OHCHR | 38th session of the Human Rights Council, Statement by Ms. Dubravka Šimonović, Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences

During my visit to the country (undertaken from 13 to 27 February 2017) I observed that violence against women in Australia is recognized and addressed as a pandemic by political leaders at the highest levels of Government.Through my visit to different jurisdictions, I commended the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.
However, I also noted that such efforts are limited by several factors that impede the achievement of concrete results, including the lack of federal law or harmonized national laws on prevention, protection and prosecution of violence against women . . .
[T]he Government should, as a matter of priority:

  • Amend the Constitution or other laws to enshrine the right to equality of women and men as required by article 2 of the CEDAW and the prohibition of discrimination against women, in accordance with the definition in article 1 of the Convention, in order to provide an harmonized standard for laws related to women’s rights and prevention of gender based violence against women;
  • Enact a Federal Law on combating and preventing violence against and domestic violence based on CEDAW Convention and CEDAW GR 19 and 35. The Government should also expand the definitions of family and domestic violence to cover all forms of GBVAW including sexual assault, sexual harassment, violence in residential settings and online violence and harassment.


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