UN Women - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

Government commitments

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | L | M | N | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V |

A

Afghanistan commits to proper implementation of laws and accountability of State actors to end violence against women

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan commits to ensuring the laws of the country are not misapplied and only those found guilty of defined crimes are punished, and that Government actors, including police and prosecutors, are held responsible for the correct application of laws.

Albania commits to implement laws, make justice accessible for survivors and engage men and boys in prevention efforts

The Government of Albania commits to implement the criminal code, introduce further amendments and ensure sensitization and training of members of the judiciary, to address violence against women and girls. It further pledges to improve access to justice for vulnerable women, survivors of domestic violence, by eliminating unaffordable court fees and by enhancing free legal aid services. It will undertake regular awareness-raising and educational campaigns to make violence against women socially unacceptable and involve men and boys in combating violence against women and girls.

Algeria COMMITS to roll out comprehensive plan of action to end violence against women and girls

Algeria is committed to continue efforts to collect, analyse and regularly disseminate national data on the prevalence of violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences.

The national action plan rolled out to this effect will be sustained with the cooperation of all partners involved in the process of combating violence, developed since 2006, by rewarding actions at all levels, principally in prevention, where the family and school play a preeminent role.

The State encourages women and girls, by means of its competent structures and on the basis of the promulgated legal framework, to denounce abuse and resort to justice for protection and reparation. Efforts will also focus on the training of necessary support staff, and the acquisition of the elementary reflexes needed to enable the family, social and professional reintegration of victims in such a way to break the chain of excluded social system.

Finally, Algeria undertakes to strengthen the empowerment of women to better reduce the effects of economic insecurity, which often leads to discrimination and violence against women.

The relevance of the action draws its substance in  the primary socialization, in the education, in the training of skills, in the detection of know-how and its encouragement, and also in all measures that are likely to guarantee the respect of the human dignity, at all times and at all moments.

Argentina commits to improve support services, raise awareness about existing laws and gather national statistics on violence against women

The State of Argentina commits to take the following national measures to end violence against women. It will establish a national hotline for victims of domestic violence, and consolidate gender mainstreaming in public policymaking. The Government will create new “Women’s Municipal Areas", conduct workshops to train State and civil society actors on the reach of its national law on gender violence, and create a new registry for cases of violence against women. It will gather data and produce the first-ever national statistics on violence which will inform future public policies aimed at prevention and eradication of violence against women.

Australia commits to a zero tolerance approach to domestic violence and sexual abuse

The Australian Government is committed to a zero tolerance approach to domestic violence and sexual abuse, under the current National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children. Australia has released the National Implementation Plan and key initiatives include the following:

  • A public campaign, The Line, aimed at encouraging young people to develop respectful relationships, and education projects being implemented in every state and territory in school and non-school settings to prevent sexual assault and domestic violence. 
  • Community Action Grants will support local community action to reduce violence against women, and for sporting clubs to establish zero tolerance programmes in local clubs.
  • The White Ribbon Workplaces Project is promoting safe workplaces for women, and the Safe at Home, Safe at Work toolkit for workers experiencing domestic violence has been published to help people remain in work, and provide details of where to get professional help and support.
  • The government has launched the National Sexual Assault and Domestic and Family Violence Telephone and Online Counselling Service: www.1800RESPECT.org.au.
  • Through another programme, DV-alert, for health, allied health and Indigenous health workers will be trained to recognise and respond to domestic violence. A National Centre of Excellence will facilitate and coordinate research activity into domestic and family violence and sexual assault to inform policy and programmes.

Austria commits to ratify and implement the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women

Austria commits to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO) by the end of 2013 and use gender responsive budgeting practices when developing national budgets, including for justice and security sectors.

B

Belarus commits to combat trafficking in persons and domestic violence

Belarus commits to implement a new law to combat trafficking in persons and provide financial assistance to civil society organizations providing assistance to survivors of trafficking. Under the Fourth State Programme on Combating Trafficking in Persons, Illegal Migration and Related Criminal Activities, Belarus will focus on prevention of trafficking in persons, prosecution of perpetrators and implementation of measures to ensure the fundamental right of victims of trafficking to live free of violence. 

Furthermore, under the current National Plan for Gender Equality and the Law on Crime Prevention, Belarus will implement concrete measures to address and prevent domestic violence and develop a new law to counter domestic violence. During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, Belarus has launched a nationwide public awareness and educational campaign ‘A house without violence’ aimed at preventing domestic violence. The first stage of this campaign is promoting the recently launched toll-free hotline for victims of domestic violence. The Government of Belarus commits to develop a comprehensive national system of response to gender violence, which will include increased number of crisis rooms and improved medical, social and legal services for survivors and measures to combat male aggressive behaviour.

Belgium commits to align its policies to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and expand its National Action Plan

The Government of Belgium commits to take the following steps to end violence against women and girls: Belgium commits itself to ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, and to align its policy in accordance with the provisions in the Convention. Through the new National Action Plan (NAP), Belgium commits to implement more than 120 new measures to fight against various forms of violence, including intimate partner violence, forced marriages, honour-related violence and female genital mutilation. The NAP has been updated in collaboration with the different stakeholders with new measures. Belgium will stay committed to implement its action plan to end violence against women. 

Furthermore, following the General Recommendation 19 of the CEDAW Committee and the Universal Periodic Review of Belgium adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council, Belgium committed itself to extend its NAP to all forms of violence against women and girls. A working group has been created in order to prepare the integration of a section on “sexual violence” in the following long-term NAP for 2014-2018.

The fight against intimate partner violence and other forms of domestic violence requires an integrated approach. Belgium commits itself to carry on the development of strategies of coordinated and integrated intervention and to continue to support the official national bodies responsible for the coordination, implementation, follow-up and the evaluation of relevant policies. The Government commits to strengthen legal measures in order to guarantee a protective environment for women and children who are the victims of violence. Recently, two new laws have strengthened the fight against domestic violence: a law on the temporary banning of a violent partner from the home in case of domestic violence, and another law enables persons bound to professional secrecy to inform the public prosecutor when they are faced with a victim of domestic violence.

Belgium commits to carry on sensitization of the general public and specific groups such as young people. It commits to fully implement the new National Action Plan (2012-2014) to fight against human trafficking, which includes developing an integral and integrated approach to address human trafficking, legislative and regulatory aspects, prevention and protection of the victims, research and prosecution. Belgium will pay particular attention to the protection of women and girls against gender-based violence in conflict and post-conflict situations, and commits to adopt a new national action plan "Women, Peace and Security".

Bosnia and Herzegovina commits to implement the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO) and to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 1325

Bosnia and Herzegovina commits to implement the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO). In order to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, a Strategy to implement the Convention will be developed. The strategy will include the substantive issues of the Convention and define the strategic direction and specific strategic programs to address violence against women in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It will pay attention to the prohibition of discrimination as well as include legislative and other measures to prevent violence against women and domestic violence and to protect and support victims. The Strategy will provide a mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the Convention.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is also committed to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 through the Action Plan for the Implementation of UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, which focuses on increasing participation of women in decision-making position at all levels of government, increasing the number of women in military and police forces, increasing participation of women in peacekeeping operations and introducing the gender perspective in the training for peacekeeping missions. Through this Action Plan for the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325, Bosnia and Herzegovina is committed to fight human trafficking, reduce risk of mine contaminated areas and improve support and assistance networks to women and girls victims during the armed conflict.

Brazil commits to implement laws and strengthen the National Pact for Ending Violence against Women

The Government of Brazil commits to implement the Maria da Penha Law on Domestic and Family Violence, which calls for the establishment of special courts and stricter sentences for offenders, as well as shelters for women survivors. The Government further pledges to strengthen the National Pact for Ending Violence against Women, address trafficking of women and girls, and promote public campaigns and actions to end violence against women.

