Published: 14 Jul 2016 | By Kate Levine

Preventing and addressing violence against women in Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia


The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women is the cornerstone of international human rights law standards on discrimination against women. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (‘the Committee’) is tasked with overseeing the Convention’s implementation, which it does by, inter alia, reviewing periodic reports from States Parties on the progress made at national level. The State reporting procedure provides the Committee with an opportunity to identify areas where States Parties have failed to implement (effectively or at all) the Convention, and publish its comments in Concluding Observations which are adopted after consideration of reports. The Concluding Observations also include the Committee’s recommendations to States Parties on action needed in order to strengthen implementation.

This article examines some of the gaps in the implementation of the Convention as identified by the Committee in the latest Concluding Observations on periodic reports submitted by Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. The specific focus of the article is compliance with the States’ obligations to prevent and address violence against women, which is of particular relevance to the strategic litigation pursued by EHRAC and our partners before regional and international human rights mechanisms (including the CEDAW Committee). This article also briefly considers the Committee’s recommendations in the first individual case to be decided against Georgia relating to domestic violence, X and Y v Georgia (jointly litigated by EHRAC and Article 42 of the Constitution, an NGO in Tbilisi), and the insights of the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences following country visits to Georgia (in 2016), Azerbaijan (in 2013), and Russia (in 2004).

Kate Levine’s full article is available in the Summer 2016 Bulletin.