A practical guide aimed at ending violence against women in parts of Asia has been praised by experts.
Launched to mark the International Day for Ending Violence Against Women, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s 'Judicial Resource Book on Violence Against Women in Asia’ publication was produced in partnership with UN Women and will support judges across India, Pakistan, Cambodia and Thailand.
Speaking after the event, Dame Laura Cox QC from the International Association of Women Judges, said, “This is a wonderful publication because it’s a very practical document. It’s full of information that can be readily accessed and understood by busy judges who need to understand what the international law says about violence against women and girls. As well as how best they can enforce rights for women; women who are the victims of violence.
“It’s directed very much towards the tools that every judge, wherever he or she sits, will need in order to make sure that the victims of violence can have proper access to the courts and be granted remedies.”
Dame Laura added that the International Association of Women Judges, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat and judicial training institutes, will now use the resource book to educate legal officials and law enforcement agencies. This will support them in their efforts to address violence against women and girls, both in Asia and across the Commonwealth.
The 170-page book is designed to be used as a practical contribution towards promoting justice and fairness in the judicial process for women who have been victims of violence.
It builds on the regional consultation that the Commonwealth co-organised with the UN Women’s Asia-Pacific office in Bangkok in 2014 and 2016.
Dr Niaz Shah, law lecturer at the University of Hull, said, “The aim of this resource book is to sensitise judges and enable them and other stakeholders to make decisions when dealing with victims of violence in compliance with international human rights law and national constitutions and other laws. So the ultimate beneficiaries of this are women and girls in these countries.”
The ‘International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women’ kicks off the ‘16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence’ which lead up to ‘Human Rights Day’ on 10 December.
Launching the book Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said ending violence against women remained a priority for the Commonwealth, adding that a collaborative approach to tackling the problem would help member countries to meet their developmental aims as well as sustainable development goals more swiftly.