C

Canada takes national measures to combat human trafficking, violence against aboriginal and immigrant women, passes new laws and engages men and boys in prevention efforts

Canada commits to ending violence against women and girls. The Canadian Government is taking action to protect the most vulnerable women in Canadian society women in immigrant communities, women living in poverty, and aboriginal women and girls. Recognizing that the majority of victims of human trafficking are women and girls, the Canadian Government recently launched a comprehensive National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking to ensure the safety and security of women and girls across Canada who are being targeted for sexual exploitation by violent traffickers. Aboriginal women and girls are Canadians most at risk of violence. The Government of Canada announced a further five-year strategy aimed at enhancing the response of law enforcement and the justice system to cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.

Canada believes violence against women is an issue for all Canadians to address, and for the first time, Canada is taking an innovative approach by directly funding projects that engage men and boys to end violence against women and girls.

Recognizing that girls are our future, Canada successfully championed the International Day of the Girl through the UN, celebrating the first annual day on 11 October, 2012. The Canadian Government has made our position clear on the topic of violence committed in the name of so-called "honour" by clearly condemning the practice in our new Citizenship Guide, and being the first to provide funding specifically for immigrant women's organizations across the country to address this highly complex issue.

To ensure the safety of women and girls, Canada has passed some new laws, addressing issues such as: ending house arrest for sexual assault involving serious personal injury and aggravated sexual assault; strengthening sentences for child sexual abuses; and, toughening penalties for those who import, produce and traffic in date rape drugs. Canada has been active in the collection and analysis of evidence and data on the nature, extent and impacts of violence against women and girls, including the economic costs. Canada will continue to support a range of projects to prevent and respond to the issue.

Chile commits to update National Plan to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325

Chile makes a commitment to update its National Plan by adjusting it to the new requirements and international needs arising after the adoption of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) and to share this year its know-how, experiences and good practices by means of different training activities addressed to countries of its region, including its officers, experts and civil society organizations concerned.

Colombia commits to implement national plan to end violence against women

The Government of the Republic of Colombia expresses its commitment to “Implement a Comprehensive Plan to ensure the right to a life free of violence for Colombian women” as a strategy to end violence against women and girls in Colombia.

D

Denmark marks the International Day to End Violence against Women by making the following commitments

Denmark will place special focus on violence against young women. We will initiate a national debate on how to eliminate attitudes and behaviours that condone violence, address the root causes and risk factors and focus on preventing “dating violence” by addressing gender stereotypes and promote respectful relationships and to raise awareness between girls and boys, women and men. We have launched a new study documenting best practices and efforts that have worked in changing attitudes, norms and practices.

Some 1.4 per cent of women are victims of domestic violence in Denmark. Up to 28,000 children live in homes where domestic violence occurs, and one in ten young women under the age of 24 have been abused by a partner. Denmark commits to continue its efforts and implement targeted activities to bring down the number of victims of domestic violence. Through its new Equal Futures Partnership programme Denmark has initiated a project that will run until the end of 2013, to increase awareness of violence in the family and train civil servants and front line staff in municipalities to detect signs of violence and address them.

Denmark is committed to ensuring inclusive policies and strategies to eliminate other forms of violence against all women and girls, for example, women with disabilities, indigenous women, migrant women, adolescent girls, and honor related crimes. We will continue our efforts to implement legislative and policy measures and establish the necessary institutional mechanisms to support victims of human trafficking and ensure prosecution of traffickers.

The Dominican Republic commits to expand and strengthen programmes to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls

The Dominican Republic commits to take concrete actions to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of all its national plans, projects and programmes targeting violence against women and girls. Announcing the country’s support for the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, the President signed a Declaration of Commitment of Institutions that integrates the National Commission on the Prevention and Struggle against Domestic Violence (CONAPLUVI).

The Dominican Republic commits to reform criminal prosecutions and prevention policies so as to ensure greater access to justice for women, and sets a concrete deadline of December 2013 for the establishment of a more efficient criminal complaints system to address violence against women and girls. The Dominican Republic further commits to strengthen its public health policies and plans, expand and improve prevention programmes as well as gender and human rights education in all institutions of the State.

The Ministry of Women has launched a new national campaign “You can: Unite Now to End Violence against Women” to raise awareness and publicize a 24-hour hotline established for women at risk of domestic violence. The Government of Dominican Republic has also launched the new “Men promise: fewer every day until we reach zero” public awareness campaign for men, with the end goal of halving the country’s rate of Femicide.

E

The European Union commits to take action to end violence against women within the 27 EU member states and through foreign policy and development cooperation

The European Union is committed to prioritize ending violence against women. To support the COMMIT initiative and national policies that combat violence against women, the Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS), working with the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, will take a number of specific initiatives. 

To accelerate progress towards the elimination of female genital mutilation (FGM), the Commission and the EEAS will hold a public consultation to help shape the internal and external aspects of EU policy in this field. In 2013 the Commission will also conduct and support awareness raising activities at EU and national levels. It will support transnational projects to combat violence against women at grass-root level and continue to support these activities through the future rights equality and citizenship programme covering 2014-202.

A proposal for a 'European Protection Order ', aimed at protecting crime victims is planned. When adopted, it will complement recent criminal and civil justice legislative measures on human trafficking, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children, and on the strengthening of the rights, support and protection of victims of crime. 

The Commission's strategy for equality between women and men, 2010-2015, presented comprehensive actions for the promotion of gender equality and women's empowerment, including the promotion of women's employment, policies to reconcile work and private life, to address the gender pay gap, and to promote gender balance in decision-making. The EU commits to taking these actions further in 2013.

The EU will promote the prevention of early and enforced marriages affecting children in an international campaign in 2013-2014. Campaigns will be launched on women's political participation and sexual violence and rape in armed conflict, in addition to combating FGM. Furthermore, by 2015, 80 per cent of EU delegations will introduce specific measures on the role of external assistance and development cooperation in their local strategies for the implementation of the EU guidelines on violence against women and girls and combating all forms of discrimination against them. 

F

Fiji commits to implement national policy on ending violence against women, improve police response and care services for survivors

Fiji is committed to continue its efforts to address gender based violence through the implementation of the National Women’s Plan of Action 2010 – 2019, which has the ‘Elimination of Violence against Women’ as one of its five thematic areas of concern. The Ministry for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation will revive an Inter-Agency Taskforce on Elimination of Violence against Women and Children. This Interagency Task Force will implement two key outputs targeted for this year: a national policy on Ending Violence against Women and a national Service Protocol for a coordinated, multi-sectoral response to violence against women and children. 

The Fiji Police Force commits to providing a 24-hour turn-around time on serious cases of violence against women and children. To improve its response services to survivors of violence, the percentage of female police officers will be increased from 5 to 20 per cent, with increased female police in frontline service positions. The Police Force will monitor crimes against women and children and share this information on a quarterly basis with the Ministry. Gender will be mainstreamed into all areas of the police force, including recruitment, training, promotion and decision making processes.

The health sector will expand service availability to Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinics. Fiji will prioritize building capacity for front line health care workers to respond to violence against women and children holistically with medical management, referrals, counseling and appropriate treatment. Medical Officers will be on call so that services are provided 24/7. 

Under the Child Welfare Decree 2010, Fiji makes a new commitment that all health personnel and teachers are mandated to report any case of suspected violence against children presented to them in health clinics or detected in schools. Fiji will strengthen its commitment towards supporting the Safety and Protection Cluster in National Disasters and ensuring that issues relating to gender based violence during emergencies are prioritized and addressed in a coordinated manner.

Finland commits to improve women's access to justice

Finland commits to improve women's access to justice by ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (CAHVIO) by 2013, and by implementing the Cross-Sectoral Action Plan to Reduce Violence against Women by 2015. Finland further commits to reform the Legislation on Sexual Offences by 2015 to ensure the realization of the right to sexual self-determination.

