Womens Justice Center

News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias


Eliza Samudio was one of the 4,465 women killed in 2010 in Brazil. In October 2009, the 25-year-old had gone to police to report that her former partner had hit her, threatened to kill her if she did not have an abortion—which is illegal in Brazil—and forced her to take abortive substances.

A test of her urine from the time confirmed the presence of abortive chemicals. The problem is that it took police more than eight months after she filed the complaint to test it. By that time, Samudio was dead.

The police had requested a protective order for Samudio when she reported the incident, but it was denied by a judge from a domestic violence court. The judge contended that the law governing protective orders did not apply, because Samudio did not maintain “a stable affective relationship” with her aggressor, with whom she had only one sexual encounter.

The abortive substances, meanwhile, failed to work, and after delivering the baby in February 2010, Samudio filed a paternity lawsuit. In June, relatives and associates of her former partner kidnapped her. One of them strangled her, dismembered her, and fed parts of her body to dogs, according to testimony during a 2013 trial that resulted in the conviction of the former partner—and a sentence of more than 22 years in prison—for ordering the crime.

As gruesome as it was, Samudio’s murder might have gone unnoticed in a country where partners, former partners, or relatives kill more than 2,000 women each year. But in Samudio’s case, the man involved is Bruno Fernandes de Souza, at the time the goalkeeper and captain of Flamengo, one of the richest clubs in Brazil and the one with the largest fan base.


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Guatemala, 15 mar. 17. AmecoPress/SEMlac.- Comida agusanada, cuartos de castigo, panes con heces, violaciones sexuales y hasta abortos a golpes… todo formaba parte del diario vivir de las niñas y niños guatemaltecos en el hogar Virgen de la Asunción. Allí el maltrato culminó en una tragedia que llevó a la muerte a 38 menores de edad.

Sus cuerpos consumidos por las llamas, tras haber sufrido el encierro en un cuarto con llave, como castigo por intentar fugarse de ese infierno en el que vivían desde que salía hasta que se ponía el sol.


"Hogar Solidario" o también "Hogar Seguro", ninguno de los nombres que tenía, según el gobierno de turno, rima con lo que allí vivían alrededor de 500 niños y niñas de cero a 17 años, tras cerrarse el portón donde ingresaban por orden del juez para ser abrigados y protegidos con amor.

En su lugar recibieron maltratos, amenazas, humillaciones y muerte, según Leonel Dubón, del Refugio por la niñez.

También fueron provistos de indiferencia, la que se hizo más visible cuando los desgarradores gritos suplicaban que abrieran la puerta, al avivarse las llamas dentro de la habitación, y monitores, psicólogas y autoridades del hogar hicieron oídos sordos, tal como lo narraron las niñas que estaban en otra habitación.

Se asfixiaron con el monóxido de carbono hasta perder la conciencia, describe el médico forense del Instituto de Ciencias Forenses INACIF, Sergio Rodas. Incluso, vecinos aledaños al hogar dijeron ver el humo que salía por las ventanas, que fueron quebradas ante la desesperación de las niñas.

Es de 14, 15 y 16 años la edad de las pequeñas que, en diferentes ocasiones, habían denunciado ante los medios de comunicación, trabajadoras sociales de la Secretaría de Bienestar Social (SBS) -el ente que tiene bajo su cargo el Hogar Virgen de la Asunción- y el Ministerio Público (MP) que eran obligadas a tener relaciones sexuales con algunos monitores y que muchas veces les tiraban semen en la cara.


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Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence is an open access, peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal dedicated to publishing original articles on topics related to dignity, sexual exploitation, and violence.



Current Issue: Volume 2, Issue 1 (2017)


 PDF Women, Migration, and Prostitution in Europe: Not a Sex Work Story
Anna Zobnina 

PDF Denial of Harm: Sex Trafficking, Backpage, and Free Speech Absolutism
Jody Raphael

Review Article

 PDF Tradition and Culture in Africa: Practices that Facilitate Trafficking of Women and Children
Norah Hashim Msuya

Research and Scholarly Article

 PDF Head in the Game: A One-Act Play
Carolyn Gage

Frontline Reports 

PDF Doing Sustainable Trauma Research
Michael Salter

 PDF Prostitution Survivors: Backlash in Australia
Melinda Tankard Reist

Book Reviews 

PDF Wait Until I'm Dead! A Novel of Family Secrets by Elda Dawber
Cordelia Anderson 

PDF The Evil of Banality: On the Life and Death Importance of Thinking by Elizabeth Minnich
Kathleen Barry


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One creepy picture speaks volumes.One bro in a suit wants to remind the world that misogyny is alive and well.

