v. Peru (2003), Paulina del Carmen Jacinto Ramírez v. Mexico (2007), and Artavia Murillo et al. v. Costa Rica (2012) cases, in order to understand how reproductive rights cases develop, and the subsequent challenges and advancements; (2) and to learn from these cases in order to suggest recommendations for how actors can make better use of the Inter-American System as one of several avenues for fulfilling women’s reproductive rights.  The report identifies three main challenges to the implementation and enjoyment of women’s reproductive rights: (1) limited understanding and institutionalization of ‘gender'; (2) ineffective or nonexistent collaboration between actors; and (3) inadequate development, implementation, and compliance-monitoring of reparation measures. The report also recommends strategies in order to achieve a more efficient Inter-American System when dealing with reproductive rights: (1) creating a tradition of gender-based reparations; (2) using theConvention of Belém do Pará consistently and constantly in litigation efforts; and (3) institutionalizing gender training in the Inter-American System. 

As human rights law is increasingly utilized as a tool in the advancement of women’s reproductive rights, it is essential for actors to engage in every opportunity to reflect on advancements and missed opportunities. The intention of this report is to play a small role in that process of reflection.

Report in both English and Spanish. The author welcomes any questions, comments, and additional information @ c.o-connell [at] sussex.ac.uk.



[printable page]

Webinar | May 29, 2015 | 3:00PM-4:00PM EDT
Presented by Viktoria Kristiansson, Attorney Advisor, AEquitas and
Kathryn Walker, Criminal Justice Fellow, National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability, The Arc 

People with developmental disabilities face myriad issues and unique challenges when encountering the justice system. The traumatic impact of sexual assault may further exacerbate already-existing issues. Developmental disabilities may impact a victim’s participation in a criminal investigation and testimony at trial. Prosecutors must be prepared to address the impact of the developmental disability on the victim and on the dynamics of the crime, particularly when assessing the offender's behaviors, victim selection, and steps taken to perpetrate the crime. 

This webinar will prepare prosecutors to anticipate issues and evidence prior to trial; file and argue pretrial motions; develop trial strategies that take into account the victim’s intellectual or developmental disabilities, as well as any mental health issues; introduce relevant evidence at trial while excluding the irrelevant; and consider appropriate sentencing options.

Click here to register for this webinar.


Recent Webinar Recordings
 Recent Publications


[printable page]

On Friday, Yamani Hernandez steps into the role of executive director at the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF). In that position, she will lead almost 100 nonprofits nationwide that help people fund their abortion procedures and offer other types of assistance. The 37-year-old Chicago native recently chatted with RH Reality Check about her work to build a broad human rights movement that lives up to its inclusive values, her unconventional professional trajectory, and the people who inspired and stoked her activism.

[printable page]

La aclamada escritora Selva Almada, autora de "Chicas muertas", libro en el que aborda tres femicidios que quedaron impunes en la década del 80, habló con Infobae sobre la inquietante ola de crímenes contra mujeres que sacude el país y que provocó una inminente marcha

-Vos escribiste "Chicas muertas" a partir de casos de femicidios que te impactaron cuando eras chica. ¿Creés que el problema de la violencia contra las mujeres se ha agravado en la actualidad?

La violencia de género y su expresión máxima, el femicidio, son prácticas comunes en una sociedad como la nuestra, patriarcal y misógina. No podemos trazar una perspectiva histórica porque estos datos no existen, porque estos hechos han sido naturalizados y, por ende, invisibilizados. Pero no tengo dudas de que no es un problema de nuestro tiempo, sino algo que viene repitiéndose y fomentándose a lo largo de las décadas. Es cierto que desde hace unos años a esta parte, la violencia contra las mujeres empezó a formar parte de la agenda de los medios de comunicación, del Estado y de otros organismos. Este tipo de casos, de a poco, está dejando de ser algo del ámbito privado (violencia doméstica o crímenes pasionales como se los llamaba hasta hace muy poco) y empieza a ser un tema de todos, un problema de nuestra sociedad y de nuestro país. No sé si ahora se matan más mujeres que antes, pero ahora nos enteramos y reaccionamos de una manera diferente ante este tipo de violencia.