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia commits to prevent domestic violence through new National Strategy

The Government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is committed to continue its efforts to address domestic violence via the effective implementation of the National Strategy for Prevention and Protection against Domestic Violence, 2012-2015. As part of this Strategy, the Government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will establish a multi-sectoral national coordinating body, which will assume a leading role in the implementation of the policies for protection against domestic violence. This multi-sectoral coordinating body will be comprised of representatives from the line ministries, members of the Assembly of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and representatives of the civil sector, the National NGO Network working against violence perpetrated on women and domestic violence , as well as other relevant stakeholders involved in the process.

In the year 2013, the efforts of the Government will focus on enhancing the legal and institutional framework for countering all types of domestic violence by strengthening the rule of law, with a particular emphasis on strengthening the capacities of the judges and public prosecutors for identifying and working on cases of domestic violence. The Government will continue to enhance the quality and access to services for providing support to domestic violence survivors by strengthening the capacities of service providers and expanding the scope of the care services. Working towards this end, the Government will continue to conduct activities for prevention of domestic violence among parents and children in order to break the cycle of violence, and to provide support to the victims who have directly or indirectly witnessed violence.

France commits to ratify and implement the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and passes new law

France commits to ratify, at the earliest possible opportunity, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. It has passed a new sexual harassment law and conducted an information campaign targeting harassment in the workplace. On 30 November 2012, France will also launch a national anti-violence strategy, which includes a public awareness campaign, education to ensure that young people learn the principles of respect and equality from an early age, and a professional training programme. A dedicated national body will be created to monitor the progress of the gender-based violence response programme.

G

Georgia commits to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, improve access to justice and services

The Government of Georgia joins UN Women’s COMMIT To End Violence against Women Initiative and commits to further improve women’s access to justice by signing and ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) at the earliest possible opportunity. 

Georgia intends to maintain and strengthen its efforts to prevent and combat domestic violence by carrying out national awareness–raising campaigns to stop domestic violence, promptly responding to reports on violence coming through specially established hotlines, providing victims with shelter facilities, and ensuring the safety of whistleblowers, among other measures.

Georgia will actively continue implementing the National Action Plan regarding the 1325 and other relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council on “Women, Peace and Security”, which inter alia, envisages increase of women participation in the security sector decision-making and their further empowerment in this regard.

Germany commits to ratify and implement the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women

Germany commits to ratify and implement the Council of Europe Convention to Prevent and Combat Violence against Women and Domestic Violence by taking the following steps: improve data collection on gender based violence in 2012; establish a national hotline number to report violence against women by 2013; develop a national monitoring concept to assess the results of all policy measures to protect women from violence by 2014; eliminate unequal pay between men and women; and develop a National Action Plan to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 by the end of 2012.

Greece commits to ratify and implement the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women

Greece commits to ratify and implement the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO). Furthermore, Greece intends to take the following measures to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls: creation of nine counselling centres at the regional and 27 at the local level aiming at providing psychosocial and legal support, as well as upgrading of the existing infrastructure; awareness raising campaigns and dissemination of information materials in various languages; continuing training of social counsellors; creation of 21 shelters for abused women and their children; mainstreaming of gender-responsive policies in government action.

Guatemala commits to develop multisectoral strategies and local action plans to address violence against women and girls

The Government of Guatemala commits to make substantive efforts aimed at preventing and providing care in cases of violence against women, adolescents and children. The recently created Cabinet for Women headed by the Vice President of the country coordinates inter-institutional efforts for the development of Guatemalan women, including action plans to prevent violence against women and girls. The strategy comprises: the implementation of a protocol for the identification, care and referral of cases of violence against girls in the national education system; a process to file complaints and referral of pregnant girls under 14 years of age to provide comprehensive care for them and their children, sexual violence protocols to be implemented in national hospitals, including the creation of committees to report cases; and protocols to assist victims of trafficking.

The Government further pledges to expand access to comprehensive care for women, adolescents and children through a quality oversight system, and will continue to provide financial support to institutions that collaborate with the State in providing services for women, girls and children who are survivors of violence. The Government of Guatemala is committed to training staff working in basic services, to strengthen specialized criminal investigation and justice administration in femicide and other forms of violence against women to reduce impunity; and to define a system to collect, analyze and disseminate information at the national level. The Government will continue to support ongoing communication and awareness campaigns and workshops to facilitate behavioural change, and to promote gender equality in Guatemala.

H

Honduras commits to prevent and prosecute violence against indigenous and Afro-descendant women, train law enforcement and improve services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence

As part of the Public Policy for the Gender Equity and Equality of Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Peoples, the Secretariat of Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Peoples, SEDINAFROH, undertakes to include and develop within this policy the thematic axis of Preventing and Challenging Violence against Women, with the goal of punishing and eradicating all forms of violence against women of the Lenca, Garifuna, Miskitu, Pech, Tawaka, Maya-Chorti, Isleño, Tolupan and Nahua peoples. This thematic policy will be developed in line with the Honduras Gender Equality and Equity Plan - Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of the Rights of Women, Girls and Adolescents to Peace and a Life Free from Violence. It will also draw upon the National Plan against Violence towards Women, 2012-2022 and has been developed in a participative manner, respecting the specific nature of the realities and cultures of the women of the nine ancestral peoples of Honduras.

The Government of the Republic of Honduras, via the National Institute for Women, and under the UNiTE to End Violence against Women framework, further commits to enhance economic independence of women by providing legal texts that integrate women into economic life and equality of opportunity. It will also support the creation of systematic women’s shelters in Honduras, taking account of the 16 Steps Policy framework to end violence against women.

Through the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Special Directorate for Women, Honduras commits to pay holistic attention to survivors of domestic and sexual violence, so that they are not re-victimized in the criminal process, and to provide legal, social, psychological and forensic medical services, along with referral to health centres for immediate care and attention. Honduras also commits to the development of coordination networks with government institutions and non-governmental organizations to respond to the problem of violence against women in order to provide them with the assistance needed throughout the criminal process and the physical and psychological recovery of the victims of domestic and/or sexual violence. It will promote the training of law enforcement officers to better serve survivors of domestic and sexual violence and to use the protocols established, such as the technical guide for standard attention to victims, the manual and use of the Gesell Dome system, and the protocol for the application of the Domestic Violence Act.

It will also promote the use of the Gesell Dome system by law enforcement officers for obtaining the statements of the victims of sexual abuse without delay and ensure the prosecution of all forms of violence against women and, in particular, domestic violence and sexual violence.

Hungary commits to criminalize domestic violence, prioritizes prevention efforts

Hungary will include domestic violence as an independent factual situation under criminal law from 2013. The proposal for the legislative text is currently being prepared by a governmental working group involving civil experts, law enforcement officials, as well as representatives of jurisdiction, the police, and the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights.

The Hungarian Government considers prevention as a priority. In 2013 a working group will be set up in order to develop instruments of conflict management and awareness raising, paying distinctive attention to the areas of public education, social sector, police and jurisdiction. In accordance with the aims determined by the working group, the Ministry of Human Resources is planning a targeted social purpose campaign in 2013.

As a pilot project, the Ministry of Human Resources has recently introduced a new prevention program to prevent victimization with the involvement of a highly experienced NGO. The project will run from 15 December 2012 to 30 September 2013 and focuses on awareness-raising workshops and the education of secondary school students in order to reduce the possibility of victimization. Besides broadening young people’s knowledge with a focus on domestic violence and child abuse, the aim of the programme is to shape young people’s attitude, to enable them how to recognize an abuser’s behaviour notes and sources of danger of victimization in time. Within the framework of the pilot project, the development of a methodology package will be carried out, laying the foundations to realize a nation-wide prevention programme in the future.

I

Italy has ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence and is committed to implementing it

Italy is committed to implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on “Women and Peace and Security” through a National Action Plan, which will be reviewed in 2013 to assess its progress.

Italy is also committed to supporting the UN Trust Fund on Violence against Women on projects in the MENA and Sub-Sahara region.