Days after an investment management firm installed the “Fearless Girl” statue in front of The Charging Bull in downtown New York, one man decided it was time to hump the statue.

The lewd act was photographed by Alexis Kaloyanides and posted to social media, where it went viral. According to the picture’s caption, the man thrusted his hips in front of the statue as his friends watched.

“Almost as if out of central casting, some Wall Street finance broseph appeared and started humping the statue while his gross date rape-y friends laughed and cheered him on,” Kaloyanides wrote on Friday.

“He pretended to have sex with the image of a little girl,” she continued. “Douchebags like this are why we need feminism.”

Almost as if out of central casting, some Wall Street finance broseph appeared and started humping the statue while his gross date rape-y friends laughed and cheered him on. He pretended to have sex with the image of a little girl. Douchebags like this are why we need feminism.

The “Fearless Girl” is an act of political art by investment management firm State Street. The image of her staring down the bronze bull, a masculine and powerful symbol for Wall Street, is supposed to raise awareness of the need for gender diversity.


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While gender-related violence is often associated with the home, this phenomenon has also been linked to the prevalence of criminality among youths. Various studies have established a link between a child’s experience of spousal abuse and them later becoming violent offenders, with the caveat that a multitude of factors are involved in youths developing violenttraits.

One of the suggested causes is that growing up in an environment of domestic abuse fosters a “belief that violence is an appropriate means of settling conflict,” one such study reads.

But these detrimental effects on children are not limited to physical aggression. Research from 2009 on young adolescentsfound that psychological abuse between parents or guardians contributed to the development of violence in children, more so than the type of neighborhood the youths lived in, playing violent video games and even witnessing physical abuse against their parents.

Furthermore, children who witness spousal abuse are also likely to be victims of violence themselves. And, similarly, these youths are more likely to later engage in crime and antisocial behavior.

This ”violence begets violence” theory can become dangerously cyclical, as witnessing or experiencing abuse as a child could worsen the risk of people perpetrating domestic violence themselves later in life.

Contributing to this cyclicality in Latin America is the fact that organized crime itself fuels aggression against women. Indeed, it could be said that many of the chauvinistic tendencies that lead to domestic violence also facilitate the forced participation of women in organized crime.


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Live global coverage of International Women’s Day 2017 as events take place around the world to mark the ongoing fight for equality




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Glory Edim of Well-Read Black Girl book club has some suggestions for your 2017 shelves.

Glory Edim just wanted to talk about books with her friends.

At least, that’s how her book club, Well-Read Black Girl, got started. She began posting about new books she looked forward to reading on Instagram, and decided to do an in-person discussion of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. That meeting was transformative for Edim and the other women in attendance. “Some people were crying, people just really got into what made the book emotional for them,” she told The Huffington Post in an interview.

It was an intimate gathering of 10 or so avid readers; now, two years later, the group has ballooned to over 40, not counting the growing online community Edim has garnered, or the book lovers who turned out to her recent events at the Brooklyn Museum or The Strand. In the future, Edim wants to open satellite chapters in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and anywhere else there’s interest.

But for now, she’s just excited to spotlight authors, both established and forthcoming. Below, she raves about some of her favorites. 


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Europe's top human rights court has ruled against authorities in a landmark case of domestic violence in Italy. Rome has struggled to combat violence against women, although officials say the situation is improving.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Thursday ruled that Italy failed to protect a mother and son from multiple accounts of domestic violence spanning less than two years.

Italian authorities created a "situation of impunity conducive to the recurrence of the acts of violence, which had then led to the attempted murder" of a wife and the death of her son, the court said in a press statement.

