Women and Justice: Keywords

International Case Law

Women and girls victims of sexual violence living in 22 internally displaced persons camps, Precautionary Measures No. MC-340-10 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (2010)

Sexual violence and rape

On October 21, 2010, ten groups* filed a request on behalf of displaced women in Haiti for precautionary measures before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR). The groups asked the Commission to grant the request pursuant to Article 25 of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure as an urgent measure to address the multiple acts of sexual violence that women and girls in the displacement camps faced after the devastating 2010 earthquake. A report detailing the atrocities committed against women brutally attacked in the displacement camps accompanied the request. In January 2011, the Commission granted the request and issued precautionary measures and recommendations. These included sensitive and integral access to medical care for victims of sexual violence, implementation of security measures, and training of officials to deal with sexual violence and assault (including special units in the police and increased patrols). The Commission also requested that Haiti ensure the full participation of grassroots women’s groups in the planning and implementation of policies designed to combat and prevent sexual violence. Further, the Commission recommended that emergency contraception be provided for all victims of sexual violence. This decision was without precedent in the Inter-American System of Human Rights when decided. *Women’s Link Worldwide, the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic of the City University of New York (CUNY), MADRE, Bureau des Acvocats Internationaux, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, Morrison & Foerster LLP, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Haitian organizations KOFAVIV, FAVILEK, and KONAMAVID.

Ana, Beatriz, and Celia González Pérez v. Mexico Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (1999)

Sexual violence and rape

Sexual Violence and Rape, Torture, Indigenous Populations, Failure of State Responsibility. The Mexican military illegally detained, raped, and tortured the Tzeltal native sisters Ana, Beatriz, and Celia González Pérez. The Mexican State argued that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) did not have competence to review the petition because the sisters did not exhaust their domestic remedies. According to the IACHR, the sisters effectively sought relief from the Office of the Federal Public Prosecutor, which refused competence to review the sisters’ case in favor of its military counterpart. The IACHR determined the case admissible in respect of the alleged violations of rights protected in the American Convention on Human Rights: Articles 5 (right to humane treatment); 7 (right to personal liberty); 8 (right to a fair trial); 11 (right to privacy); 19 (rights of the child); and 25 (right to judicial protection).

Violencia y violación sexual, tortura, poblaciones indígenas, falta de responsabilidad del Estado. El ejército mexicano detuvo ilegalmente, violó y torturó a las hermanas nativas de Tzeltal, Ana, Beatriz y Celia González Pérez. El Estado mexicano sostuvo que la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) no tenía el poder para revisar la petición porque las hermanas no agotaron sus recursos internos. Según la CIDH, las hermanas buscaron efectivamente un alivio en la Oficina del Fiscal Federal, que se negó a revisar el caso de las hermanas a favor de su homólogo militar. La CIDH determinó el caso admisible en relación con las presuntas violaciones de los derechos protegidos en la Convención Americana sobre Derechos Humanos: artículos 5 (derecho a un trato humano); 7 (derecho a la libertad personal); 8 (derecho a un juicio justo); 11 (derecho a la privacidad); 19 (derechos del niño); y 25 (derecho a la protección judicial).