Finally, Italy commits to advancing the global campaign to end female genital mutilation/cutting by supporting the UNICEF/UNFPA Joint Program on FGM/C and by raising awareness on the practice in national and international fora

J

Jamaica commits to ratify the Optional Protocol to CEDAW and implement national plan to end gender-based violence

The Government of Jamaica has joined UN Women’s COMMIT initiative and pledged to sign and ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Furthermore, as a matter of priority, the government has committed to implement the National Strategic Plan to End Gender-Based Violence.

Japan commits to take concrete actions along with a national plan to end and prevent violence against women and girls

Japan commits to take concrete actions along with the Third Basic Plan for Gender Equality which incorporates policy measures to end and prevent violence against women and girls. The Plan places its priority on the "elimination of all forms of violence against women" and recommends related Ministries to implement concrete policy measures.

As well as awareness raising and educational campaign, Japan has implemented concrete measures which include the following in line with the plan: the establishment of a help desk service for survivors of sexual crimes and access to female police officers in such cases; the establishment of Juvenile and Women Aegis Teams in police headquarters nationwide working exclusively to identify persons showing signs of possible sexual abuse such as accosting and stalking, and to mitigate such cases; provision of funds for required urgent contraception to survivors of sexual crimes as well as construction of police and obstetrician-gynecologists network; prevention of second offense by interviewing, if the need arises, those who have served time for violent sex crimes to children and were released from prison; implementation of an automated voice response service to direct survivors of domestic violence to announce the closest consultation service or Spousal Violence Counseling and Support Center; and human rights counseling services provided by the Human Rights Organs of the Ministry of Justice, including the establishment of a "Women's Rights Hotline''.

Japan also contributes to international cooperation in tackling various challenges including violence, through both bilateral and multilateral schemes which aim at promoting protection and empowerment of vulnerable women and girls, based on human security.

Jordan COMMITS to end violence against women and girls

The Government of Jordan has joined UN Women’s COMMIT initiative and announced that it will develop and adopt a national strategy to combat violence against women and girls. Specific measures under the strategy will include legislative reforms to improve legal and judicial responses to violence against women in Jordan, in line with international standards; strengthened coordination efforts between key stakeholders and expansion of services for survivors of violence; as well as increased data collection on violence against women.

L

Liberia commits to implement domestic violence legislation, National Action Plan, and improve access to justice

The Government of Liberia commits to adopt domestic violence legislation and ensure its implementation by relevant state authorities to address and prevent domestic violence. The Government will further ensure that funds are allocated in the national budget for the implementation of the National Action Plan on Sexual and Gender-based Violence. It pledges to upscale effort with the Liberia Justice System to improve women and girls' access to justice and to end impunity towards violence against women and girls.

M

Malawi commits to adopt and implement comprehensive gender-based violence action plan

Malawi makes a pledge under UN Women's advocacy initiative "COMMIT", which calls on leaders worldwide to make concrete national commitments to end violence against women and girls.

Announced during a 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence event, the Government of Malawi pledged strong leadership role in adopting and implementing a comprehensive Gender-Based Violence Action Plan and greater coordination and inclusion of all sectors and stakeholders, including minorities and vulnerable groups.

Launched by UN Women in November of 2012, COMMIT is an advocacy initiative calling on leaders worldwide to fulfill their promise and take a stand by making new and concrete national commitments to end violence against women and girls. These range from passing or improving laws, ratifying international conventions, launching public awareness campaigns, providing safe houses or free hotline services and free legal aid to survivors, supporting education programmes that address gender stereotypes and violence, as well as increasing women in law enforcement, peacekeeping forces and frontline services.

Mauritius commits to implement National Action Plan

The Government of Mauritius has committed to the implementation of their National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence (2012-2015). The plan’s implementation is being overseen by the National Platform to End Gender-Based Violence, a multi-sector group that includes ministries across government, the police force and legal system representatives, as well as several key civil society organizations.

After consultation, the Ministry of Gender Equality is now working to implement the plan in a coordinated manner. This includes an effort to review, adopt, and enforce laws and policies to ensure that rights are recognized and protected, the introduction of sexual harassment policies in workplaces and schools, as well as training of judicial and law enforcement personnel. Importantly, the plan includes direct services to meet the needs of survivors of gender-based violence, including a 24-hour hotline, and improved access to shelters and counseling services. The plan also has a heavy emphasis on community education and mobilization, targeting all segments of society, including men and boys, to change social norms that may perpetuate gender-based violence.

Mexico commits to launch campaigns, strengthen investigation of crimes of violence against women, and provide comprehensive services

The Government of Mexico commits to review and consolidate the comprehensive programme for the prevention, punishment and elimination of violence against women, while giving a voice to civil society and different sectors. Specifically, the Government pledges to: launch permanent campaigns, by means of billboards, travelling expositions, plaques, posters, leaflets and other means of communication; Action Protocols for the Investigation of Crimes Against Women; set up Justice Centres for Women, as a space where different government bodies are represented with the aim of providing comprehensive services (social, educational, health, labour, legal, psychological, immigration, among others) to women in situations of violence; and to guarantee allocation of budget with a gender perspective, so as to ensure a life free of violence for women.

Mongolia COMMITS to prosecute domestic violence and provide services for survivors
Mongolia announced a national commitment to consider domestic violence as a crime and hold perpetrators appropriately accountable. The President of Mongolia further committed to work with policymakers to create a new legal system that would provide services and safeguards for domestic violence survivors.

Morocco commits to raise awareness, enhance women’s economic empowerment, and access to basic services

The Government of the Kingdom of Morocco is committed to raising public awareness in order to eradicate violence against women and girls who are the victims of violence. It is working to facilitate access to justice and to provide appropriate support. Within this framework, on 8 March 2013, the Government is launching a comprehensive multisector initiative to make 2013 the year of social mobilization. This includes the media, and involves men and boys as actors for change in favour of equality. 

The Government is also committed to increasing women's' empowerment by guaranteeing them equal access to economic opportunities and jobs. 

Furthermore, within the framework of "ICRAM", its equality plan for 2012-2016, the Government of Morocco is committed to ensuring equal access to basic services. These include psychological, social and medical care, and legal assistance to help women to understand their rights more clearly and to take appropriate action.

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Nepal commits to implement National Plan of Action to promote gender equality and end violence against women and girls

The Government of Nepal is committed to investing in gender equality and women's empowerment to tackle the root causes of violence against women and girls. The Government will strive to provide adequate public resources to implement existing laws and policies to end violence against women, including the Foreign Employment Policy and the recently adopted National Strategy and Plan of Action Related to Gender Empowerment and Ending Gender Based Violence. The Strategy, among other measures, sets forth provisions for zero tolerance against violence, one stop crisis management center for the protection of survivors/victims, gender mainstreaming in economic and social development related programmes and greater access to justice, such as free legal aid and fast track courts. The Government believes that enhancing women's economic empowerment, by ensuring women's rights to own land and property, to inheritance, equal pay for equal work, and safe and safe and decent employment, as well as mobilizing men and boys to foster equality and take a firm stand against violence against women and girls, are central to preventing the pandemic of violence against women and girls.

The Netherlands commits to ratifying and implementing the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women

The Netherlands has signed the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence and is committed to ratifying and implementing it in the course of this year. We have set up a comprehensive approach aimed at preventing, detecting, stopping and following up on all types of violence in dependent relationships and all domestic violence. This is a multifaceted approach involving individuals, professionals, agencies and civil society organisations. One element is a national awareness-raising campaign to stop domestic violence. We have also recently introduced the ‘WE CAN Young’ campaign to promote sexual resilience and healthy sexual behaviour among young people in 15 municipalities, based on the international ‘WE CAN end all violence against women’ campaign. This campaign encourages young ‘change makers’ to bring about changes in attitudes to gender inequality and stereotypes.

The Netherlands is also committed to taking effective action to stop human trafficking. Forced prostitution is one of the worst forms of violence against women. The Dutch government has sent a bill to parliament that would increase the maximum sentence for human trafficking from 8 to 12 years (sentences for cases involving aggravating circumstances would be increased accordingly). Parliament is expected to approve the bill in the near future.