In 2012, the husband attacked his wife with a knife and ordered her to have "sexual relations with his friends." Police responded to the incident by fining the man for carrying a prohibited weapon and telling the wife to go home.

A year later, the husband again attacked his wife with a knife and stabbed his son, who attempted to breakup the quarrel. The child later died of his injuries.

Police responded to at least four accounts of domestic violence in less than 18 months involving the married couple. But the court found that Italian authorities did not provide "appropriate protection" to the woman and her child.

The court ruled that the "violence inflicted upon (them) should be considered as being grounded on sex and that it consequently amounted to a form of discrimination against women."


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La activista narra el coste de ser feminista en la región más violenta del mundo: Centroamérica

“Las mujeres en Guatemala debemos pasar de ser víctimas a agentes de cambio, porque otro país es posible”. Andrea Carrillo Samayoa (Guatemala, 1979) lleva 18 años ligada al movimiento feminista de su país y en especial a la asociación La Cuerda con el propósito firme de cambiar la realidad de su país, que cerró el 2016 con más de 950 asesinatos de mujeres a manos de sus maridos, de los cuales tan sólo un 5% han sido juzgados. “Mi madre me enseñó a vivir con la ilusión de que era posible otra vida sin temer morir cada día, sin que nadie te toque el culo por la calle, ni tengas que oír barbaridades en cada esquina”. Su madre le descubrió La Cuerda y La Cuerda, el feminismo: la herramienta con la que lucha ahora también por evitar más violencia como la que acabó con la vida de su madre hace dos años a manos de un guardia de seguridad. “Y esta lucha cansa e incluso agota pero me niego a que nadie más la sufra”.

Carrillo tenía 19 años cuando se apuntó como voluntaria en La Cuerda a cambio de que su madre le dejara irse de viaje a Cuba con sus compañeras de universidad. A esos tres primeros meses de voluntariado le han seguido toda una vida. “Descubrí otro mundo: conocí gente nueva, comencé a leer y fue todo un chispazo de luz en mi vida”.

Ahora es integrante de la producción editorial y parte de la mesa de redacción del periódico que edita cada mes la asociación y a través del cual viaje por Europa impartiendo talleres de escritura feminista “para trasmitir nuevos chispazos”. En enero visitó Bilbao y Córdoba. “En cuanto viajo, no dejo de comprobar que existe la posibilidad de vivir sin miedo, de pasear por la calle sin el temor de que te roben a punta de pistola y quiero esta realidad también para mi país”.


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The Inter-American Court of Human Rights hears the case of I.V. v. Bolivia, Photo Source: CorteIDH

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has, for the first time, addressed the all-too-common practice of sterilizing women without their informed consent. In its judgment concerning I.V. v. Bolivia, released on December 22, 2016, the court determined that forced sterilization generally violates a core set of human rights, including the right to dignity, and may also constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and violate the right to judicial protection (as it found to be the case here).  Its decision was a positive conclusion to I.V.’s 16-year fight for justice and puts in motion significant advances toward providing her with some measure of reparation and ensuring that Bolivia’s health care system recognizes and respects the human rights of women, including their right to exercise full, free, prior, and informed consent to any medical procedure. The International Human Rights Clinic at Santa Clara University and the International Justice Resource Center intervened before the Inter-American Court as amici curiae in the case with the support of 22 law professors, experts, and organizations (other amicus curiae briefs submitted in the case are also available online). We write here to outline the analysis presented in our brief and share the court’s conclusions, particularly because the judgment is only available in Spanish.

In our capacity as amici, we argued that the court should adopt a rights-based definition of forced sterilization and treat it as an autonomous complex human rights violation that affects the rights to dignity, private and family life, personal integrity and humane treatment, freedom of expression, protection of the family, and to be free from discrimination and from acts of violence against women. We argued that a framework that recognizes the indivisibility and interrelatedness of the human rights violations associated with forced sterilization better reflects its complex nature and will assist other bodies tasked with analyzing cases of forced sterilization as a human rights violation. This approach would be in line with the court’s conceptualization of other complex human rights violations that are not specifically mentioned in the American Convention on Human Rights. Such was the case of enforced disappearances, where the court’s characterization as an autonomous and complex violation was instrumental for the development of a more appropriate normative framework.



