Spain: New report urges action on Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's rights

According to one recent study, over two million Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in Spain have suffered physical and/or mental violence at the hands of their partners, while 97 per cent of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights victims of violence in the family do not report such incidents. This year alone 32 Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights have died as a result of such violence.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights (CEDAW) is preparing to examine Spain’s fifth periodic report to the committee on 7 July 2004 and Amnesty International has itself submitted a report to the committee.

Amnesty International said:

“The UN has previously pointed out its concern at the ‘apparent increase in domestic violence’ in Spain and in the past two years the Spanish authorities have clearly not done enough to address these concerns.

“The new Spanish government must step up to this challenge and take measures to prevent gender-based crimes against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.

“It must make sure that state officials face up to their responsibilities instead of hiding behind bureaucratic procedure.

“State officials must be made answerable when they fail to protect victims of violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.”

Amnesty International’s report examines the Spanish authorities’ response to - and fulfillment of - their international obligations over the past two years. The organisation continues to receive information on the lack of effective protection of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s human rights. This lack of protection is particularly marked in respect of violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in the family. Examples include:

Alicia Aristegui: a resident of the province of Navarre, stabbed to death by her husband on 9 April 2002 because a restriction order placed on him was never communicated to, and enacted by, the municipal police of the town of Villava, where she was living. After 14 years’ of abuse, Alicia had sought refuge in a government shelter. She and her relatives had reported the repeated death threats made by her husband.

Mar Herrero: murdered on 13 October 1999 in Madrid by her former partner after he was released on bail against the advice of a prison psychologist. He was serving a sentence for the attempted murder of a previous partner. Mar had reported to police that she was being harassed and threatened and the district attorney applied for revocation of the parole. This was turned down seven days before she was killed.

In both cases the authorities denied any responsibility for a lack of protection of the Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights concerned. In May 2003, in the case of Mar Herrero, the Spanish Supreme Court overturned an order to pay compensation to the victim’s family.

Amnesty International is concerned that the Spanish government is failing to protect the human rights of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and cannot fulfill the UN Committee’s requirements due to:

  • Lack of sufficient research into the needs of victims of violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and the needs of most vulnerable groups of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights like immigrants, trafficked Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights from rural areas and disabled Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights
  • Lack of coordination between the autonomous regions and the central government
  • Lack of sufficient shelters run by the government
  • Insufficient resources for the implementation of measures against violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, uneven distribution between the regions of available resources and lack of transparency in their use
  • Insufficient measures to eradicate traditional stereotypes that perpetuate direct and indirect violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights
  • Insufficient role of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and NGOs in the process of policies on violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights
  • Insufficient training of health professionals in work with victims of violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights
  • Lack of effective protection for Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who file a complaint and lack of reparation to victims;
  • Impunity for state officials and lack of legislative assistance for victims.

On coming to power in March this year, the new Socialist Party (PSOE)-led government proposed draft legislation on violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights covering all the policies of prevention, victim support, investigation and sanction of such violence.

Background

Spain ratified CEDAW in 1984.

A 2002 study by Spain’s Institute for Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s Issues found that more than two million Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights suffered from physical and/or mental violence at the hands of their partners. According to the governing body of the judiciary, between 2002 and 2003, 131 Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights were murdered by members of their families - a 59 per cent increase in one year.

More information about the Women's rights's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights campaign ...

View latest press releases