Womens Justice Center

News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias


Las fiscales Claudia Paz y Paz y Ángela Buitrago sufren una campaña de difamación mientras investigan el caso de desaparición de Ayotzinapa 

Claudia Paz y Paz (Guatemala) y Ángela Buitrago (Colombia) son dos fiscales reconocidas a nivel internacional por investigar crímenes de lesa humanidad. Actualmente ambas forman parte del Grupo Interdisciplinario de Expertos Independientes (GIEI, www.giei.info) designadas por la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) para el caso de desaparición de los 43 normalistas de Ayotzinapa. Durante las últimas semanas, las abogadas han sido objeto de una campaña de señalamientos infundados, calumnias y difamaciones a través de declaraciones a los medios de comunicación, conferencias en universidades y redes sociales. Una vez más, es necesario defender a las defensoras de los derechos humanos.

La campaña contra estas fiscales se lleva a cabo con un considerable despliegue de recursos económicos a 16 meses de la desaparición de los 43 normalistas de Ayotzinapa y con el propósito de denostar la ética profesional y la calidad moral de ambas abogadas y mermar la legitimidad y el reconocimiento alcanzado hasta ahora por el GIEI, que en su informe presentado en septiembre de 2015 ofreció nuevas líneas de investigación que cuestionan la investigación oficial del Caso Ayotzinapa.

Claudia y Ángela son expertas en investigar delitos como desaparición forzada, tortura y ejecuciones extrajudiciales, habiendo llevado a juicio principalmente a actores poderosos como militares, narcotraficantes, políticos, abusadores sexuales, entre otros, y logrando sentencias históricas sin precedentes.


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I did not know Janese Talton-Jackson on a personal level. There’s a chance I might have seen her before. And a lesser chance I might have spoken to her. But if I did either, I don’t remember.

But after news of her death began to circulate on Facebook on Friday afternoon, and more and more people spoke of her, I learned that there weren’t many degrees of separation between us. Practically none, actually.

She left behind three children. Twin girls and a 1-year-old son. The father of her daughters is the son of my mom’s best friend, Ms. Debbie. She also lived in a house owned by Ms. Debbie—a house right next door to my dad’s house. They’re separated by two driveways and a line of hedges. My dad was devastated by the news. And if that’s not enough of a connection already, Janese’s brother happens to be Pennsylvania state Rep. Ed Gainey, a man I’ve known for 25 years.

I first became acquainted with Ed through basketball. When my dad would take the 9-year-old me to the courts behind Peabody High School to work on my game, Ed was one of the older teens and early-20-somethings who’d often be there, too. Some days, after I was done drilling, my dad would play with them and I’d watch them play. Then, as I got older and better, I’d play with them too. Today Ed is a popular politician and a friend. And now, as of early Friday morning, brother to a murdered sister: a woman shot and killed in the street by a man because she said no.

According to the police report, Janese was at Cliff’s Bar, located in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood. As the bar neared closing, she was approached by Charles Anthony McKinney, who apparently was interested in her. The interest wasn’t reciprocated, and she left. McKinney allegedly followed her outside, was rebuffed again and then shot her in the chest. She was declared dead at the scene. She was 29.

As I write this, my 2-month-old daughter is 10 feet away in one of her bassinets, fussing. I’ve had to pause from writing twice in the last half hour to check on her. To see if she’s making noise because she’s hungry or cold or hot or wet. But, as I suspected, it’s none of the above. She just wants to be played with, 


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As the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision approaches, all eyes are once again on the U.S. Supreme Court, which in March will hear a case that presents the most serious threat to abortion rights in decades. But what is often forgotten in this debate is that safe and legal abortion has long been out of reach for many U.S. women due to severe abortion coverage restrictions. Our new commentary at The Hill’s Congress Blog explores this issue further....more


SEE ALSO: Trailer for TRAPPED, 

TRAPPED is a new documentary from Dawn Porter that follows the progress of Southern reproductive health clinics that are struggling to provide care in the face of an increasingly hostile legal and political climate. The film takes viewers to the front lines of the war on reproductive rights to show the human effects of these politically motivated and medically unnecessary laws.