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Hay muchos motivos: las mujeres sufrimos múltiples discriminaciones, una permanente invisibilización y violencia por el hecho de ser mujeres. Por eso, para el próximo 8 de marzo, el Día de la Mujer, muchos países han convocado un paro internacional de mujeres.

Las feministas llaman a hacer un paro en las tareas de cuidados –desarrolladas fundamentalmente por mujeres, de un modo invisible - y también en el empleo productivo, a lo que se añadirán huelgas de consumo, manifestaciones, vigilias y concentraciones. La Plataforma del 7N comienza el martes a las 23.45 h con una concentración con antorchas en la Puerta del Sol de Madrid, a las 00.00 horas encendiendo velas, también convoca a llevar a cabo un paro de 12 a 12:30 en las aulas, los empleos, los cuidados y el consumo, y a participar en la manifestación que a las 19 horas partirá de Cibeles hacia Plaza de España.

En definitiva, se trata de un día de protestas en la que cada mujer puede optar por la que prefiera o considere más oportuna: paros parciales en el trabajo, huelga de consumo, no consumir en empresas con publicidad o reclamos sexistas, no ocuparse de las tareas de cuidados.

En el caso de la huelga en el puesto de trabajo, en el Estado español, el sindicato Confederación Intersindical ha convocado oficialmente para el 8 de marzo paros parciales, que ya ha registrado en el Ministerio de Empleo y ha comunicado a las patronales CEOE y Cepyme. CCOO y UGT apoyan y secundarán la jornada de lucha, pero no ven necesario hacer una convocatoria general de huelga. Ahora bien, conviene recordar que este paro internacional incluye a todas las mujeres “ocupadas y desocupadas, a las asalariadas y a las que cobran subsidios, a las cuentapropistas y a las estudiantes, porque todas somos trabajadoras”.

El “Paro Internacional de Mujeres” busca la unidad de todas las mujeres en una huelga que protesta contra la violencia machista, la brecha salarial, por el derecho al aborto y para visibilizar el trabajo de cuidados, entre otras cosas.


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Every day local and national cases of sexual violence, harassment and assault make headlines. News coverage plays a critical role in shaping perceptions of the causes and solutions to sexual violence. We need your help to spread the word about a new contest for journalists promoting coverage of sexual violence with context and credibility.

Raliance, in partnership with The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, has launched The RALLYs awards to honor the highest level of journalistic achievement in covering sexual violence. Help us to spread the word to local, national and independent journalists whose work is enhancing public understanding of sexual violence.

Responsible reporting uses statistics, stories and background to show how sexual violence impacts individuals, families and communities. It highlights the spectrum of sexual violence and range of people affected. Most importantly, it conveys the scope of the problem while also identifying solutions and challenging the notion that these acts are inevitable.

There will be four award categories highlighting everyday journalism, digital innovation, investigative series and feature stories. Four $500 cash prizes will be awarded to the top winners in each category. 

Raliance invites journalists to submit their entries by March 17, 2017 at https://www.judgify.me/rallyawards.


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In a decision that can be interpreted a historic milestone and a ‘triple high-five’ for the promotion of accountability for women’s human rights in Africa; for the recognition of violence against women as a violation of human rights, and for the emerging role of African regional courts in addressing human rights issues, on the 24th of January, 2017, the ECOWAS Court (the ECCJ or the Court) ruled that it has the competence to hear a case of domestic violence instituted against the Federal Government of Nigeria by two NGOs. I review that decision in this post.

The NGOs – the Women Advocates Research Documentation Centre (WARDC) and the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) – had jointly filed a suit in August 2015 at the Court on behalf of Nigerian citizen, Ms. Mary Sunday, an alleged victim of severe domestic violence from her fiancé (a policeman), which had taken place three years earlier in August 2012.

WARDA and IHRDA alleged that since the attack happened, the Nigerian authorities had failed to carry out an independent and impartial investigation on the allegations of severe domestic violence suffered by Ms. Sunday.  As a result of the lack of effective investigation and prosecution of the offender, they argued that the Nigerian government had violated several rights of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights; the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa, and other international human rights agreements. These rights included the right to dignity, to freedom from torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment, and the right to a remedy.

