Women's Human Rights

All publications may be downloaded in PDF format at no charge.

For submissions to the United Nations and regional human rights bodies, click here.

Sex Trafficking
Safe Harbor: Fulfilling Minnesota's Promise to Protect Sexually Exploited Youth (Feb. 2013)
In 2011, Minnesota passed the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth Act (Safe Harbor 2011), laying the groundwork for a victim-centered response to sexually exploited children and those at risk of sexual exploitation. Safe Harbor 2011 defined prostituted children as the victims of sexual exploitation, ended reliance on delinquency proceedings as the sole systems response to meeting the needs of these crime victims, and called for the creation of a framework for implementation of the changes to the delinquency definition, which become effective on August 1, 2014. In spite of the strong protections enshrined in the law, Safe Harbor 2011 is limited. Its provisions apply only to children age 15 and under; sex trafficking victims ages 16 and 17 are not protected. Moreover, Safe Harbor 2011 does not provide the mechanisms or the funding to implement the changes to Minnesota’s delinquency code when Safe Harbor goes into effect in 2014. Comprehensive supportive services and housing must be funded and implemented immediately so that they are available when Safe Harbor’s changes to Minnesota’s delinquency definition go into effect in 2014. Entitled No Wrong Door: A Comprehensive Approach to Safe Harbor for Minnesota’s Sexually Exploited Youth, this report analyzes Safe Harbor 2011, including the Safe Harbor Working Group process and the comprehensive approach to Safe Harbor which it developed, entitled No Wrong Door: A Comprehensive Approach to Safe Harbor for Minnesota’s Sexually Exploited Youth. In addition, this report examines Safe Harbor 2011 against international standards, federal laws, and emerging state practice related to the sexual exploitation of children to identify gaps that remain. ISBN: 0-929293-72-X

Sex Trafficking Needs Assessment for the State of Minnesota (full report); Executive Summary (Originally published Sept. 2008; revised edition Oct. 2008)
Sex trafficking violates women and children’s basic human rights, including the right to be free from slavery and slavery-like practices; the right to equal protection under the law; the right to be free from discrimination based on race, nationality, and gender; and the rights to life, security of person and freedom from torture.  Governments also violate trafficked persons’ rights when they fail to prevent sex trafficking, prosecute perpetrators or provide trafficked persons with effective remedies for these violations, such as access to courts and legal immigration status. At the request of the State of Minnesota’s Human Trafficking Task Force, The Advocates for Human Rights prepared and published a needs assessment on sex trafficking in Minnesota. The report examines the government response to this issue at the local, state, tribal and federal levels; identifies facilities and services currently available to trafficking victims in Minnesota; assesses their effectiveness; and makes recom-mendations for coordinating services to better meet the needs of sex trafficking victims statewide. ISBN: 0-929293-58-4

Trafficking in Women: Moldova and Ukraine  (2000)
Documents the trafficking of women for the commercial sex industry as a human rights violation in both Moldova and Ukraine. The report analyzes the mechanisms of trafficking in both countries and the NGO and governmental response to the problem, including information on Moldovan and Ukrainian law. The report also addresses the obligations of the Moldovan and Ukrainian government under international law. ISBN: 0-929293 49-5
 

Domestic Violence
Implementation of Croatia's Domestic Violence Legislation: Follow-Up Report - March 2016
The report sets forth findings made in 2014 during a monitoring mission conducted by The Advocates for Human Rights and Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb. It highlights findings on the implementation of the LPDV, the state’s response to violations of protective measures, victim services and shelters, problems with the new Family Law for victims of domestic violence, challenges in prosecution and promoting victim safety through the criminal justice system, and inter‐agency cooperation.

Batterer Intervention Programs: Recommendations for Effective Batterer Intervention Programs in Central & Eastern Europe & the Former Soviet Union (Jan. 2016)
The report describes essential elements of an effective government intervention program for batterers, and it makes recommendations for developing and reviewing batterer intervention programs in countries around the world, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. It considers models for batterer interventions, as well as theories of violence, underlying international and regional legal frameworks, and the full scope of interventions to domestic violence. The analysis of batterer intervention models is based on a human rights framework focusing on the safety of victims and accountability for perpetrators of domestic violence. The report also highlights the unintended consequences of adopting a batterer program without the necessary external support.

