What is Gender-Based Violence? – A Comparison
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights consists of two main instruments: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the World Intellectual Property Organization Agreement. The latter was created in Paris, Switzerland on 5 April 1973 in the name of “the international cultural Organizations.” Both instruments set out the rights of individuals to seek compensation for violations of their rights, including incitement to discrimination, deportation or expatriation, torture, forced disappearances, slavery and other practices of fundamental inhumanity. In addition to these rights, the Covenant also provides protection against freedom of opinion and expression, protection against violence against women and children, freedom of religion and press, protection against child labor and child abuse, and freedom of education.
The Covenant states that the following are its essential provisions: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, including freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through the media and regardless of frontiers, provided that such freedom does not prejudices the rights of others and does not fail to respect other peoples’ rights to the same freedom. Everyone has the right to participate in democratic processes and to hold peacefully elected leaders. Individuals are free to pursue studies, receive and impart educational information and ideas, but no one shall be deprived of these rights without due process of law. The political rights laid down in the Covenant are universal and thus include the right to vote and participate in elections and to hold office and enjoy other privileges provided to others. The right to work legally and professionally and to receive benefits has also been guaranteed. Religious freedom is not protected, but the governments of some countries have amended their laws to accord this right.
The basic principles of the international covenant on civil and political rights are recognized by the United States, European Union, Australia, Canada, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Taiwan, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Singapore, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, and other nations with a population of more than 20 million people. Civil and political rights include freedom of speech and expression, freedom to peacefully assemble and protest, freedom of religion, and access to property, currency, and other things considered proprietary. There are limitations to these rights however. These may be expressed by force, violence or other ways deemed justified by the governments of the states involved. For instance, a person cannot be discriminated against based on race, nationality, religion, gender, age, or any other such basis. Women have rights to enjoy equal rights in the workplace and to be treated professionally and economically as males.
In its resolution welcoming the adoption of the declaration of the basic Principles of International Civilization by the UNESCO, the US said that it was reiterating its long-standing position on human rights. “The declaration strengthens the promotion and protection of the human rights of all people, regardless of race, religion, or gender, including children, women, and children of peace.” At the same time, it stressed the need for the adoption of the two additional covenants that it had been responsible for creating, namely the prerogative of states to protect their own citizens from violence and other violent acts, the right of every state to defend itself, its citizens and its territories, the right of the people to self-determination and the right of peoples to peacefully unite and develop themselves.
The covenant provides the basic principles for a universal understanding of human rights and for the universal application of those rights. It is thus responsible for promoting educational opportunities for girls and women and for promoting economic growth in all states parties to the covenant, with the exception of those parties that have not ratified the underlying agreement. The meaning of this article lies in the fact that the Covenant is a binding agreement between two states parties. No state can ratify the agreement without the consent of its constituent members. Each state is also responsible for ensuring that its Constitution and other domestic legal instruments comply with the provisions of the International Civil Organization. Ratification by all the states parties to the Covenant are necessary to the operation of the Covenant.
The human rights committee of the UNESCO is responsible for the selection of states that have not ratified the underlying agreement or are incapable of doing so. In cases where the parties are States of the League of Nations, the Human Rights Committee of UNESCO is responsible for the recommendation to the General Conference on International Criminal Laws to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court. The provisions of the Covenant concerning the jurisdiction over war crimes and the tribunals that may apply to these crimes also form the basis of the process by which the International Criminal Court will decide on cases referred by the Human Rights Committee. However, the Rome Statute of limitations for crimes against humanity and the applicability of the protections provided by the human rights conventions to such crimes does not appear in the present text of the Covenant.
States that have ratified the covenant can, after giving notice, renounce the Convention once they have entered into a separate treaty with another state or if they have occupied a foreign territory. Since ratifying the Covenant does not alter the position of a State that has not yet ratified the underlying agreement, every State that ratifies the Covenant is legally binds its people to observe the provisions of the Covenant. However, the Covenant does not bind States that have not yet implemented the provisions of the Covenant. It is considered an obstacle to the realization of your right to peaceful enjoyment of your human rights once you are a member of the United Nations. Consequently, you are protected by the legal consequences of Covenant whether or not you have been a party to an international criminal event.
For more information and details about the definition of human rights in the Covenant, as well as the protection that you deserve and are entitled to under the Covenant, please see “Women’s Rights Under International Law” at Legalink. In particular, the third chapter of that document, “Rights of Women, International Law and the Role of the United Nations Security Council,” provide an explanation of “gender-based violence, including domestic violence, as a violation of women’s human rights.” Please see also “Women’s Rights Under International Law.”