The case was filed before the Court for human rights violations pursuant to Article 3 of the Supplementary Protocol of the Court. This provision gives the Court the competence to determine matters of human rights violations of citizens of the ECOWAS Community. The Nigerian government lodged a preliminary objection based on three grounds; that the Applicants had not established a cause of action; that the Applicants had no locus standi, and that the Court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case. The Court was urged to dismiss and strike out the case for lack of merit.

In delivering the Court’s ruling, the Honourable Justice Micah Wilkins Wright, held that the case was admissible; that the Applicants had established a cause of action and also have locus standi to file the case.

Though this decision relates only to jurisdiction and admissibility by the ECOWAS Court, it is certainly noteworthy for the clear signal communicated by the Court to continue to hear cases relating to women’s human rights.


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Legal mandates rarely disrupt business objectives; they're largely viewed as an inconvenience delegated to HR

Uber has suffered a spate of bad publicity in recent days after allegations of harassment and discrimination from a former software engineer. 

In a blog post, Susan Fowler described being propositioned by her supervisor within weeks of starting her job. She complained to the human resources (HR) team. According to Fowler, the supervisor received a “warning and a stern talking-to” but no other discipline at the time because he was a strong performer and it was his “first offense.” Uber then offered her a choice: Transfer to another team or stay and risk a retaliatory performance review from the harasser.

Fowler also described a larger pattern of harassment, discrimination and retaliation. Others reported being harassed by the same manager, apparently contradicting what HR told her. Fowler’s performance review was downgraded, making her ineligible for a subsidized graduate program. When Fowler asked a director about “dwindling” representation of women in the division, he attributed it to their failure to step up and be better engineers. When Uber ordered leather jackets for engineers, they were ordered only for men. Apparently, there weren’t enough women to qualify for a bulk discount.

Fowler complained repeatedly. HR responded with escalating indifference, ultimately suggesting that Fowler herself was the problem.

After Fowler’s post went viral, Uber sought to distance itself from the incident and hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate. CEO Travis Kalanick issued a response:

“What she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in.”

Fowler’s story – which Uber neither confirmed nor denied – is not unique in the tech sector, where women remain underrepresented. Women make up only 12 percent of engineers. These women face substantial headwinds. In a survey of women in the tech sector, 84 percent reported being told they were “too aggressive” and 59 percent said they were offered fewer opportunities than male counterparts. The majority also reported receiving unwanted sexual advances. And of those that reported the harassment, 60 percent were unhappy with the company’s response.


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On a Japanese island famous for long life expectancies, elderly women are at the forefront of the continuing protest movement against U.S military installations.

OKINAWA, Japan – For an entire year, 60-year-old Kumiko Onaga slept in a tent across the street from a U.S. military base on Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost island. In the middle of the night, when trucks carrying construction material approached at the entrance gate of the base, she jumped out of her sleeping bag and tried to block the vehicles. Then, each morning, she drove home, showered and went to work as one of her town’s few women city council members.

“People know me as ‘the sleeping bag councilwoman,’” Onaga says with a smile, adding that more people know her by her nickname than her real name.

Onaga and others on Okinawa have long opposed the relocation of the contentious Futenma Marine Corps base to the remote fishing village of Henoko on the northern part of the island. Part of the plan involves the construction of military runways in the coral-filled coastal waters next to the base.

“We were forced to accept these bases,” says Kyoko Matayoshi, 66, who lives just over a mile from the Futenma base. She and many local residents say their biggest concerns are noise, pollution and safety.


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Document URL:  PDF   Full Document Free Online
Publication Date:  January 2017
Annotation:  This study replicated and extended research findings on subtypes of child maltreatment, childhood exposure to domestic violence, subsequent forms of victimization, and stress in relation to antisocial behavior, crime, and perpetration/victimization related to intimate partner violence in adulthood; also examined were protective factors for maltreated children and predictors of self-reported crime desistence.

Findings of seven publications that were the products of this secondary data analysis provide additional evidence of the relationship between child maltreatment and adult antisocial behavior and crime. They also show instances in which this relationship is influenced by other variables, including those that pertain to the socialization of peers and partners.

