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Combating Sexual Violence General Principles Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Combating Sexual Violence General Principles

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Introd­uction

The Guidelines on Combating Sexual Violence and its Conseq­uences in Africa (the Guidel­ines) were adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights during its 60th Ordinary Session held in Niamey, Niger from 8 to 22 May, 2017.

The goal of these Guidelines is to guide and support Member States of the African Union in effect­ively implem­enting their commit­ments and obliga­tions to combat sexual violence and its conseq­uences. Sexual violence continues to be a worldwide scourge and the African continent is no exception. It remains widespread both in time of conflict and crisis, and in times of peace. It takes place in public, in the street and on public transp­ort­ation, but also in private, in the workplace or in intimate relati­ons­hips. It mainly affects women and girls, but men and boys are also victims

1. The non-di­scr­imi­nation principle

States must take the necessary measures to ensure that the rights of the victims of sexual violence are guaran­teed, irresp­ective of their race, colour, national origin, citize­nship, ethnicity, profes­sion, political opinions, and any other opinions, and health including HIV status, disabi­lity, age, religion, culture, marital status, socio-­eco­nomic status, status as a refugee, migrant or any other status, sexual orient­ation and identity, gender expression or any other factor that could lead to discri­min­ation against them

2. The “do no harm” principle

States must take legisl­ative measures and all other necessary measures to guarantee the well-being and security of the victims and witnesses of sexual violence, and to minimize the negative impact that actions to combat sexual violence and its conseq­uences can have on victims and witnesses. In partic­ular, States must ensure that the potent­ially negative conseq­uences for victims and witnesses, of procedures to invest­igate acts of sexual violence and efforts to prosecute perpet­rators, are reduced as much as possible

3. The due diligence principle

States must ensure that agents acting on their behalf or under their effective control refrain from committing any acts of sexual violence. States must adopt the necessary legisl­ative and regulatory measures to act with due diligence to prevent and invest­igate acts of sexual violence committed by State and non-State actors, prosecute and punish perpet­rators, and provide a remedies to victims

4. Obligation to prevent sexual violence

States must take the necessary measures to prevent all forms of sexual violence and its conseq­uences, partic­ularly by elimin­ating the root causes of that violence, including sexist and homophobic discri­min­ation, patria­rchal precon­cep­tions and stereo­types about women and girls, and/or precon­cep­tions and stereo­types based on gender identity, real or perceived sexual orient­ation, and/or certain precon­cep­tions of mascul­inity and virility, irresp­ective of their source (in accordance with the Part 2 of these Guidel­ines)
 

5. Obligation to provide protection against

Obligation to provide protection against sexual violence and its conseq­uences. States must adopt the necessary measures to guarantee that victims are protected from any new act of sexual violence and are protected from the conseq­uences of sexual violence, partic­ularly by guaran­teeing that victims have access to all types of assistance that they need (in accordance with the Part 3 of these Guidel­ines).

6. Obligation to guarantee access to justice

Obligation to guarantee access to justice and invest­igate and prosecute the perpet­rators of sexual violence.

6. 1. States must take measures to guarantee access to justice for all victims of sexual violence, including in rural areas. States must ensure that invest­iga­tions into acts of sexual violence and the prosec­ution of the perpet­rators are carried out:• without unjust­ified delays• indepe­nde­ntly, impart­ially and effect­ively• in a manner that will lead to the identi­fic­ation and sentencing of the perpet­rators.

6. 2. Invest­iga­tions and prosec­utions must consider the rights of victims throughout the procee­dings and guarantee the well-being and safety of victims and witnesses (in accordance with the Part 4 of these Guidel­ines).

6. 3. States must also adopt measures to promote compliance with regional and intern­ational standards of protection for the rights of women and girls within tradit­ional justice systems, to guarantee the rights of the victims of sexual violence and to eliminate the discri­min­ation that persists in these systems. States must raise awareness and provide training for tradit­ional author­ities and other stakeh­olders, the majority of whom are men, who are involved with tradit­ional justice mechanisms with a view to encour­aging respect for equality between women and men as well as broader repres­ent­ation for women in these systems.

6. 4. States must take measures to prohibit the use of altern­ative methods of conflict resolu­tion, such as mediation or concil­iation, in dealing with cases involving sexual violence before and during civil and criminal procee­dings, when those methods do not respect the rights of victims, especially women and girls.

7. Obligation to provide effective remedy

Obligation to provide effective remedy and reparation for the victims of sexual violence.

States must adopt legisl­ative measures and any other measures required to guarantee effective, sufficient and timeous remedies, including repara­tion, to the victims of sexual violence. Remedies must be affordable and accessible without unjust­ified delays. This includes: effective access to justice; a guarantee of fair and equitable treatment that is adapted to the legal procee­dings undert­aken; adequate, effective and timeous reparation for any damages sustained; and free access to inform­ation regarding remedies and the methods for obtaining repara­tion. Reparation must include individual and collective measures, including restit­ution, compen­sation, rehabi­lit­ation, satisf­action, and guarantees of non-re­pet­ition (in accordance with the Part 5 of these Guidel­ines)