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Statement by Human Rights Commissioner Kofler on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

24.11.2019 - Press release

Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November:

Every day, and all over the world, women and girls are mistreated, mutilated or murdered because they are female. They are raped, enslaved and forced into prostitution. Sexual violence against women often increases dramatically in conflicts. Women and girls also face violence even where they should feel safe and protected – every year, 50,000 women and girls are murdered by their partner or their own family.

Everyone has the right to a life without violence! We must work together to ensure that women are protected and perpetrators brought to justice. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women provides an opportunity for us to recall this important task.

Background information

Violence against women – be it physical or psychological – is unacceptable and must not be tolerated. The Federal Foreign Office actively strives to combat sexual violence in conflicts and its root causes. At Germany’s initiative, Resolution 2467, which calls for efforts to combat impunity for perpetrators and to support survivors, was adopted by the UN Security Council in April 2019.

Eliminating violence against women is part of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which has been ratified by 187 countries to date, including Germany in 1985. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women examines to what extent these countries are meeting their obligations under the Convention. Germany is also subject to regular reviews. In February 2018, Germany became a member state of the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. The Istanbul Convention has been ratified by 34 member states so far.

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