Findings suggest the possibility that physical, emotional, and sexual abuse are linked differently to self-reported crime and that predictors and pathways differ at times on the basis of gender. In addition, several analyses show the risk-lowering effects of education variables (e.g., educational engagement, academic achievement, and high school graduation), suggesting the importance of incorporating perspectives on schooling and education in crime prevention and criminal justice policy. Data for this study are from the Lehigh Longitudinal Study, which is an ongoing prospective examination of children and families that began in the 1970s. The original samples consisted of 457 children. Just over 80 percent of the children, now adults, were assessed in 2008-2010 at an average of 36 years. Data on child maltreatment and related risk and protective factors were collected much earlier, beginning when participants were preschoolers (18 months to 6 years old). 21 references


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Taina Bien-Aimé

International Human Rights Group Applauds Ireland for Law Targeting Buyers of Sex
Survivors of Prostitution and Sex Trafficking Lead Groundbreaking Campaign

New York, Feb. 15, 2017 - The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) commends the Republic of Ireland for the historic passage of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill, which decriminalizes prostituted people and penalizes the purchase of sex. After years of intense efforts, the bill passed Ireland's lower house, Dáil Éireann, on Feb. 7 and was approved in the upper house, Seanad Éireann, on Feb. 14.
The new Irish law will help efforts to end demand by holding sex buyers accountable and will also ensure that prostituted individuals and survivors can access comprehensive support services. In addition, it strengthens national laws against sexual grooming, child pornography and sexual harassment in the Republic of Ireland.
Rachel Moran, founder and executive director of SPACE International (Survivors of Prostitution-Abuse Calling for Enlightenment), was a key Irish abolitionist activist who advocated for the law as part of the Turn Off the Red Light campaign, a coalition of direct service providers, survivor-led groups, women's rights organizations, labor unions, medical providers and other groups in Ireland.
"It's been six years almost to the day since I first spoke publicly in Dublin about the harm and damage of prostitution and the need for our government to do something about it," said Moran, also the author of "Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution." "With great relief, our government has formally responded to the Turn Off the Red Light campaign and voted overwhelmingly to criminalize the demand for paid sexual access to human beings. Ireland is now a hostile territory for pimps and traffickers, and a place where men can no longer legally use women's desperation to buy their way inside our bodies. This is a historic day that sends a message of hope." 
The Republic of Ireland follows the example of Sweden, the first country to legally recognize prostitution as a form of violence and discrimination against women in 1999. Norway, Iceland, Canada (with exceptions), Northern Ireland and, most recently, France have also enacted demand-focused, abolitionist laws to combat the multi-billion dollar sex trade and its economic engine, sex trafficking. This legal framework is known as the Swedish or Nordic model.
In enacting the new law, the Irish government upholds its international obligations under the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol). Respectively, these international conventions call on state parties to enact national legislation and policies that address the exploitation of prostitution of others and the demand that fosters the sex trade and sex trafficking, among other human rights violations.
"Passage of the Irish law is a testament to the survivors of prostitution and sex trafficking who tell us with immense courage about the unspeakable horrors they've endured at the hands of sex buyers, traffickers and pimps," said Taina Bien-Aimé, executive director of CATW. "This victory belongs to them. Millions, mostly women and girls, continue to be exploited in the sex trade worldwide with unacceptable impunity, but today we applaud Ireland for honoring the tireless campaigners and for showcasing its vision of human rights and equality for all." 

The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) is one of the oldest non-governmental organizations working to end human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) of women and girls worldwide. CATW engages in advocacy, education and prevention programs, and services for victims of trafficking and CSE in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

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Esperanza and Teodula were sterilised without consent more than 18 years ago and are still searching for justice in rural Peru. The Quipu project is their phoneline that allows victims across the country to share their shocking testimonies. These are the unwillingly sterilised women fighting for justice in Peru.

They are just two of the 300,000 Peruvians affected by the Family Planning Program promoted by Alberto Fujimori’s government in the mid-90s in Peru, which mostly targeted impoverished, rural, indigenous people. Despite several attempts to bring those responsible to justice, the crime of the forced sterilisations remains unpunished and there are still many Peruvians that denied it ever happened.

