Time: 6:30 - 9:00pm
Venue: Arts2 Lecture Theatre, Arts2, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, E1 4NS London, United Kingdom
The Criminal Justice Centre at the School of Law, Queen Mary University of London will hold its Annual Lecture at 6.30pm on Thursday 7 May 2015.
The speaker will be Professor Rashida Manjoo, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its causes and consequences, and she will be speaking on the topic of 'Normativity without legality – 20 years of UN developments on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences'
States have an affirmative obligation to respect, protect and fulfil human rights, including fulfilling the responsibility to act with due diligence to eliminate violence against women. Elimination of violence against women is critical to women’s ability to participate in the civil, political, economic, developmental, social and cultural spheres as full and equal citizens. Unfortunately, pervasive levels of violence, and a culture of impunity, fundamentally jeopardize the realization of women’s human rights, including the right to a life free of violence.
Professor Manjoo's 2014 report to the UN Human Rights Council focuses broadly on developments in the United Nations over approximately 20 years; and highlights the normative gap in international law with regard to violence against women. The ‘soft law’ developments in the United Nations, reflects the existence of resolutions, interpretative guidelines and monitoring by human rights treaty bodies and the universal periodic review process. It is important to note that these developments do not explicitly articulate violence against women as a human rights violation in and of itself; but as a form of discrimination against women. The lack of specific legally enforceable standards impacts attempts to ensure appropriate responses and also accountability for acts of violence against women, whether by State or non-state actors. The normative gap within international law is a barrier to holding States accountable for the failure to protect against and prevent violence against women.
Rashida Manjoo holds the position of United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences, a post she was appointed to in 2009 by the UN Human Rights Council. She is a Professor in the Department of Public Law at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and the co-convener of the Human Rights Programme. Professor Manjoo has over three decades of experience in social justice and human rights work both in South Africa and abroad. Her research interests include human rights broadly with a particular focus on women’s human rights. Her UN work over the last five years has included monitoring and reporting on States’ compliance in responding to and preventing violence against women, its causes and consequences, both generally and in different country contexts. Her thematic reports to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly have included a particular focus on state responsibility to act with due diligence in the quest to eliminate violence against women. She has particularly highlighted the interaction of interpersonal, institutional and structural violence, and she advocates a holistic approach to gender-based violence that centers on the interdependence and indivisibility of human rights.
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