-¿La escritura del libro surgió de una inquietud de entender que hay detrás de la violencia contra las mujeres?


[printable page]

Author: Shawn C. Marsh ; Carly B. Dierkhising . ; Kelly B. Decker ; John Rosiak
Corporate Author: National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
United States of America

Document URL: 


Publication Date: April 2015
Annotation: This guide assists judges and personnel of juvenile and family courts in deciding whether a trauma consultation is appropriate for their jurisdiction, and it outlines what courts can expect before, during, and after a trauma consultation.
Abstract: The rationale for having a trauma consultation for a juvenile and family court stems from prevalence data that show a high percentage of those who come before juvenile and family courts have been exposed to severe and chronic traumatic events. These events often lead to symptoms and behaviors typically linked to traumatic stress. Because juvenile and family courts work with children and families that are dealing with trauma-related issues, they are in a unique position to promote healing and prevent future trauma. In 2013 the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) developed a court trauma consultation protocol in response to an increase in requests for assistance. At the time, there was no known protocol for conducting this type of consultation and subsequent technical assistance. The current manual was not developed with the intent to make it a “how to” guide for courts in conducting their own internal trauma consultations. This guide is intended to help jurisdictions and juvenile courts decide whether a consultation with an experienced, objective external team is right for them. It also assists jurisdictions and courts in preparing for the consultation team and in using subsequent recommendations of the team in implementing and maintaining trauma-informed services. 30 references and 15 resources listings


[printable page]

Por Mariana Carbajal

Cada tres horas, una niña de entre 10 y 14 años se convierte en madre en la Argentina. Al año, serán alrededor de 3000 las chicas que den a luz antes de cumplir los 15. La tasa más alta de madres-niñas se concentra en el noreste del país: Formosa encabeza el ranking con 6,1 nacimientos anuales por cada 1000 chicas. Sin embargo, en números absolutos las madres niñas son más numerosas en el conurbano: en 2012 allí hubo 429 nacimientos con madres menores de 15 años. Los datos surgen de un estudio que se presentará hoy en una actividad científica organizada por la Sociedad Argentina de Pediatría, y que realiza una radiografía de la maternidad temprana: quienes son esas madres, qué riesgos corren ellas y sus hijos, en qué se parecen o se diferencian de las madres de mayor edad.

La investigación advierte que las relaciones sexuales que dieron lugar al embarazo fueron, generalmente, con varones más grandes: en no pocos casos se trata de adultos, en contextos de abuso sexual. Cuatro de cada 100 niñas tendrán su segundo y hasta su tercer hijo antes de festejar el cumpleaños de 15. “Aunque las relaciones sexuales hayan sido consentidas se dieron sin protección anticonceptiva o contra las infecciones de transmisión sexual”, advirtió a Página/12 Edith Pantelides, investigadora del Cenep (Centro de Estudios de Población) y coautora del relevamiento.




[printable page]

Different jurisdictions and immunities apply to civilian and military personnel, made more obscure by a lack of transparency and detail in the U.N.’s reporting of abuse cases. Photo: UN Photo/Pasqual Gorriz

UNITED NATIONS, May 13 2015 (IPS) - “We can really argue as much as we want but if we put ourselves in the skin of victims, we just have to do something to stop this.”

This was Graça Machel’s appeal at the launch of Code Blue, the campaign to end impunity for sexual violence by United Nations (U.N.) peacekeeping personnel Wednesday.

“Each country will act according to what it thinks is appropriate and more often than not rather than a full-fledged investigation you simply see a plane arriving and a bunch of people being put on a plane and disappearing." -- Lt. General Roméo Dallaire

Machel, a renowned human rights advocate, spoke of her own dismay when researching the landmark U.N. study ‘The Impact of Armed Conflict on Children’.