Implementation of Mongolia’s Domestic Violence Legislation (Jan. 2014)
Domestic violence is a serious problem in Mongolia, where it was estimated that one in three women was a victim of domestic violence in 2010, according to an estimate by the National Center Against Violence (NCAV), headquartered in Ulaanbaater, Mongolia. Developed by The Advocates and its partner, the NCAV, this report analyzes the real-life results that followed the Mongolian government’s enactment of the Law to Combat Domestic Violence (LCDV) in 2004. The Advocates and NCAV led two fact-finding missions in January and March 2013, traveling to seven cities in Mongolia and conducting 137 interviews, including with ministry officials, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), victims, social workers, police, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, governors, and health care workers. The report was presented to Mongolian parliamentarians, Ministry of Justice officials, prosecutors, judges, and the U.S. ambassador to Mongolia and embassy personnel in January 2014. The report delves into the findings of extensive research and makes recommendations to strengthen the government’s domestic violence laws to better protect victims and hold offenders accountable. Specifically, the report points to challenges obtaining restraining orders; the consequences of domestic violence not being directly addressed by penal legislation; the barriers the country’s Family Law poses to obtaining a divorce; and the results of the lack of shelters and essential social services and support. ISBN: 0-929293-73-8

Implementation of the Republic of Moldova's Domestic Violence Legislation: A Human Rights Report (Nov. 2012)
Domestic violence, a serious problem in Moldova, violates fundamental human rights to safety and security and the rights to be free from torture and violence. In July 2010, Moldova became one of the first countries in the region to address domestic violence with specific legislation in both the civil and criminal systems. In November 2011, The Advocates for Human Rights, in collaboration with its partner, the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation, sent a delegation to Moldova to investigate the implementation of Moldova’s domestic violence legislation. The delegation, with the support of the Moldovan Women’s Law Center, conducted interviews throughout the country with police, prosecutors, judges, government ministry officials, NGOs, shelters, maternal centers, victims, child protection services employees, United Nations organizations, prison officials, academics, journalists, health care professionals, and lawyers. This report presents the delegation’s findings and sets forth recommendations to strengthen the government’s response to better protect victims of domestic violence and hold offenders accountable. ISBN: 0-929293-71-1

Implementation of Croatia’s Domestic Violence Legislation (Sept. 2012)
Domestic violence is a serious problem in Croatia. Croatia passed a domestic violence law in 2003, later amended in 2009, which provides protective measures to victims of domestic violence. In October 2010 and February 2011, The Advocates for Human Rights, in collaboration with its partners, the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation and Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb, sent delegations to Croatia to investigate the implementation of Croatia’s domestic violence legislation. The delegations conducted interviews with NGOs, shelter workers, police, judges, Centers for Social Welfare personnel, Ministry officials, health care workers, victims, prison personnel, and other government representatives. This report presents the delegations’ findings and makes recommendations to strengthen the government’s implementation of domestic violence laws to better protect victims and hold offenders accountable. ISBN: 0-929293-70-3

Domestic Violence in Tajikistan (Oct. 2008)
Domestic violence is a serious problem in Tajikistan.  In November 2005 and April 2006, The Advocates for Human Rights sent delegations to Tajikistan to investigate the government and community response to domestic violence. The delegations conducted over one hundred interviews of domestic violence survivors, national and local government representatives, judges, prosecutors, members of the militia, doctors, religious leaders, attorneys, representatives of non-governmental organizations, representatives of international organizations, academics and a journalist.  Once the interviews were completed, The Advocates drafted a human rights report that analyzes the response of both the criminal justice system and civil law to the problem of domestic violence, outlines Tajikistan’s obligations under international law, and includes recommendations for addressing this human rights violation. (The Advocates also compiled an addendum providing a two-year update of current conditions and new developments in Tajikistan since the initial draft of the report. The report was released in conjunction with The Advocates’ delegation to Tajikistan in Oct. 2008.) ISBN: 978-0-929293-51-6

Implementation of the the Bulgarian Law on Protection against Domestic Violence: A Human Rights Report, (March 2008) co-authored by The Advocates for Human Rights and the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation (BGRF).
Bulgaria passed a new law to combat domestic violence in March 2005. Since then, thousands of victims of domestic violence have come forward to use the law to obtain protection against their abusers. In 2006 alone, more than 2,000 cases of domestic violence under the new law were brought before the courts, resulting in 800 orders for protection. Throughout 2007, the Advocates for Human Rights and BGRF conducted human rights monitoring to investigate implementation of the law by all principals, including the state, police, judges, prosecutors, media and NGOs. This report, produced with the support of the Oak Foundation and UNIFEM, presents the findings and makes recommendations to improve implementation of the law. ISBN: 0-929293-59-2