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Entre los argumentos más sonoros que defienden la prostitución –considerándola erróneamente un “trabajo”– está el que señala que cada mujer es libre de hacer con su cuerpo lo que considere mejor y que, si se trata de una decisión personal, ésta debe respetarse.
Como sabemos, el asunto no es tan simple como parece.
El pasado 11 de enero celebramos el Día de la Concientización sobre la Trata de Personas, a través de la campaña que en redes sociales encabezó la Coalition Against Trafficking Women (CATW), haciendo hincapié en la consigna: “A choice is only a choice if you actually have choices” (“Una opción es sólo opción si tú realmente tienes opciones”).
Así, sólo en el marco del respeto a los Derechos Humanos, especialmente de las mujeres y las niñas, es posible comprender la importancia de no haber contado con opciones para quienes finalmente se encuentran en situación de prostitución.
Para quienes hemos trabajado en el tema de las formas contemporáneas de esclavitud, particularmente en lo que respecta a la trata de mujeres, niñas, niños y adolescentes y su explotación sexual, resulta muy claro el hecho de que la abrumadora mayoría de víctimas no cuenta con un abanico de opciones que les haya permitido decidir en libertad.


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There may not be a simple solution, but something has to change.

new report from Amnesty International suggests that companies including Apple, Samsung and Sony are profiting from child labor in Africa -- and no one should be surprised.

It's been public knowledge for years that electronics are stuffed with minerals that come from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a war-torn place rich in must-have materials that are rarely found elsewhere. Less well-known, however, is how these sometimes blood-soaked metals move from the DRC into the supply chains of some of the world's richest and most powerful tech companies. While these companies carry considerable influence and are aware of the controversy surrounding their supply chains, a number of complicating factors make it difficult -- if not impossible -- for them to solve the problem of child labor.

Amnesty says its report, published Monday, is the "first comprehensive account" of how cobalt ore found by children enters the global supply chain. The group focused on cobalt specifically for two reasons: One, it's a key component of the lithium-ion rechargeable batteries used in phones. Two, the material stands apart from other "conflict minerals" you may have heard of because it doesn't contribute to armed groups in the country the same way other materials do, and as a result receives less scrutiny.

Why This Matters


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As many as one in four women experience sexual assault at college, though the vast majority never report it, according to a study of students at nine schools released Wednesday by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. 

An average of 21 percent of female undergraduates at the unnamed colleges and universities told researchers they had been sexually assaulted since starting their higher education. One in four female seniors reported being sexually assaulted in their undergraduate years, with the rate ranging from a high of one in two at some of the schools that were studied to a low of one in eight. 

The prevalence of campus sexual assault found by the federally funded study, while shocking, is similar to the results of earlier research. The new study also shows sexual violence varies considerably at different schools, said Christopher Krebs, a research scientist who was the report's lead author. 

"We don't think of a single statistic is of interest to universities trying to combat this problem," Krebs said. Instead, he explained, researchers tried to provide ranges of what students had experienced at the nine schools studied.


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Por más de dos décadas hemos dado una estrecha mirada al funcionamiento de nuestro Departamento del Alguacil a través de los ojos de nuestras clientas. Las experiencias de las mujeres, principalmente jóvenes de color inmigrantes, han revelado siempre las graves fallas que permean al Departamento del Alguacil en lo concerniente a los derechos civiles.

A pesar de todos los esfuerzos hacia la reforma desde afuera del Departamento –ya sea por medio de peticiones, protestas, relatos de primera mano o las décadas de demandas judiciales–, en gran medida el Departamento del Alguacil ha respondido hundiéndose cada vez más en una actitud defensiva y haciendo caso omiso de los derechos humanos, ocultándose tras la impunidad que ha sido otorgada por una sucesión de fiscales serviles, una prensa encubridora que se rehúsa a investigar, una Junta de Supervisores que gira los cheques y canta alabanzas, así como un público que encuentra refugio en la incredulidad.

La aleta visible del tiburón que acecha debajo


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Public housing tenants in Baltimore who alleged they were sexually harassed and abused by maintenance workers will share up to $8 million in a settlement of a class-action lawsuit that exposed poor living conditions in the subsidized complexes.

City Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano pledged sweeping changes Friday to ensure that all residents can live in "peace and dignity" without being subjected to "the atrocious behavior of a small group of people who inflicted indignity of an indescribable nature."

"Mistakes have been made here, and some of them very serious," Graziano said at a news conference. He said he has instituted new precedures to guarantee that future cases are fully investigated and employees receive ongoing sexual harassment training. In addition, a new computerized system will allow tenants to request repairs without going through housing authority staff.

The lawsuit, filed in September, said maintenance workers at several complexes demanded sexual favors in exchange for making repairs. When the women did not comply, they said, the repairs were not made — exposing them to unsafe conditions such as mold, lack of heat and risk of electrocution.

Graziano, who has run the city's housing authority for 15 years, did not offer an explanation for the alleged abuse and harassment. He said only that the agency took the strongest possible disciplinary action against the employees involved. A lawyer for the plaintiffs said all of the workers in question have been fired.

Housing Authority reaches settlement agreement in sex-for-repairs scheme

The settlement, which officials called the largest in a sexual harassment case under the Fair Housing Act, will be paid in large part from the housing authority's reserve account, which is funded with about $50 million in federal dollars. A portion, $850,000, will be paid by the housing authority's insurance plan.



New housing rule protects most vulnerable women from sexual harassment in their home 

* Sex Harrassment and Fair Housing Tool Kit

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A film by Karin Venegas

A deeply personal documentary, UNAFRAID gives voice to four, diverse rape survivors and takes a historic look back at the pioneering treatment center where they now receive counseling. In her directorial debut, Karin Venegas highlights the work of two unsung feminist heroes in the movement for victims’ rights at the height of 1970s feminism and the Women’s Movement. From breaking victims’ silence to the revolutionary invention of the rape kit, this powerful film intimately explores the impact of rape and the capacity of ordinary individuals to effect change. 

Although frequently referenced in popular culture, few audiences know of the rape kit’s feminist origins. UNAFRAID is the first film to address the grassroots genesis of this important tool, which not only made it easier to convict in the criminal justice system but which helped shape our very cultural acceptance of rape as a serious crime, worthy of prosecution and compassionate treatment. 

Together, UNAFRAID’s collage of voices aims to lift the stigma that traps victims in silence – and to remind its audience that social change is indeed possible. Essential viewing for Criminal Justice, Law and Women’s Studies Classrooms.


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Crearán tribunales especializados para tratar violencia contra la mujer

Las instancias serán específicamente para tratar temas concernientes a la mujer y equidad de género.

En junio de 2016 comenzarán a funcionar los nuevos tribunales especializados contra la violencia sobre la mujer y equidad de género, luego de que este lunes la comisión de legislación de la Asamblea Legislativa aprobara un dictamen favorable para esta moción que introdujo el mes pasado la Corte Suprema de Justicia (CSJ). 

Serán tres las nuevas instancias que se crearán, una en la zona central que también mirará los casos de la zona paracentral del país, un segundo tribunal estará en la zona occidental y el tercero en la oriental. 

Estas nuevas instancias judiciales verán todos los delitos concernientes a violaciones en contra de las mujeres, es decir los que contempla la Ley de Igualdad, Equidad y Erradicación de la Discriminación en contra de las Mujeres y la Ley Especial Integral para una Vida Libre de Violencia contra las Mujeres. 

“Se necesitan mecanismos importantes para defender a nuestras mujeres no solo de un proceso sistemático de discriminación, sino ahora también de violencia física e integral y ahora hasta con la vida de las mujeres”, dijo el diputado de ARENA, René Portillo Cuadra. 



*** El Salvador Deemed Too Dangerous For Peace Corps, But Not For Deportees

*** The Numbers Of Mothers And Kids Picked Up At The Border Are Rising Again, Many of them are fleeing the ongoing violence in Central America.



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Lo aseguró Fernanda Gil Lozano, Diputada Nacional para el Parlasur por el Frente UNA, en referencia al informe “Desaparición en Democracia (diagnóstico sobre la búsqueda de personas de 1990 a 2013)” realizado y difundido hace pocas horas por la Procuraduría de Trata y Explotación de Personas (Protex), y la asociación civil Acciones Coordinadas Contra la Trata (ACCT).

El trabajo refleja que en Argentina hay un total de 3231 niñas, adolescentes y mujeres adultas desaparecidas y que el grupo etario que concentra mayor número de desapariciones es el de 12 a 18 años, con una tendencia aún más marcada en el caso de mujeres adolescentes. La mayoría de los casos se deben a hechos de violencia de género, de trata de personas y de problemáticas intrafamiliares.
Florencia Penacchi, María Cash, Marita Verón, Sofía Herrera y Érica Soriano han sido casos resonantes pero los datos muestran que hay 3226 mujeres más en la mismas condiciones.
Al respecto, la histórica defensora de los derechos de la mujer expresó que “en nuestro país, aún en democracia, sigue desapareciendo gente muy fácilmente” y agregó que “con el aumento de las redes de trata de personas son muchísimas las mujeres que desaparecen diariamente”.
En cuanto a los malos resultados de las búsquedas, reclamó que “falta un sistema de datos unificado que permita dar con ellas, de manera rápida y eficaz”.
Por su parte, la flamante parlamentaria regional afirmó que “la fuga de los hermanos Lanatta y de Víctor Schillaci toma repercusión mediática por los tintes cinematográficos del escape y por la notoriedad de la causa del triple crimen y sus supuestas vinculaciones políticas” pero agregó que “no debe llamar la atención lo difícil que es recapturarlos porque en Argentina es una constante que la gente desaparezca como si se la hubiera tragado la tierra”.


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To understand the source of the Bundy's self-righteous anger, it's helpful to examine their religious views, which are rooted in a maverick strain of fundamentalism found throughout rural Oregon, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. I became intimately familiar with this worldview when I was conducting research for the book Under the Banner of Heaven.

My book tells the true story of two brothers, Dan and Ron Lafferty, who killed their sister-in-law and her infant daughter 32 years ago. Dan was sentenced to life in prison. Ron was sentenced to death. Dan claims they murdered this smart, compassionate woman and her baby because God commanded them to do so.


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Bangladeshi lawyer Sara Hossain

In Bangladesh, women whose actions fall foul of religious conventions have long been subject to punishment by fatwa. Sara Hossain hopes her trailblazing work can tip the balance back in favour of the secular legal system

by Lipika Pelham

Hena Akhter was 14 when she was whipped to death for allegedly having an affair with a married man. There was uproar in local and international media at the time of her death in 2011, followed by a fervent call to outlaw so-called fatwa violence in Bangladesh.

The high court ruled that Hena’s body should be exhumed to determine the extent of the violence to which the young girl was subjected. A second post-mortem examination found that she died of septicaemia due to severe internal injuries. The court ordered an investigation, which led to several arrests, including that of the Muslim cleric who issued the fatwa.

That outcome was only made possible by the pioneering work of Sara Hossain, a prominent barrister in the supreme court of Bangladesh. Her campaign to challenge punishments handed out by village shalish courts under fatwas – religious orders inspired by sharia law – has led to groundbreaking rulings based on secular rather than Muslim values.


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This special collection includes a carefully selected set of articles, fact sheets, guides, laws, regulations, reports and surveys related to this important intersection of domestic violence and employment. It is offered as an additional tool to assist advocates working on and interested supporting survivors of domestic violence in the employment arena, and to assist those interested in employment issues related to ending violence against women. In addition to resources on domestic violence and the workplace, included in this collection are key resources related to employment issues affecting all women in the workforce. Direct links to the documents are provided from this page. Contact the NRCDV with your comments and content suggestions.


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Federal and state laws intended to protect religious freedom are increasingly being used by social conservatives to impede access to reproductive health services like abortion and contraceptive care. A new analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review makes the case that more clarity and protections are needed to balance competing interests and prevent potential abuse of these laws…CONTINUES

As of the end of 2015, 21 states have enacted their own versions of the RFRA


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Entrevista a la Lic. Gretchen Kunher, Directora del Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración, A.C.


Somos información y vinculación, y tenemos el objetivo de crear conciencia e informar sobre diversos factores vinculantes a la trata de personas, así como ser un espacio de análisis ciudadano de acciones y políticas públicas que favorezcan, impulsen y/o promuevan la prevención de violencia de género y trata de personas.

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The masculine imperative of demanding respect

One imperative of masculinity is that you may not allow another person to show you disrespect. As I have demonstrated in my research, police officers sometimes punish disrespect because they believe “a challenge to their respect is a challenge to their manhood.” For many police officers, disrespect requires an escalation in force.


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Integrantes de la Red de Artistas Únete, que convocó a participar en el Flash mob Acción por la No violencia de Género, en el Día Internacional para la Eliminación de la Violencia contra las Mujeres, en La Habana, Cuba. Crédito: Jorge Luis Baños_IPS.

LA HABANA, 29 dic 2015 (IPS) - Activistas e investigadoras dedicadas al estudio de la violencia de género en Cuba consideran cada vez más necesaria una ley integral que proteja a las víctimas y prevenga el flagelo, ignorado públicamente hasta hace pocos años en este país caribeño.

La legislación es necesaria “porque aun cuando el ideal de nuestra sociedad se basa en la justicia y la equidad, persisten desde lo social expresiones de violencia contra las mujeres que se invisibilizan y contribuyen a la impunidad del maltratador”, explicó a IPS la psicóloga Valia Solís.


