Friday, 23 March 2018

Bahamas set for first visit by UN expert on violence against women

GENEVA - The United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Dubravka Šimonović, will undertake the first official visit of her mandate to the Bahamas from 11 to 15 December 2017 to assess how the country is working towards eliminating violence against women.

“This visit will provide a useful opportunity to assess the country’s commitment to combating violence against women, its causes and consequences,
and to evaluating its legal framework and policies on gender-based violence and its implementation,” Ms. Šimonović said.

“I will assess, in particular, the measures that the Government must take to bring its legislation and practices into line with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the CEDAW Committee’s new general recommendation No. 35 on gender-based violence against women as well as the Belém do Pará Convention which includes the State’s obligation to protect migrant women,” the expert said.

“Like many other places, the Bahamas is contending with strong patriarchal attitudes that may contribute to gender-based violence but it also faces specific challenges such as devastating hurricanes and a high crime rate. I will examine the steps being taken by the authorities to address these challenges and will aim to provide recommendations to ensure women’s rights and safety are in line with accepted international standards and are prioritized in policy initiatives.”

During her five-day visit, which is at the invitation of the Government, Ms. Šimonović will meet Government officials, representatives of State institutions and civil society organizations, as well as individual women, in New Providence and Grand Bahama.

The Special Rapporteur will present her preliminary observations at a press conference on 15 December at 11:00 local time at the Pan American Health Organization, 2nd Floor, Grosvenor Medical Centre, Grosvenor Close, Shirley St., Nassau, Bahamas. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

A comprehensive report containing her final findings and recommendations will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2018.

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