“We came across, eye to eye, women and girls who had been abused by U.N. peacekeeping personnel – it was shocking to us,” Machel said.

Peacekeeping is about more than military peace but also about bringing peace in people themselves, Machel said.

Her sentiments were shared by a panel of international leaders, including Lt. General Roméo Dallaire, Force Commander for the U.N. mission during the Rwandan genocide; Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, former Under-Secretary General; Theo Sowa, CEO of the African Women’s Development Fund; and Paula Donovan Co-director of AIDS-Free World, the organisation spearheading Code Blue.

The panel implored the United Nations and world leaders to act, and called for a truly independent Commission of Inquiry, with unobstructed access to U.N. records and correspondence, and full subpoena power.



NGOs Urge Commission of Inquiry to Probe Sexual Abuse in U.N. Peacekeeping


PRESS RELEASE: Experts launch 'Code Blue,' demand end to UN immunity for peacekeeper sex abuse

Coimbra Sirica: +1 301-943-3287, csirica@burness.com
Wanda Bautista: +1 301-280-5760, wbautista@burness.com
Gill Mathurin: + 1 646-924-1710, gm@aidsfreeworld.org

[printable page]


NACIONES UNIDAS, 13 may 2015 (IPS) - El número creciente de casos de abusos sexuales cometidos por las misiones de paz de la ONU ocasionó el lanzamiento de una campaña de alto nivel para que cesen los ataques a mujeres y niños, así como el pedido de una comisión independiente que investigue la situación.

Los últimos “horribles” ataques sexuales se atribuyeron a las fuerzas de paz francesas presentes en República Centroafricana, aunque el portavoz de la ONU (Organización de las Naciones Unidas) Stephane Dujarric aseguró que “no estaban bajo el mando y control” del foro mundial.

"Pero la verdad es sorprendente y sencilla. Ningún mecanismo nuevo, ni métodos de operación nuevos, ni políticas nuevas podrán funcionar en la práctica para prevenir o castigar a los abusadores sexuales… debido a que la burocracia de la ONU responsable de implementar los cambios es completamente disfuncional": Paula Donovan.

“Esperamos que cualquier persona que participó en las actividades atroces que involucran a niños en República Centroafricana enfrente a la justicia y sea procesada”, dijo a los medios de comunicación.

Paula Donovan, codirectora de AIDS-Free World, la organización que ayudó a difundir un informe sobre la situación que se mantenía oculta, denunció a IPS que hubo “desde confusión e ineptitud en el terreno, hasta encubrimientos en los más altos niveles de la ONU en Nueva York”.

“Los Estados miembros deben someter a las fuerzas de mantenimiento de la paz de la ONU a una comisión rigurosa, totalmente independiente, de investigación con acceso completo a los documentos y el personal”, exigió.

Hasta que eso ocurra, las políticas o procedimientos nuevos que se adopten fracasarán, lo mismo que sucede con las actuales, advirtió Donovan.

En 2014 se registraron más de 50 casos de abuso sexual cometido por personal de la ONU, aunque el número real sería mucho mayor. La inmunidad diplomática permitiría que los culpables queden impunes y eviten las restricciones legales.

La propuesta de un convenio internacional que castigue a los acusados ​​de delitos sexuales en las operaciones de la ONU en el extranjero, presentada en 2008, nunca se concretó.




