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Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, A/HRC/23/49/Add.5, 3 June 2013

B. Central and South-Eastern Europe and Baltics Consultation

3. Law, policy and institutional responses

18. There are specialist laws addressing domestic violence in most States. All States have some provision by which a protection order can be granted by the courts. Domestic violence is punishable as a criminal offence, although often by a lesser sentence both in law and in practice. In some instances, these laws do not cover all relationships, and thus fail to recognize non-cohabiting or same-sex relationships. In some States violence against women, unlike other forms of violence, requires a private prosecution. Many States deal specifically with human trafficking in law or policy. Penal codes in some States set out provisions for the punishment of perpetrators, for a range of forms of violence including physical and sexual violence, war crimes, and exploitation, trafficking and prostitution.

C. Pacific Islands Consultation

1. General context

37. Women in the region are largely in a fragile economic position, bearing the brunt of unemployment and increasingly without access to resources, including rights to land. Vulnerable women in the region include women with disabilities, and women who face harassment and discrimination from both public and private sources, due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. For women living in rural areas in the region, there are minimal government services such as police, courts, or health services. They are at significant risk of violence but also of impunity in the face of such violence. In many States women have limited access to the legislature or the executive authorities, making it significantly harder for them to advocate for needed reforms in laws and policies.

D. Sub-Saharan Africa Consultations

68. Women in the region mostly live in poverty, and are often economically dependent on male members of the family. Often, they face discrimination and violence in both the formal and informal economy. Particularly vulnerable groups include: heads of households, internally displaced persons, refugees, rural women, children heading households, women with disabilities, elderly women, women who are HIV positive and lesbian women. Women face difficulties in accessing education and health-care services, leading to diminished life expectancy, high maternal mortality, and high rates of HIV/AIDS infection.

Link to full text of the report: Report-SRVAW-Regional consultations-2013-eng