Let the UN Special Rapporteur on VAWG Deliver her Mandate
We, the undersigned, representatives of feminist, women’s and human rights organisations from the four corners of the world, from the South and the North, are appalled by the attacks against Reem Alsalem, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and Girls – the latest of which is an open letter by AWID.
According to the UN Human Rights Council’s resolution 1994/45, the mandate of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and Girls is to seek and receive information on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences, and to respond effectively to such information. She is also tasked to work closely with all special procedures and other human rights mechanisms of the Human Rights Council and with the treaty bodies, so that they systematically integrate the human rights of women and a gender perspective into their work.
We are grateful to Ms Alsalem for fulfilling her mandate and adopting a comprehensive and universal approach to the elimination of violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences, including causes of violence against women relating to the civil, cultural, economic, political and social spheres. . . .
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Ms Alsalem is currently being subjected to the same practices she had expressed concerns about and wanted women to be protected from. In her May 22, 2023 statement, Reem Alsalem denounced “the escalation of intimidation and threats against women and girls for expressing their opinions and beliefs regarding their needs and rights based on their sex and/or sexual orientation”.
By doing so, Ms Alsalem has done exactly what the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and Girls is tasked to do by the UN Human Rights Council: she is transmitting urgent appeals and communications to States regarding alleged cases of violence against women and girls.
An attack on her is an attack on us, and it is an attempt to silence us through silencing her.
Recalling the UNHRC resolution 1994/45, we urge the United Nations to protect Reem Alsalem, and provide her all possible facilities to continue her mandate to seek, receive and communicate information on violence and intimidation against women and girls, its causes and consequences.