[printable page]

Cameras strapped to police don’t just record bad behavior by officers or people confronted in the field — they often stop the rough stuff from even beginning.
As San Francisco moves toward equipping all of its officers with body cameras, police departments big and small, from Oakland on down to Menlo Park, are reporting huge drops in use-of-force incidents as well as citizen complaints since they began using the devices.
Since deploying wearable cameras in 2010, use-of-force incidents in the 400,000-population city of Oakland have plunged 72 percent, according to department records. With 700 body cameras, Oakland has the biggest inventory in the nation.
Across the bay in Menlo Park, population 33,000, use-of-force incidents fell 33 percent after body cameras were handed out to that city’s 49 officers in 2012. Campbell has seen its citizen complaints drop by half since starting camera use in 2010 — and similar numbers are reported in Brentwood, which has been using cameras since 2008, longer than anyone in the Bay Area.
  2. SEE ALSO:
  3. Use of Police Body Cameras in
  4. Cases of Violence Against Women and Children

[printable page]


Una adolescente que escapó de un taller textil clandestino denunció que había sido víctima de trata y explotación. La Justicia dispuso allanamientos en Flores, Mataderos y Villa Lugano y rescató a otras seis personas. Denunciaron 170 talleres más.

La Justicia realizó ocho allanamientos en la Ciudad de Buenos Aires y rescató a seis víctimas de trata para explotación laboral, tras la denuncia de una adolescente de 16 años que escapó de un taller textil ilegal. Las víctimas eran trasladadas desde Mendoza y Bolivia. No habían cobrado ningún salario, vivían hacinadas y sin medidas de seguridad e higiene. Por otro lado, la organización La Alameda confeccionó un mapa con 170 nuevos talleres clandestinos regenteados por redes de explotación laboral, que los vecinos de esos lugares detectaron en la última semana. Además se presentaron denuncias contra el gobierno porteño por el taller incendiado en el que murieron dos niños.

El titular de la Fiscalía Nacional Criminal y Correccional Federal Nº 10, Diego Iglesias, ordenó allanar cinco domicilios ubicados en Flores, Mataderos y Villa Lugano, y tres locales comerciales de Once y la avenida Avellaneda. Durante los procedimientos, fueron rescatadas seis personas y otras cinco fueron detenidas, tras lo cual fueron clausurados los lugares allanados. En los talleres había, además, 22 trabajadores, muchos en situación migratoria irregular.

La causa judicial se inició en octubre pasado, cuando una adolescente de 16 años, que había escapado de un taller ilegal, realizó la denuncia y contó que una mujer –ahora imputada– la trajo desde Bolivia mediante engaños, entre ellos, la promesa de trabajo bien remunerado. Tres días duró el viaje hasta la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, contó la joven, quien fue obligada a vivir en el taller donde trabajaba de lunes a sábado desde las 6 hasta las 22. Además era víctima de maltrato físico y psicológico, y padecía hostigamiento sexual.


[printable page]

Mary Jane Veloso was spared from death at the last minute. She still faces execution.

Mary Jane is a migrant domestic worker just like me. Like me, Mary Jane was forced to become a migrant domestic worker because of poverty, because of a commitment to support her family, because she had no other choice. Like me she suffered abuse. Like me she almost died.

When working as a domestic worker in Dubai Mary Jane was attacked and hospitalized. After a month in hospital and a rape trial of the perpetrator she went home. But she couldn’t earn money at home to support her children and had no choice but to sell her few possessions and become indebted to an informal agent who professed to be her friend and migrate again. She was told she would be given work in Malaysia, like so many Indonesian domestic workers.  But the work didn’t eventuate. She was given new clothes and a new suitcase and told to go to Indonesia until other work would be sorted for her.

Like me, Mary Jane was in no position to question the agents that made her migration possible. Like me she was in debt. Like me she trusted people that promised to help. Like me she couldn’t speak the local language. Like me she needed to navigate a legal system that wasn’t in her language and that she didn’t understand.

But unlike me Mary Jane was a defendant. And unlike me Mary Jane had no support.

Mary Jane was charged with drug trafficking. But in fact it was Mary Jane who was trafficked. Like hundreds of thousands of women around the world Mary Jane was controlled and made to travel as human cargo for the profit of others.



[printable page]