Internationally, we are committed to implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325 through our second National Action Plan, which focuses on enhancing the role of women as powerful agents for peace and security in the MENA region and six other countries (Afghanistan, Burundi, Colombia, Sudan, South Sudan and the DRC). Another example of our commitment is the Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW) programme, a four-year grant scheme launched in 2012 to provide support for non-governmental organisations worldwide that focus on women’s rights and countering violence against women. Also, the Netherlands draws attention to violence against women through a biennial resolution in the UN General Assembly on this issue.

New Zealand commits to a comprehensive approach towards ending violence against women and girls

New Zealand commits to a comprehensive approach towards ending violence against women and girls, with interventions for prevention and both protection of and support for victims, and accountability of offenders. The New Zealand Government has set clear targets to reduce the violent crime rate by 20 per cent and to reduce the re-offending rate by 25 per cent by 2017. It has announced the introduction of a new restraining order for offenders. This order will reduce the likelihood of victims of serious violent or sexual crimes having unwanted contact with their attackers once they have been released from prison and the period for release and parole conditions has ended.

New Zealand continues to improve its legislative framework by expanding the legal definition of domestic violence to include economic abuse. Implemented in late 2012, the New Zealand Police Victim Focus initiative will improve the overall quality of service that Police provide to victims, especially those at highest risk of victimization. New Zealand is proud of the diversity of its population and has established E Tu Whānau Ora Programme of Action, a framework for addressing issues of violence for Māori. Nga Vaka o Kaiga Tapu – A Pacific Conceptual Framework to address family violence in New Zealand will be used to guide the development of family violence training for Pacific practitioners.

The Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families is a multi-sectoral taskforce focusing on primary prevention. Government Ministers have assumed a shared leadership role for addressing violence against women and girls through the Family Violence Ministerial Group. This provides a high level of oversight of work to address family violence and ensures there are linkages between the Taskforce work and other strategic priorities. The "It’s Not OK" campaign aims to reduce family violence in New Zealand through changing attitudes and behaviour that tolerate any kind of family violence. The Ministry of Health’s Violence Intervention Programme aims to reduce and prevent the health impacts of violence through early identification, assessment and referral, and works in inter-sectoral partnerships to train health professionals in partner abuse intervention.

Internationally, New Zealand continues to take on a leadership role in the Pacific through the Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme, which is building the capacity of Pacific Police services, including the development and maintenance of partnerships between police and other organizations, to prevent and respond effectively to domestic violence.

Nicaragua joins the UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign and commits to improve laws, policies and access to justice

Nicaragua has joined the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women and commits to take a series of political, legislative and administrative actions to eradicate violence against women and girls. Specifically, Nicaragua shares the objectives of the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign and commits to the approval and implementation of Act 779, Integrated Act against Violence against Women and  to reform Act 641, the “Penal Code”. In particular, by implementing the public policy of State against violence against women; by guaranteeing prompt and effective access to justice; by creating the observatory of violence pursuant to the provisions of Act 779 and by improving the statistical information system on violence against women; by broadening the coverage of specialised justice with new courts specialising in violence and recruiting auxiliary staff to carry out judicial activities; and by improving capacity for the investigation and punishment of crimes.

The State of Nicaragua further commits to the creation and operation of the National Inter-Institutional Commission for the Struggle against Violence, which will design and implement relevant policy. It will make increases in budget for health and education, improving women’s economic and social rights and contributing to gender equality. The institutions of Education, Health and Family working for the protection and restoration of the rights of children and adolescents, will promote new models of bringing up children whereby the practices of punishment and humiliation are replaced by values of respect, love and protection from any form of discrimination and exploitation, in line with the best interests of the girl or boy. The Executive, Legislative and Judicial powers of Nicaragua commits to generate greater public and social awareness to prevent, respond to and punish violence against women.  

Nigeria commits to protect the rights and dignity of women through campaigns, policies and programmes

The Federal Government of Nigeria commits to strengthening laws and implementing strategic actions aimed at ending domestic violence. In this regard, the Government will broaden its campaign to sensitize the Nigerian public through family-oriented policies and programmes inter alia, aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls. The Federal Government shall criminalize such acts as a deterrent measure as well. It shall moreover, broaden the implementation of National Gender Policy and the Child Policy and Plan of Action. 

Norway commits to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, conduct nationwide survey, and develop a strategy against violence and sexual abuse towards children and youth

Norway signed the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence on 7 July 2011. The signature of the Convention was an important signal from the Norwegian government that this work will be given high priority. Norway is now in process of ratifying the Convention, and commits to do so as soon as possible. 

The Convention will be an important platform for the further work of the Norwegian government to combat violence against women and domestic violence in years to come. It is also one of the most important sources of inspiration when we on 8 March this year launch a white paper on domestic violence. Here challenges regarding domestic violence will be identified and addressed. Norway commits to meet these challenges in a new Plan of action to combat domestic violence which will be launched in June 2013.

There is a need for more knowledge about the extent of domestic violence in Norway and especially about spousal homicide cases. Norway commits to conduct a nationwide survey on violence against women starting during the spring 2013 and to take initiative to conduct research about spousal homicide cases. 

It is also time to rethink protective measures in a way which shifts the burden from the victim to the offender. As a tool to improve the situation for victims of violence by limiting the action of the offender Norway is now in the process of implementing the use of electronic monitoring or tracking devices of persons who have violated a ban on contact or visits. Norway commits to direct further efforts at measures that take the burden off the victim and place it on the offender.

The Norwegian Government is committed to ensure that public services safeguard the rights of different groups in society. Forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM/C) are forms of violence against women and girls which must be given the same attention as other forms of violence. The Government commit to continue the work to combat forced marriage and FGM/C. In February 2013 a new Action plan was launched, which, in addition to measures on the topics mentioned, includes measures to combat serious limitations on young people’s freedom to make decisions concerning their own lives and futures.

Norway will also address the issue of protection of children who are subjected to or witness domestic violence. The Norwegian Government commits to develop a strategy against violence and sexual abuse towards children and youth with the aim to prevent violence and sexual abuse and protect children and youth under 18 years that is or have been exposed. 

The Government has proposed amendments in the Children Act, in order to give children better protection against violence and sexual abuse. These were recently subject to a public hearing. The aim of the proposed amendments was inter alia to improve the court’s proceedings in parental disputes concerning parental responsibility. In such cases it is necessary to ensure a thorough investigation before the court makes its decision. The proposal also includes a clarification of young children’s right to participate and be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial proceedings concerning parental responsibility, where the child shall live permanently and the child’s right of access to the parents. The Norwegian Government commits to present a draft resolution concerning the amendments in the Children Act to the Parliament during the spring of 2013.

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Palestine commits to end violence against women

The Government of Palestine commits to take necessary legal action to end violence against women and girls

The Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government announce concrete steps to end violence against women and girls

The Government of Papua New Guinea notes that all forms of violence against women and girls are a violation of their human rights. The Minister for Police in Papua New Guinea commits to support and enforce laws to bring perpetrators of violence against women and girls to justice; enhance access to justice for survivors by resourcing the sexual violence unit within the police force with referrals to legal and specialized services; and train providers of frontline services within the police force to ensure that they follow quality standards and protocols in dealing with sexual violence offences. Furthermore, the Minister for Police pledges to support the passing of the Family Protection Bill (also referred to as the Domestic Violence law) and the repealing of the 1971 Sorcery Act in Parliament and enforce the criminal code to protect women and girls from sorcery related violence and other forms of violence including abuse and torture.

