unhr logo22/11/2016, Geneva - Speaking ahead of the International Day on the Elimination of Violence against Women (VAW), UN Rapporteur on VAW, with key global and regional women's rights expert mechanisms, made a jointly call for intensification of international, regional and national efforts for prevention of femicides and gender based violence (GBV).

In their joint call, it is stated that VAW is rooted in inequalities and discrimination against women and its prevention and eradication must be grounded in gender equality and empowerment of women. Those mechanisms underlined that VAW, as a form of discrimination against women and a human rights violation is prohibited both by the global human rights instruments, including the Istanbul Convention.

They stressed that monitoring work at both global and regional levels has shown that: (1) Femicides or gender related killings of women, and sexual and other forms of gender based violence against women and girls are widespread and persistent human rights violations; (2) there is widespread impunity due to the lack of implementation of the global and regional instruments on women's rights and violence against women and the failure to turn these into real protection of every woman and girl; (3) There are significant gaps and shortcomings in national legislation and prevention systems often combined with tolerance of such violence, exacerbated by a lack of reliable and disaggregated data, the absence of adequate risk assessments, and concealment and underreporting of gender-related killings, rapes and other forms of gender based violence against women.

It is pointed out that all States must, as a matter of urgency and in collaboration with civil society and other stakeholders, step up their efforts to prevent and eradicate femicides, rapes and other forms of gender based violence against women and girls. All stakeholders are urged to guarantee each and every woman and girl a life free from violence by applying holistic integrated policies on prevention, protection and prosecution.

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