Journey to Safety: The Battered Immigrant Woman’s Experience – Video and Facilitator’s Guide  (June 2007)
Published by The Advocates for Human Rights in partnership with Battered Women’s Justice Project and Pangea World Theater. Supported by Grant No. 2004-WT-AX-K073 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. With this set of training materials, participants step into the shoes of an immigrant victim of domestic violence as she tries to negotiate the legal, medical and government systems. The Journey to Safety video contains a 40-minute performance by Pangea World Theater, as well as three case studies and interviews with policemen, policymakers, prosecutors, judges, medical professionals, and other legal advocates. Activities included in the Facilitator’s Guide complement the information presented in the performance and allow participants to 1) identify the barriers, 2) research and understand the complexity of the issues, and 3) develop strategies to address the problem. The Facilitator’s Guide also provides a wide range of information and tools for professionals working with immigrant victims of domestic violence, such as fact sheets, referral lists, case studies, and domestic violence resources. ISBN: 978-0-929293-51-7

Domestic Violence and Child Abuse in Georgia:  An Assessment of Current Standings of Law and Practice Regarding Domestic Abuse and Child Abuse in Georgia, and Recommendations for Future United Nations Country Team Involvement
, (Dec. 2006) Co-authored by The Advocates for Human Rights and the Institute for Policy Studies in Georgia and published in English and Georgian by the United Nations Country Team in Georgia, the report combines a review of current research on the topic with interviews of legal, medical, and social service professionals to assess the problems of domestic violence and child abuse in Georgia and the response of governmental agencies, international institutions and social service agencies to these complex issues. The report sets forth specific recommendations to relevant agencies in Georgia and a commentary on Georgia’s domestic violence law. ISBN: 99928-0-821-7
 

The Government Response to Domestic Violence Against Refugee and Immigrant Women in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Area: A Human Rights Report (Appendix AAppendix B and Appendix C) (Executive Summary) (2004)
The report documents domestic violence against refugee and immigrant women in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area as a human rights violation in the United States. With this report, The Advocates for Human Rights highlights many of the innovative programs and legislative initiatives that advance the safety of battered refugee and immigrant women in our community and the prosecution of their abusers. The report finds that battered refugee and immigrant women in the Twin Cities area nevertheless face serious obstacles in accessing protection from domestic violence and government services, and in pursuing accountability for their abusers. These obstacles include language barriers and inadequate access to interpretation services; barriers from within immigrant communities that impede government effectiveness; fear of government institutions and immigration authorities; inadequate funding of necessary services and programs, and other obstacles in the law or implementation of the law. This report includes an analysis of governments’ compliance with their obligation to protect the human rights, safety and security of refugee and immigrant women who are victims of violence. ISBN: 0-929293 57-6

Domestic Violence in Albania (1996)
Documents domestic violence as a human rights violation in Albania. The report gives a thorough historical background on Albania and examines evidence of domestic violence in that country. It also analyzes relevant Albanian laws and their implementation and compares these laws to Albania's obligations under international law. This is one part of a series on domestic violence in the Balkans. ISBN: 0-929293 34-7

Domestic Violence in Armenia (2000)
Documenting domestic violence as a human rights violation in Armenia, the report analyzes the Armenian legal system, including criminal law, administrative law and family law as well as forensic regulations that relate to domestic violence. The report includes information on both the police and NGO response to domestic violence. The report also addresses Armenia's obligations under international law. ISBN: 0-929293 45-2

Domestic Violence in Bulgaria (1996)
Documenting domestic violence as a human rights violation in Bulgaria, the report analyzes the legal system in Bulgaria, including criminal laws, police response to domestic violence, administrative procedures and divorce laws. It also addresses Bulgaria's obligations under international law. This report is part of a series on domestic violence in the Balkans. ISBN: 0-929293 33-9

Domestic Violence in Poland (2002)
Documenting domestic violence as a human rights violation in Poland, the report analyzes the response of both the criminal justice system and civil law to the problem of domestic violence. It includes information about recently-implemented police programs to coordinate the management of domestic violence cases. It also addresses Poland's obligations under international law, including the criteria for accession into the European Union. ISBN: 0-929293 52-5

Domestic Violence in Macedonia (1998)
Documenting domestic violence as a human rights violation in Macedonia, the report analyzes the legal system of Macedonia, including criminal law and family law as well as forensic regulations that relate to domestic violence. It includes information on both the police and NGO response to domestic violence. It also addresses Macedonia's obligations under international law. ISBN: 0-929293 40-1

Domestic Violence in Moldova (2000)
Documenting domestic violence as a human rights violation in Moldova, the report analyzes the legal system of Moldova, including criminal law and family law as well as forensic regulations that relate to domestic violence. It includes information on both the police and NGO response to domestic violence. It also addresses Moldova's obligations under international law. ISBN: 0-929293 46-0

Domestic Violence in Nepal  (1998)
Documenting domestic violence as a human rights violation in Nepal, the report analyzes the legal system of Nepal, including the criminal law and family law provisions that relate to domestic violence. It includes information on both the police and NGO response to domestic violence. It also addresses Nepal's obligations under international law. ISBN: 0-929293 41-X

Lifting the Last Curtain: A Report on Domestic Violence in Romania (1995)
Documenting domestic violence as a human rights violation in Romania, the report analyzes the legal system of Romania, including criminal law and family law as well as forensic regulations that relate to domestic violence. It includes information on both the police and NGO response to domestic violence. It also addresses Romania's obligations under international law. ISBN: 0-929293 26-6 

Domestic Violence in Ukraine (2000)
The report documents domestic violence as a human rights violation in Ukraine. It analyzes the Ukrainian legal system, including criminal law and forensic regulations, family law, housing law and draft legislation on domestic violence. It includes information on the police response to domestic violence and gives an overview of the services that are available to Ukrainian women. The report also addresses Ukraine's obligations under international law. ISBN: 0-929293 47-9

Domestic Violence in Uzbekistan (2000)
The report documents domestic violence as a human rights violation in Uzbekistan. It analyzes the Uzbek legal system, including the criminal justice system and family law. It includes a discussion of the mahallah structure and how it relates to domestic violence as well as information on both the police and NGO response to domestic violence in Uzbekistan. The report also addresses Uzbekistan's obligations under international law. ISBN: 0-929293 48-7
 

Discrimination, Harassment and Violence against Women
Employment Discrimination and Sexual Harassment in Poland (2002)
The report documents sex-based discrimination and sexual harassment as human rights violations in Poland. It analyses Poland's existing constitutional protections and the prohibitions on sex discrimination and sexual harassment found in Polish labor and criminal law. It also addresses Poland's obligations under international and European law, including the criteria for accession into the European Union. ISBN: 0-929293 53-3

Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in Bulgaria (1999)
The report documents sex discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace as human rights violations. It analyzes the legal system of Bulgaria, including labor and employment laws, as well as the government's enforcement of these laws. It includes information on trade union and employer responses to sex discrimination and sexual harassment and addresses Bulgaria's obligations under domestic and international law. ISBN: 0-929293 42-8

Another Violence Against Women: The Lack of Accountability in Haiti (1995) (Summary only online)
The report documents the systematic rape of women as a tool of repression in Haiti during the military rule from 1991-1994 and evaluates the mechanisms established by the Haitian government to address this violence. ISBN: 0-929293 31-2
 

Other Topics
Summary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
(1996)
The summary provides information on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action from the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing, China, in 1995. ISBN: 0-929293 32-0

Documenting the Implementation of Domestic Violence Laws: A Human Rights Monitoring Methodology (2011) 
Domestic violence is a violation of fundamental human rights. One of the most important steps in effectively addressing violence against women is to assess government compliance with international standards relating to this human rights abuse. The implementation of laws pertaining to domestic violence is an important focus when making such an assessment. This methodology provides guidance on monitoring the implementation of domestic violence laws through human rights fact-finding and reporting. This methodology includes six components: planning a monitoring project; international legal protections against domestic violence; background research on the legal system; interviews on the implementation of domestic violence laws; writing the report; and the advocacy process. This methodology envisions a final human rights report that includes findings from the background research and interviews as well as recommendations for improvements. The primary guiding principle for the assessment should be whether the implementation of domestic violence laws promotes victim safety and offender accountability, according to international human rights standards.  For the full Methodology in English, click here. For the Russian version, click here.