Sexual violence and other forms of gender-based violence are inextricably linked to the spread of HIV and AIDS. Nearly 60% of the reported cases are women and girls, and many have reported associated sexual violence and abuse against them. As part of the national response to the HIV epidemic, the National AIDS Council Secretariat (NACS) in PNG in partnership with UN Women has undertaken the initiative to mainstream gender equality and promote human rights of women and girls and sexual minorities in the coordination, management and monitoring of programs with implementing partners. The Minister responsible for Health and HIV/AIDS pledges to continue to support NACS, its partners and stakeholders to ensure gender equality and respect for human rights are mainstreamed and productively pursued in all aspects of their work.

In addition, the Autonomous Bougainville Government in PNG commits to advance women’s rights and end violence against women and girls through new legislation and policies that promote the implementation of CEDAW and a Bougainville Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. The Action Plan will be a shared platform to better understand gender and development challenges including concerns in post-conflict Bougainville with an aim to: raising awareness on key women, peace and security issues, providing space for discussion and exchange of information; strengthening understanding of and commitment to gender equality in  Bougainville; and provide a mechanism for key stakeholders  come together and identify priorities and strategies to address issues and concerns relating to women and girls.

Peru commits to extend specialized services to end violence against women

The Government of Peru commits to strengthen existing policies and actions for the eradication of all forms of violence against women and girls. Furthermore, the Government announces that it will extend the coverage of specialized services to address and prevent domestic violence against women to 80 per cent of the provinces of Peru in 2013 and to 100 per cent of provinces by 2016.

Poland commits to ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence
Poland commits to ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO) by harmonizing Polish law with the requirements of the Convention in all aspects regarding prevention and combating of violence against women and domestic violence, mainly focusing on education, appropriate data collection and victim support. In particular, Poland commits to changing the criminal code so that all rape cases are persecuted ex officio and criminal proceedings are no longer wholly dependent on the victim's complaint.

Portugal commits to increase protection and support to survivors of violence and reinforce public awareness and social mobilization

Portugal commits to increase, by all means, the protection and support of victims of violence against women through the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence. Portugal commits to continue its efforts to implement the IV National Plan Against Domestic Violence, which promotes measures concerning the prevention, protection of victims and qualification of professionals, involving all relevant stakeholders; as well as implement the II Program for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation and the II National Plan Against Trafficking in Human Beings.

Portugal further commits to reinforce public awareness and social mobilization and continue to raise public awareness on elimination of violence against women through annual campaigns. In 2012, Portugal improved the means of protection of victims by extending the tele-assistance system, increasing the use of means of electronic surveillance of the aggressors and intensifying the training of judges, prosecutors and security forces. It also established new provisions for victims when they leave the shelters and certainly need additional support. The shelters technical teams have now a financial fund to support women victims of violence, in addition to other social supports provided by law. Portugal commits to reinforce measures in order to guarantee a protective environment for women who are victims of domestic violence.

To help the women that cannot return to their home, the Government signed a protocol with the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities establishing a network of solidary municipalities to improve access to housing. Recognizing that the access to employment and training is critical to empower survivors, Portugal has created an employment support system. Focal points have been established for survivors in the employment and vocational training centers. Portugal commits to continue to take all necessary steps in protecting and empowering women survivors of violence. Portugal’s “National Domestic Violence Journeys” allowed a debate and constituted an intense time of reflection on the causes behind violence in the family context. It involved security, justice, health, education, social security and employment sectors. Portugal is launching a study on the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation and increasing its work with communities where FGM is practiced. In order to do that, it is strengthening relationship with migrant associations and creating new possibilities for financial support to their activities in the community.

Portugal has adopted a national action plan for the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 that aims, in particular, to increase the participation of Portuguese women in peacekeeping missions and to ensure the training of those involved in peace-building processes, both on gender equality and gender violence.

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Qatar commits to reduce domestic violence, adhere to international protocols and strengthen services

The State of Qatar commits to implement international protocols on combating violence against women and human trafficking, align national legislation to adhere to CEDAW and other international conventions, and take specific measures to combat domestic violence.  In addition to the effort made to increase public awareness about women's rights and their protection from violence, the Qatar National Vision 2030 includes under its umbrella a host of future activities aimed to develop a sound social structure based on effective State institutions and active civil society organizations and, under the intermediate output of the relevant national strategy, to reduce domestic violence and establish a system for the protection of survivors.

The Family Cohesion and Empowerment of Women Strategy includes implementation of the following measures: adoption of legislation criminalizing domestic violence through a penal code and a penal sanctions system; development and adoption of legal mechanism for the protection of informants and survivors on violence cases; adoption of a follow-up mechanism in coordination with the police to protect victims and creation of centers/units for providing protection services; consolidation and revision of data on violence and incorporating the definition of violence against women; launching a programme on gender-based violence and setting up an official reporting and monitoring mechanism; launching an outreach campaign on domestic violence; creating special units, a hotline service and a family-friendly police system; building appropriate safe houses for victims of violence and continue to support programmes to rehabilitate and reintegrate violence survivors into the society.

The Government of Qatar has also established a Committee in the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in December 2012 to review and develop relevant legislation on domestic violence. The Comprehensive Strategy for the Family has identified future programmes and projects to include review of legislations that govern unauthorized marriages and establish a mechanism to facilitate, by authorization from a judge, marriage of women forbidden from doing so by their parents. The 2011-2014 Strategic Plan of the National Human Rights Committee addresses also the implementation of many activities related to increasing awareness about human rights of various groups, including: marking of international human rights occasions by organizing special events; development of publications and outreach materials targeting select groups on managing and protecting rights; launching of three public information campaigns about the most vulnerable groups to violation, including women; organizing trainings on CEDAW and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; conducting a national survey to identify human rights needs of state bodies and civil society organizations; organizing training sessions to build  capacity of human rights and public freedoms organizations; and identifying a mechanism to monitor conditions of the most vulnerable groups to violations.

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The Republic of Korea Commits to strengthen prosecution of violence against women, improve protection for survivors and implement education programmes

The Republic of Korea commits to take the following actions in its effort to prevent and combat violence against women and children. Under the laws to prevent sexual violence and protect victims of sexual assaults, the Government of the Republic of Korea will continue to conduct research on gender-based violence and incorporate the findings into developing national action plans to prevent violence against women and protect the victims. In 2013, the Republic of Korea will implement education programmes in public organizations to prevent sexual violence, enforce education programmes for prevention of sexual harassment and prostitution, as well as implement human rights education for children. It further commits to make constant efforts for the prevention of sexual crimes by toughening punishment of such crimes, expanding rehabilitation programmes, and by enabling police officers to arrest an offender of domestic violence without a warrant. The Republic of Korea commits to continuously promote policies for the protection of victims through provision of medical and legal services and by extending the period of stay in shelters for survivors.

Romania commits to develop strategies on family protection and policies to combat and prevent domestic violence

The Romanian Government joins UN Women’s "COMMIT to end violence against women and girls" initiative by developing strategies on family protection and policies on combating and preventing domestic violence. Romania recently adopted a law on preventing and combating violence, introducing amendments to the existing law and introducing protection order for survivors of domestic violence. The implementation of 2013-2017 National Strategy on Preventing and Combating Domestic Violence aims at developing social services specializing in preventing and combating domestic violence as well as at ensuring their quality through a non-discriminatory approach, particularly sensitive to cultural, age and gender differences. By the measures set out in the Operational Plan for the implementation of the 2013-2017 National Strategy to Prevent and Combat Domestic Violence, Romania aims to reduce family violence, to alleviate the victim's sense of insecurity, to reduce the risk of recurrence and to facilitate the social reintegration of persons who have committed crimes of domestic violence. The Strategy will also promote cross-sectoral cooperation, including partnerships with civil society and the private sector. A permanent working sub-group on domestic violence has been set up in the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly in order to strengthen the institutional capacity of central public administration authorities to manage domestic violence correlated with violence against children.  Furthermore, Romania has contributed towards the development of the European Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence and the current National Strategy to Prevent and Combat Domestic Violence expressly provides for necessary steps towards the signature and ratification of the Convention.

