South Africa, Africa, Advisory Member
Karen Stefiszyn

Karen Stefiszyn

“Universally accepted human rights norms have been articulated in several legally binding international instruments. They serve not least to identify violations of fundamental rights that the international community will not tolerate in a world where everyone’s dignity is recognized and respected. Where these norms have expanded over the years to include issues of great concern globally such as racism, torture, and discrimination against women to name only a few examples, significant progress has followed towards advancing protection for the enshrined rights. States have been guided by international conventions to reform laws, and implement policies and programs to fulfill their respective obligations. The inclusion of the principle of gender equality in constitutions worldwide is an example of CEDAW’s impact, for example. While humans rights continue to be violated in all countries, the development of global norms has undoubtedly contributed to a more equal and just world. In light of the notable impact of binding human rights norms, a global norm on violence against women would be an important tool amongst the numerous existing regional and international efforts to articulate the obligation of states to take measures to prevent violence against women, to protect women from violence, to prosecute acts of violence, to punish perpetrators and to provide redress. I am in favor of a global binding norm on VAW.”

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