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Members of the Red de Artistas Únete artists network, which organised a “no to gender violence” flash mob on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Havana, Cuba. Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

HAVANA, Dec 31 2015 (IPS) - Activists and researchers dedicated to the study of gender violence in Cuba insist on the need for a comprehensive law to protect the victims and prevent the problem, which was publicly ignored until only a few years ago in this socialist Caribbean island nation.

Legislation is necessary “because even when the ideal in our society is justice and equality, there are social expressions of violence against women that have been kept invisible, which contributes to the impunity enjoyed by the abusers,” psychologist Valia Solís told IPS.


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It is an early start for 42-year-old Magdalena Urbano Blas. Every weekday morning, her alarm clock goes off at four o'clock.

She prepares lunch for her two children, 10-year-old Diego and Viviana who is about to turn 15. She kisses them goodbye and her father walks her to the bus stop.

Her journey to work as a house-keeper involves three buses and takes two hours from her home in the south of Mexico City.

Magdalena works eight hours a day, cleaning a wealthy family's apartment and looking after a toddler.

After work, she makes the long journey back in the evening, only to start all over again before dawn the next day.


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Film Synopsis:

Zara, a successful African doctor living in Wales is determined to stay away from her childhood memories and this now threatens her commitment to marry Alex, a gentleman she truly loves. Her mother, a missionary to Africa, has been unable to get Zara to go with her for her yearly medical aid trips to Africa. When her mother falls ill and unable to make a crucial trip and Zara discovers there is a strong possibility her long lost daughter might still be alive in Africa, she steered in a new direction to face and conquer her darkest fears. Her trip to Africa becomes inevitable.

Back in Africa, thirteen- year old Halima’s poor parents make her marry Sani, an old 60 year old man. With no idea of sex or its intricacies, she goes through a dreadful ordeal as her new husband repeatedly rapes her. Pregnant and after the delivery of her child, young Halima suffers a condition known as Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF). A health nightmare suffered by over 800,000 other women just like her, she is ostracize and abandoned by her husband, family and community. It is a period of rejection, isolation and despair for Halima. This story is full of intrigues, suspense, unbelievable surprises and the joy of reconciliation and the power of the human spirit that is guaranteed to put a smile on people’s face.


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On a cold, rainy night in Tokyo -- Japanese schoolgirls line the streets.

Shivering in short skirts they pass out fliers for "JK" or "joshi-kosei," cafes in which adult males pay for the company of girls as young as 16.

    "Most are in their 30s, 40s and 50s," says 18-year-old Honoka.

    The girls, all dressed in their actual high school uniforms, earn about $8 dollars an hour to socialize and serve food and drink to men often more than twice their age.




    Japan bans possession of child abuse images but law excludes anime

    South Korea, Japan Reach Deal On Women Forced Into Sexual Slavery

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    Lejos de contenerse, la problemática mantiene a la capital como un punto de origen, tránsito y destino de la trata de personas

    Lejos de contenerse, la problemática de la prostitución en la Ciudad de México crece a otras zonas distintas a las tradicionalmente conocidas y mantiene a la capital como un punto de origen, tránsito y destino de la trata de personas.

    Se calcula que en la capital del país hay 250 mil mujeres y niñas en situación de prostitución, cifra superior por ejemplo a las 145 mil personas que usarán al día la Línea 6 del Metrobús o igual a la tercera parte de las que se mueven en la Red de Transporte de Pasajeros (RTP).

    Del total de mujeres que ejercen esta actividad, el 88% no son originarias de la Ciudad de México; nueve de cada 10 empezaron a ser prostituidas desde los 12 años y el 99% son explotadas por redes de proxenetas y padrotes.

    Un diagnóstico elaborado por la Coalición Regional contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe indica que las mujeres son traídas a la Ciudad de México de estados como Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla, Guerrero, Tabasco, Quintana Roo y Veracruz.

    El estudio, presentado en 2012, también refiere que son traídas de países del centro y sur de América como Chile, Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador y Argentina, aunque también de Europa del Este y Asia como Rumania, Bulgaria, Rusia y China.


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    Families are best to address radicalization before it escalates into violence

    Edit Schlaffer and Ulrich Kropiunigg feature the research on concerned Mothers and the implementation of the Mothers School against extremism model in the Marhall Center publication per Concordiam.


    » Download


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