The Russian Federation commits to combat domestic violence through national crisis network, training workshops and helpline for survivors

Combating violence against women is a key focus for the Russian Federation. Russian law envisages sanctions, including criminal sanctions, for different forms of violence, including indecent assault, murder, battery, torture, physical and psychological abuse, slander and humiliating or degrading treatment.

Appropriate investigations are carried out into every reported violation of the rights and legitimate interests of women. Comprehensive measures are being taken to prevent and forestall violence. These include public information campaigns and social rehabilitation work. Through social services, Russia is focusing on the prevention of domestic abuse and the provision of services to survivors. Specialist support in crisis situations is provided by crisis centres for women and for men, women-only crisis centres which are structural units of family and children’s social services institutions, and refuges for women and dependent minors. They offer psychological, legal, medical, teaching and welfare services to various categories of women who have suffered violence and to men and boys who have suffered violence. Non-government organizations play an active part in providing social services to women affected by domestic violence.

Among the most recent measures, as part of the plan to implement the recommendations of the Committee to Eliminate Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), a working group has been set up to draw up a draft federal law, “On the prevention of domestic violence”. A session of its coordinating council in May 2012 examined conceptual approaches and confirmed the composition of the working group. A National Crisis Centre Network has been established, embracing state and civic crisis centres, set up by women’s organizations; a Russia-wide helpline for domestic abuse survivors has been launched; a course of training workshops and optional classes has been held for students at the Moscow police colleges and for police commissioners at the Russian Institute of Advanced Training for Interior Ministry Personnel; and recommendations on preventing domestic violence have been drafted for law-enforcement agency staff to be disseminated among local police officers.

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Senegal commits to implement national programme to eliminate violence against women and girls, strengthen legal interventions and judicial, health, advocacy and psychosocial support

Senegal is committed to implement a national programme to eliminate violence against women and girls and to strengthen the legal interventions, judicial, health and advocacy and psychosocial support.

The Government will continue its efforts to ensure better protection of women's rights by insisting on the application of relevant laws and regulations, strengthening its legislation to fight harder against discrimination, trafficking of women and girls by promoting public actions to end violence against women and girls.

Thus, a national coordination framework of the action plan against violence based on gender will be implemented during the year 2013 that meet all state actors (ministries, local authorities) and non-state actors (non-governmental organizations, civil society,  private sector, civil unions).

In 2012, the Government conducted through the Ministry of Justice a session of capacity building of the judiciary, security officers and leaders of the houses of justice. Also, the Ministry of Women, Children and Women's Entrepreneurship launched the 116 hotline dedicated to women.

These activities have identified good practices that justify the need to sustain the action against violence against women and girls. To this end, the Government shows its commitment to move to a higher level by allocating adequate resources to achieve its goal of zero tolerance.

Serbia commits to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence and adopt Ministerial Protocol

The Government of the Republic of Serbia commits that as part of its ongoing efforts towards combating violence against women, it will ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence by the end of 2013. The Ministry of the Labour, Employment and Social Policy further commits, in line with the existing National Strategy for Prevention and Elimination of Violence against Women in the Family and in Intimate Partner Relationship (2011-2016) will adopt Ministerial Protocol Against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence.

The Government of the Slovak Republic commits to take concrete measures to prevent domestic and gender-based violence

The Government of the Slovak Republic, through the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, will take concrete steps to support and expand the existing counseling services and shelters for women experiencing violence in intimate relations and develop a legislative framework and standards for VAW services in line with the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. It will establish a national coordination mechanism to address domestic and gender-based violence in a systematic manner. The Government will support a national 24/7 free hotline service for victims of domestic violence, in line with a coordinated approach of the EU member states. Slovakia also commits to adopt a new National Action Plan for the Elimination and Prevention of Violence against Women that takes into account responsibilities of the state parties as specified in the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

Spain commits to strengthening protocols for improved coordinated responses to gender-based violence and engaging private sector enterprises in prevention

The Government of Spain commits to strengthening protocols for improved coordinated responses to gender-based violence by putting in place appropriate models of communication and referrals for hospitals and other medical institutions with police and other security forces, all organs of the justice system, including prosecutors. This commitment will be guided by the recently updated and strengthened Protocol on Gender Violence Coordinated Action. This Protocol also seeks to provide adequate responses to the specific needs of marginalized women and those who suffer multiple forms of discrimination including migrant women, women with disabilities, women in rural areas, older women, women living with HIV and others who face social exclusion. In addition, the Protocol includes provisions for other forms of violence beyond intimate partner and domestic violence, including trafficking and female genital mutilation. 

Awareness raising and partnerships with private sector enterprises are also core elements of Spain’s commitment to ending violence against women and girls. A corporate social responsibility initiative, the “Enterprises for a society free of gender-based violence”, was launched in 2012 managing to mobilize over 34 major Spanish business groups. By joining this Initiative, the enterprises committed to raising awareness among staff and putting in place specific measures to facilitate employment mobility and flexibility for survivors of gender based violence.

Sweden commits to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence and take concrete steps to protect vulnerable women and raise awareness

Sweden commits to ratify and implement the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO) and intensify efforts to prevent and combat men's violence against women through national action plans to combat men’s violence against women, violence in same-sex relationships, prostitution and human trafficking for sexual purposes and forced marriages. The Government will focus on women and girls who are most at  risk, including in ethnic minority or immigrant groups and communities with strong social norms related to concepts of “honour”. Other major parts of the strategy include education and awareness-raising initiatives and development of working methods to enhance knowledge and research on the issue.

Some specific measures include setting up regional joint action groups in this area in all of Sweden’s counties and special funds to support the development of local joint action in the municipalities concerning violence against women.  In 2012 the Government appointed a national Domestic Violence Coordinator to bring together and support the relevant authorities, municipalities, county councils and organisations to increase the effectiveness, quality and sustainability of the work against violence in close relationships. The Government is taking measures to prevent and combat sexual violence, for example, through the development of a unit at the Centre for Andrology and Sexual Medicine (CASM) that receives people who commit, or are at risk of committing, sexual violence. The National Police Board is conducting an information campaign on intimate partner violence and honour crimes and National Centre for Knowledge on Men's Violence Against Women (Uppsala University) has been tasked with developing a national telephone support line, Kvinnofridslinjen, to assure the quality of the support it provides and to reach out to more women who are subjected to threats, violence and/or sexual abuse.

A number of legislative changes have also been implemented recently, including a new act that broadens the system of investigations regarding children who have died as a result of crime to include cases in which women or men have died as a result of a crime committed by a close relative. New rules have been enforced to strengthen restraining orders to protect people subjected to violence, threats, harassment and stalking. A new crime has been introduced, unlawful persecution, to reinforce penal sanctions against harassment and stalking. In order to better implement the ban on early and forced marriages and child marriages, as well as on honour-related violence and oppression, the Government has appointed a special coordinator. The Government has also set up an inquiry to identify and analyse the occurrence and extent of violence, threats and violations that may affect foreign women who have been granted a residence permit on the grounds of an association with a man residing in Sweden.

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The Government of Tajikistan commits to end violence against women and girls

The National Committee on Family and Women under the Government of Tajikistan as the lead responsible agency for coordination and implementation of gender equality policy in the country has committed to continue its efforts for prevention of violence against women and girls via effective implementation of the National Strategy on Activation of the Women’s Role for the Years 2011-2020. As part of the activities within the implementation of the National Strategy, the Committee on Women and Family Affairs will continue to enhance the quality and access to state services for domestic violence survivors by strengthening the capacities of the state service providers and by conducting activities aimed at prevention of violence against women and girls. The Committee will ensure the implementation of the recently adopted Law on Domestic Violence. More specifically, it will focus on enhancing the legal and institutional framework to combat violence against women, strengthening the capacities of crisis centers to work with cases of violence against women and improving data collection on violence against women. The Committee will ensure the participation of women and girls in all levels of the decision-making process and create the conditions and opportunities to ensure women’s employment in all sectors.

