UN Human Rights Council Takes on the Custody Crisis

The United Nations Human Rights Council is taking on the Custody Crisis!

A press release was issued last week by the office of the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women with a Call for Input from human rights organizations and other stakeholders on the topic of discrimination against women in custody cases.

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This is the first time a mechanism of the UN HRC has prioritized this issue and initiated an inquiry. It is a leap forward in our efforts to get it officially recognized as a human rights violation. The Women’s Coalition has previously submitted three petitions, which have likely contributed to them initiating this inquiry.

The Special Rapporteur, Reem Alsalem, will use the information collected for a report that will be presented next year at the Human Rights Council session in June, to the Economic and Social Council session in October, and orally to the Commission on the Status of Women.

The main purpose of the inquiry is to examine ways in which family courts ignore violence against women and children in custody cases and take their children from them. They refer to this as a “double victimization”.

The tendency to dismiss the history of domestic violence and abuse in custody cases extends to cases where mothers or children have brought forward credible allegations of child physical or sexual abuse.

Another main focus of their inquiry is the ways in which “parental alienation” and related concepts are being used consistently against women.

The stated goal of their undertaking is to shed light on this vital issue and to recommend the creation of international standards “to uphold the principles of non-discrimination and the best interests of the childin custody cases.

Source: UN Human Rights Council Takes on the Custody Crisis

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