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Human rights and domestic violence

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Domestic violence.
    1. Attention from the international and national community.
    2. Recognizing domestic violence as a human rights violation.
  3. Hazards in applying national law to domestic violence.
    1. Constitutional law vs human rights law.
    2. The lack of seriousness of state officials towards domestic violence.
    3. The option of incorporating human rights in domestic law.
  4. Restorative justice programs.
    1. Theory.
    2. An inadequate mechanism to combat domestic violence.
  5. Domestic violence as defined by the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
  6. The correlation of domestic violence to gender inequality.
    1. Oral customs concerning Prophet Muhammad's life.
    2. Changing interpretations of the Qu'ran verses to closely associate it with women's rights.
  7. The method to acknowledge human rights.
    1. Identifying and understanding the problem.
    2. Agreeing on a set of rules which focus on the specific problem.
    3. Etablishing institutions in order to make the problem a norm and legitimate.
    4. The continuation of developing law regarding the problem.
  8. Procedural limitations on applying a universal human rights framework.
  9. The relation of domestic violence to women's rights.
  10. Conclusion.

Human Rights Watch has estimated that 12,000 women a year die in Russia because of domestic violence; Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reports close to 80% of women experience domestic violence; 49,280 rapes were reported in South Africa in 1998; and the CDC estimates at least 1.8 million women are victims of assault at the hands of men they live with each year. Domestic violence does not discriminate; the problem attacks both the poor and the rich, Christians and Muslims, black, white, and brown. Great debate rages concerning how to curb the prevalence of domestic violence in our world today. Recognizing domestic violence as a human rights violation is the best way to help alleviate the crisis. However, the limitations of implementing a universal framework have been explored and many believe that factors such as culture, religious fundamentalism, more precisely the role of Muslim law, and the tension between the North, more industrialized countries, and the South, the less developed countries warrant a different solution than labeling domestic violence as a human rights violation. Methods that warrant analysis to their effectiveness in improving the widespread occurrence of domestic violence including restorative justice and the belief that domestic violence should be dealt with on the national level, not the international level.

[...] "In the United Nations, the Human Rights Commission has more power to hear and investigate cases than the Commission on the Status of Women, more staff and budget, and better mechanisms for implementing its findings."[33] Perhaps by placing women's right in a human rights context will force the international community to realize, that like any fundamental human right, domestic violence needs to be considered just as serious. The Committee on the Elimination of the Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has already developed a strategy which "outlines a clear human rights agenda for women which, if accepted by governments, would mark and enormous step forward."[34] By recognizing domestic violence as a human right, countries would feel under more pressure to adopt the CEDAW outline as if they refuse to implement such strategies the threat of negative publicity is always looming. [...]


[...] Beasley and Thomas (1993) also believe that states are beginning to accept more responsibility as well as recognize, rather than ignore, the frequency with which such violence occurs.[9] Recognizing domestic violence as a human rights violation has its broader predicaments as the debate between human rights as being universally applied or applied in a manner sensitive to particular cultural practices arises. Addressing domestic violence by the laws governing each nation has been suggested. However, this approach would not help reduce the problem of domestic violence. [...]


[...] ?Women's Rights as Human Rights: Toward a Re-Vision of Human Rights.? Human Rights Quarterly 12, 468-498 Dawood, N. J., and N. J. Dawood. The Koran. Trans. N. J. Dawood. New York: Penguin Classics Declaration of Mexico on the Equality of Women and Their Contribution to Development and Peace "Governments Urged to Stop Violence Against Women." Human Rights Watch: News. June 2000. Human Rights Watch. Dec . Grewal, I. (1999) ?Women's rights as human rights': Feminist practices, global feminism, and human rights regimes in transnationality. Citizenship Studies, 337-354. Hajjar, L. (2004). [...]

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