Thailand commits to develop national strategy, amend laws, and review school curricula to prevent and end violence against women

Thailand commits to taking the following actions to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against women and girls: Develop national strategy on the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, with multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary approaches; Review, revise, and amend laws pertaining to violence against women and girls; take urgent measures, including capacity building of related officials, to adopt and accelerate the implementation of comprehensive legal frameworks to ensure effective protection and access to justice with gender sensitivity for survivors; Carry out community mobilization by means of increasing the potential of a mechanism in communities to be a comprehensive and systematic centre for protection, assistance, recovery of survivors, and surveillance of violence against women and girls; and Review school curricula and educational programmes and instructional materials, to integrate gender issues and human rights in formal, informal and nonformal education at all levels, in order to transform values related to gender stereotypes, beliefs, behaviours, and attitudes that condone violence against women and girls, and to promote specialized training of teachers and educational personnel to foster a culture of gender equality and respect for human rights, which is the foundation of a gender equal society.

Togo strengthens National Strategy to end gender-based violence

Togo commits to strengthen the National Strategy for the fight against gender based violence by emphasizing on increased level of education and knowledge of rights among women and girls, enhanced economic empowerment of women through access to land, credit, equipment and training in the agricultural sector, and by integrating gender based violence prevention in social and education policies. Under the National Strategy, Togo further commits to build the capacity of the Ministry of Women’s Promotion and civil society partners for improved services, paralegal help, and provision of gender-based violence trainings for police and judges. Furthermore, Togo commits to continue its effort to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) through legislative and advocacy initiatives. It has recently adopted a penal code to ban and criminalize gender-based violence, therefore strengthening existing FGM law and the fight against gender-based violence.

Tunisia commits to take concrete action to address gender based violence through its National Plan of Action to end violence against women

Tunisia is committed to continue its efforts and take concrete action to address gender based violence via the effective implementation of its National Plan of Action to end violence against womenAs part of this strategy, Tunisia has established a national committee in 2012 to monitor its implementation. Tunisia has also created a national network of focal points including different stakeholders to end violence against women. The Ministry of Women and Family Affairs and UNFPA have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to improve the implementation of the National Plan of Action.

During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, national and local campaigns have been undertaken to prevent domestic and gender violence and raise public awareness.

The Government of Tunisia further pledges to end violence against women by the dissemination of information materials, the effective use of free hotline services and by strengthening and increasing access to comprehensive care for domestic violence survivors. The Ministry of Women and Family Affairs is currently drafting a set of guidelines related to the establishment of centres and shelters for violence survivors. As a pilot project, co-sponsored by UN Women, Tunisia has created a shelter for gender-based violence survivors in December 2012.

The Tunisian Center for Research, Studies, Documentation, and Information on Women (CREDIF), which operates under the Ministry of Women and Family Affairs, now offers training to prevent and end violence against women in the public space.

Further commitments include a study related to the law on sexual harassment currently conducted by the Ministry of Justice. Drafting an integral law against gender based violence is also part of the gender responsive national agenda.

Turkey introduces law to protect women against violence

As the first country to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (CAHVIO), Turkey commits to continue its efforts to integrate the Convention into national legislation and translating it into the other areas of practice. Furthermore, Turkey commits to open a women’s shelter in each province in 2013, establish 14 pilot Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centers, monitor and evaluate the National Action Plan on Combating Violence against Women and replicate the national research on domestic violence. In addition to launching national awareness raising campaigns on the issue, Turkey will expand gender equality trainings for civil servants and law enforcement, as well as for media and students, among other measures.

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The United Kingdom commits to improve protection and response to survivors of domestic violence, criminalize forced marriage and end Female Genital Mutilation

The United Kingdom commits to continue its efforts to end all forms of violence against women and girls. In England, through the “Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls” strategy, the Government has committed around GBP £40 million as stable funding for specialist services; piloted new ways of protecting victims of domestic violence; and launched national prevention campaigns to tackle rape and relationship abuse and is planning to criminalize forced marriage.

The UK has also published an updated action plan on 8 March and has vowed to do more to support the most under-represented and vulnerable women and girls – those associated with gangs, or those at risk of forced marriage or female genital mutilation. It has committed to an end-to-end approach to tacking sexual violence and sexual exploitation. It recognizes the need to learn and embed the lessons from recent investigations into historic child abuse, ensure all parts of the criminal justice system support survivors and give them greater confidence that they will be believed when they come forward to report such appalling abuse.

The Government has further supported the devolution of power to local decision-makers, who are best-placed to commission and provide services to victims; and have highlighted innovation and new approaches – in particular preventative approaches that break the cycle of violence and stop violence against women and girls. 

In relation to its devolved administrations, the Welsh Government has in place a six-year integrated strategy ‘Right to be Safe’ for tackling violence against women and domestic abuse. Voluntary organizations and Community Safety Partnerships who provide domestic abuse support services across Wales received over £4 million in 2012-13 to deliver and support this Strategy. The Welsh Government has also recently consulted on ground-breaking legislation for ending violence against women, domestic abuse, and sexual violence in Wales. The white paper proposals are intended to improve leadership and accountability, improve education and awareness and strengthen services in Wales. 

Northern Ireland has a joint action plan to progress their inter-agency domestic and sexual violence strategies. A Routine Enquiry has been introduced into all maternity units aimed at identifying domestic violence. Also, a scheme allowing victims of domestic violence to access legal aid quickly has been introduced, allowing victims to apply for a non-molestation order and obtain the protection they need. 

In Scotland, £34.5 million has been committed to tackle violence against women between 2012 and 2015, with plans to publish a new strategy in 2013, focusing on prevention and early intervention. Among this programme of work, guidelines for minimum standards for forensic examinations following a sexual offence are being developed, along with funding training for domestic abuse advocates and testing a risk assessment approach to safe contact for children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse.

Furthermore, this year, the UK will also be using its presidency of the G8 to promote the Foreign Secretary's initiative on preventing sexual violence in conflict. It is working in 21 countries to directly address violence against women and has invested in building the evidence base of what works to ensure that its efforts are targeted and provide value for money. The UK has set out clear ambition to end female genital mutilation within one generation.

The USA commits to take concrete measures to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls

The United States of America intends to take the following steps to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls: begin work to reduce domestic violence homicides in up to 12 communities within the United States in 2013 with the goal of evaluating interventions and identifying best practices that can be replicated in other communities across the country; begin development of a U.S. national sexual assault forensic medical examination telemedicine center in 2013 to improve quality evidence collection following a sexual assault and improve health care for survivors; assess family court structures and processes in domestic violence cases to identify best practices that can be replicated in jurisdictions across the country; work with local police agencies to develop model performance measures, internal guidelines, and quality assurance mechanisms that police agencies can use to improve the overall response to sexual assault crimes and implement the new definition of rape in the Uniform Crime Report; and to continue implementation of the United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and the United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally.

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Viet Nam commits to take national measures to end domestic violence and strengthen interventions

Viet Nam commits to take the following actions:

(1) Develop and operate one national coordination mechanism to response to domestic violence which allows multisectoral coordination and partnership among relevant sectors from central to grassroots level. This coordination will be led by Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism as state leading agency on the implementation of the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control with participation of line ministries such as Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, and social organizations, civil society and development partners;

(2) Develop a monitoring and evaluation framework to monitor National Programme of Action on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control. This monitoring and evaluation framework is crucial to unify the implementation approach, indicators for monitoring and evaluation, and a reporting template system related to the state management function in domestic violence prevention and control at all levels and in all ministries responsible for the implementation of the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control. The framework helps monitor the progress and implementation quality as well as to provide an evidence base to adjust interventions, policy development and programming; and

(3) Develop and pilot a minimum package of prevention, care, treatment, protection and support interventions of domestic violence. The minimum intervention package will be developed and piloted at two selected provinces in Viet Nam though one coordination mechanism led by Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism. And the minimum intervention package will be analyzed regarding the cost and evaluated to recommend policy options for nation-wide application after 2016.