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Time for Action: The Way to a Binding International Treaty on Violence Against Women

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Time for Action: The Way to a Binding International Treaty on Violence Against Women

By Laura Wilson, Human Rights Attorney
March 19th, 2020

Millions of women around the world have no legal protection from gender-based violence. Global Rights for Women is part of an international movement to change that reality.

We are thrilled to announce the publication of “Time for Action: The Way to a Binding International Treaty on Violence Against Women,” our second paper in a two part series. With this paper, we call for a powerful, comprehensive agreement that will unite countries around the world to end violence against women and girls.

In many countries, no national or local laws prohibit domestic violence, rape laws are indadequate, and harmful practices such as child marriage persist unchecked. There is no binding international treaty on violence against women; and though several regional agreements have mobilized international cooperation in Latin America, Africa, and Europe, these treaties are insufficient to achieve worldwide human rights norms and standards.

In our first paper, “Time for a Change: The Need for an International Treaty on Violence Against Women,” we described the deficits of the current international legal framework in detail.

Helen Rubenstein, a lead author of the paper, said, “As thought leaders on combatting violence against women through legal reform and systems change, we have concluded that there is an urgent need for a binding international treaty. Our special expertise has allowed us to analyze the current landscape and persuasively argue for adoption of a treaty. We are pleased that other advocates have made use of our papers in efforts to build support for a treaty among policy makers.”

In “Time for Action,” we advocate for an inclusive process for the drafting of an international treaty, centered on the lived experiences of victims and /survivors around the world. We outline essential components of a treaty, including comprehensive, victim-centered state obligations and adequate international funding and support. Finally, we examine strategies for achieving an international treaty, applying lessons learned from other human rights movements.

Over 800 organizations and 1700 leaders in every continent have signed onto our partner organization Every Woman Treaty’s call for an international agreement on violence against women. Please sign this agreement and demonstrate your support for ending violence against women worldwide.

Your support for GRW allows us to contribute our leadership, expertise, and solidarity to a movement that spans the globe. Together, we can move towards a world where women and girls live free from violence.


Our Vision

Global Rights for Women is a leading voice in the global movement to end violence against women and girls. GRW builds international partnerships that advance laws, values, and practices to create communities where all women and girls live free from violence and threats of violence. In times of greater resistance to human rights from regressive forces, GRW makes an uncompromising commitment to the universal acceptance of women and girls’ human right to be free from violence.