Esperanza and Teodula, together with other affected women, activists and artists, continue the fight for justice through the Quipu project. Esperanza and her local women's organisation have decided to fight for justice and create a communication project -a specially developed phoneline connected to the internet- that allows them to share their stories in their own words and be heard around the country and the world. The testimonies collected by the Quipu project have been listened to in more than 100 countries and help them to appeal to international law in their continuing search for justice.

Meanwhile, in October 2015, Keiko Fujimori (daughter of Alberto Fujimori) held a clear lead in the upcoming presidential elections despite having been investigated for corruption several times. 

Esperanza and the Quipu team travel across Peru to the regions that were most affected by the sterilisation campaign - isolated, rural and impoverished villages in the Andes and Amazon. As they meet more people and hear their stories, the real scale of the campaign starts to be revealed.

This short film follows the intimate journeys of these two peasant women fighting for recognition and women’s rights in a male-dominated society, while inviting others to join them in the hope that their voices will no longer be silenced.

Find out more about the Quipu project and hear more testimonies on their interactive platform - https://interactive.quipu-project.com...

Commissioned by the Guardian and Bertha Foundation

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An undocumented immigrant was detained last week in El Paso, Texas, after she received a protective order due to being an alleged victim of domestic violence — and she’s one of a number of the most vulnerable people who are being rounded up as part of President Donald Trump’s nationwide crackdown.

The not-yet-named El Paso woman, who was taken on Feb. 9, may have been tipped off by the her alleged abuser, who was already in custody, according to The El Paso Times. The Times cited a criminal complaint on file with the U.S. District Court in El Paso for a person with her name, suggesting she may have immigration and domestic violence issues in her own past. Nevertheless, El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal said she was worried that using protective orders to identify and deport people could scare domestic abuse victims away from coming forward.

“Our clients come to us at the lowest point in their lives,” Bernal told The El Paso Times. “Many of them are so frightened of coming to us because of possible immigration concerns.”

Bernal is not alone in those these fears.



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We preach against child-marriage abroad. But thousands of American children are wed annually.

Michelle DeMello walked into the clerk’s office in Colorado thinking for sure someone would save her.

She was 16 and pregnant. Her Christian community in Green Mountain Falls was pressuring her family to marry her off to her 19-year-old boyfriend. She didn’t think she had the right to say no to the marriage after the mess she felt she’d made. “I could be the example of the shining whore in town, or I could be what everybody wanted me to be at that moment and save my family a lot of honor,” DeMello said. She assumed that the clerk would refuse to approve the marriage. The law wouldn’t allow a minor to marry, right?

Wrong, as DeMello, now 42, learned.

While most states set 18 as the minimum marriage age, exceptions in every state allow children younger than 18 to marry, typically with parental consent or judicial approval. How much younger? Laws in 27 states do not specify an age below which a child cannot marry.

Unchained At Last, a nonprofit I founded to help women resist or escape forced marriage in the United States, spent the past year collecting marriage license data from 2000 to 2010, the most recent year for which most states were able to provide information. We learned that in 38 states, more than 167,000 children — almost all of them girls, some as young 12 — were married during that period, mostly to men 18 or older. Twelve states and the District of Columbia were unable to provide information on how many children had married there in that decade. Based on the correlation we identified between state population and child marriage, we estimated that the total number of children wed in America between 2000 and 2010 was nearly 248,000.


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Report by current and former police and prosecutors says Trump’s executive order threatens to ‘repeat the mistake’ of policies relying only on jail and prison

David Brown, the former Dallas police chief widely praised for his response to the killing of five officers last year, is a co-writer of the report.

 David Brown, the former Dallas police chief widely praised for his response to the killing of five officers last year, is a co-writer of the report. Photograph: Tony Gutierrez/AP

Dozens of senior law enforcement officials have urged Donald Trump to abandon his draconian crackdown on crime and to instead revive efforts to reform the criminal justice system.

In a report co-written by David Brown, the former Dallas police chief widely praised for his response to the killing of five officers last year, the officials said Trump should rethink his blunt law-and-order plans.



