News / Asia

Amnesty Report: Justice Systems Fail Female Rape Victims

Marking the 100th anniversary of Women's Day, human-rights watchdog Amnesty International says female victims of rape are denied access to justice in rich and poor countries.  

Widney Brown is senior director of International Law and Policy at Amnesty International.

"We wanted to demonstrate that actually the issues we say women are facing, they face in developed countries and countries that actually have very high marks for gender equality," said Brown.

In two reports, Amnesty looks at rape in Cambodia and the Nordic Countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.  Amnesty says it found that although the legal systems in each country varied greatly, all had gaps that discouraged women and girls from seeking justice for sexual crimes committed against them.

In the Northern European countries, Amnesty says women who report rape to police only have a small chance of having their cases tried by a court of law.  It says the use of violence determines the seriousness of rape, instead of the violation of a woman's sexual autonomy.

In Cambodia, official statistics show the number of rapes is on the rise, but Amnesty says the extent of the increase is hidden by lack of monitoring and reporting.  And it says in Cambodia corruption and discrimination within the police and courts prevents rape victims receiving justice.

Brown says the reports show rape is not just a major problem in conflict areas.

"What we need to recognize is that rape and sexual violence happen in non-conflict situations in sort of a day-to-day way that just does not get taken seriously, where is a real lack of political will to say 'This is something that we care about and we are going to address it,'" added Brown.

And she says Amnesty's research has found the use of rape as a mechanism of war shows no sign of abating.

"It continues to be used as a tactic of war.  But again, you know, it is still seen as regrettable, but rather inevitable, part of war, instead of being understood as the impact it has on the civilian population," she noted.

Brown says forcing international justice systems to confront the problem of rape has been a long battle.  She says in the past 17 years legislative reform has taken place that makes it clear that rape is a crime.  But she says the struggle now is to make sure those laws are implemented.

"Now I do not think the issue is proving the violence is happening.  But I think there is a sense that a lack of political will to make justice systems work for women, and again, still an incredible amount of skepticism when women report rape," explained Brown.

This year is the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day, first proposed in 1910 and officially sanctioned by the United Nations in 1975.

The day is an official holiday in 15 countries, including China, Ukraine, and Vietnam.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid