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UN calls for action to end violence against women with disabilities

[Brussels, 17 October 2012] According to the 2011 World Report on Disability of the World Health Organization and World Bank, approximately 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability. Figures show that women constitute a disproportionate number of disabled persons due to the effects of widespread violence against women. In addition, women with disabilities are often victims of further violence.

During the last UN General Assembly, held in New York from 18 September to 01 October 2012, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, its causes and its consequences Ms Rashida Manjoo presented her Report on Violence against Women with Disabilities.

Despite the evolution of normative frameworks concerning both the human rights of women and of persons with disabilities, the impact of the combined effects of both gender and disability have not gained sufficient attention, and violence against women with disabilities remains largely unaddressed.

Although women with disabilities experience many of the same forms of violence that all women experience — when gender, disability and other factors intersect — the violence against them takes on unique forms, has unique causes and results in unique consequences.

In its resolution 17/11, the Human Rights Council requested OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights) to prepare a thematic analytical study on this issue in consultation, inter alia, with the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences. The resulting report (A/HRC/20/5 and Corr.1) was based on the submissions received from Member States, United Nations agencies and programs, national human rights institutions and NGOs.

The UN report aims to deepen the findings of the OHCHR study and further examine the manifestations, causes and consequences of violence against women with disabilities. In addition, the report briefly examines relevant international and regional legal frameworks and provides recommendations.

You can find the Report here

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