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El próximos 8 de marzo, numerosos colectivos y movimientos de mujeres han llamado a una huelga general mundial contra la violencia machista y en defensa de nuestros derechos.

Ya el pasado 21 de enero, millones de mujeres se manifestaron en EEUU y en todo el mundo contra el Presidente Trump, contra su discurso misógino, racista y homófobo. Meses antes, cientos de miles de compañeras protagonizaron una gran movilización en Polonia contra el intento del gobierno de derechas de prohibir el derecho al aborto y millones de mujeres llenaron las calles de las principales ciudades de Latinoamérica bajo el lema ¡Nos queremos vivas, ni una menos!

Desde el Sindicato de Estudiantes hacemos un llamamiento a todo el movimiento estudiantil, a toda la juventud, para que este 8 de marzo paremos las clases de 12.00 a 13.00h y nos concentrarnos en los patios de los Institutos y en los Campus para decir: ¡Basta ya de violencia machista! ¡En defensa de los derechos de la mujer! ¡Fuera Trump y todos los gobiernos que alientan el machismo y nuestra opresión!

La crisis del capitalismo ha golpeado duramente las condiciones de vida del conjunto de la clase trabajadora, pero dentro de ella, la juventud y las mujeres nos hemos llevado la peor parte. El capitalismo nos condena a las mujeres a una vida de precariedad con peores salarios y condiciones laborales, a sufrir doblemente las consecuencias de las políticas de la derecha y los recortes, a liderar los datos de desempleo, o a que se cargue sobre nuestros hombros el trabajo que deberían cubrir los servicios sociales como el cuidado de enfermos, mayores y niños.

También nos condena a sufrir las consecuencias últimas de un sistema que nos niega la independencia económica y la igualdad: la lacra de la violencia machista. Sólo en los últimos siete años 796 mujeres han sido asesinadas en el Estado español por este motivo y cada 8 horas se produce una denuncia por violación. Estos datos son solo la parte más cruel de la opresión que las mujeres sufrimos cotidianamente por el simple hecho de serlo.


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A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea is an emotionally charged, eye-opening true story that represents the millions of unheard voices of refugees who risk everything in a desperate search for the promise of a safe future. Melissa Fleming sheds light on the most pressing humanitarian crisis of our time and paints a vivid, unforgettable portrait of the triumph of the human spirit.


"Melissa Fleming's tale of a young Syrian woman's search for peace and safety is a book written for our times. On every page, loss and hope tangle. On every page, the human toll of the worst humanitarian crisis of our time is painfully, heartbreakingly brought home. This is an emotional read, at times painful, but it is above all a poignant tribute to hope, to resilience, and to the capacity for grace and generosity that dwells deep in the human heart." ―Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and And the Mountains Echoed

"I think Melissa Fleming is one of the most important people in the world. As the world's foremost advocate for refugees, she has worked tirelessly to put a human face on the greatest crisis of our time. There is no more important calling than this. Millions have been displaced by the wars in Iraq and Syria, and their situation is desperate. Yet everyone who has worked with refugees is amazed by their resilience and spirit. There is no better way to demonstrate this spirit than with the power of a single story. Melissa has found that story. The story of Doaa is dramatic, riveting, and ultimately hopeful. A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea provides a portrait of the refugee crisis that cannot be matched by any amount of cable news coverage." ―Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York

"This poignant tale of survival and loss gives immediacy to the plight of Syrian refugees. Fleming’s skillful writing brings new vividness to Doaa Al Zamel’s dramatic story. This book amply demonstrates why Al Zamel has since become a symbol of hope for other refugees. Fleming should be congratulated for bringing [this] inspiring and illuminating story to the page." ―Publishers Weekly

About the Author

MELISSA FLEMING is chief spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She travels to war zones and refugee camps to give voice to the millions of people forcibly displaced from their homes. She is frequently quoted in international media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and NPR. She first told Doaa's story on the TED stage and her talks are featured on TED.com.


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A former school teacher from South Africa, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has served as the Head of UN Women since 2013. Prior to that, she was deputy president to Thabo Mbeki and the most senior female politician in South African history. Under the apartheid regime, Mlambo-Ngcuka led a gender-equality organization. This interview took place in Istanbul, Turkey during the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit.


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