Seeking Equality—Justice and Women’s and Girls’ Human Right Not to Be Subjected to Non-State Torture
- 268 Downloads
It is beyond wilful blindness, contend Jeanne Sarson and Linda MacDonald, when the political cultural climate wrapped in patriarchy, sexism and misogyny, childism and misopedia intentionally whitewashes and denies the legal right of women to name crimes of violence against them for what they are: non-state torture. It is wrong that women seeking justice for this specific human rights violation of torture perpetrated by private individuals or groups should be denied redress. Sarson and MacDonald’s work is based on 21 years of activism, advocacy and grass roots work supporting women detailing, from their earliest of memories, having survived acts of classic torture victimisation perpetrated within family relationships. By reference to the words of these women, Sarson and MacDonald name these family unit constructions as an organised co-culture whose perpetrators have functioned easily within the mainstream culture and continue to do so. They point out that these family units exist within the perpetrators’ community or expand to national and international like-minded others or groups. They reflect upon their past and present advocacy and activism aimed at ensuring recognition and ending of non-state torture within a Canadian socio-cultural and political climate admitting non-State torture occurs but refusing to specifically criminalise it. Their global action includes presenting a shadow report on non-state torture to the UN Committee against Torture and a recommendation at the November 2014 Geneva non-governmental forum Beijing+20, for recognising non-State torture as a specific human rights crime. Sarson and MacDonald are adamant that continuing activism and advocacy is necessary to ensure non-state torture that is not only recognised as criminal, but also those perpetrating it are subject to law, those having suffered it gain redress and those presently suffering are affirmed by law, culture and society, to end non-state torture.
KeywordsFemale Genital Mutilation Universal Declaration Sexualised Trafficking Special Rapporteur Domestic Sphere
- Amnesty International & Redress. (2011). Gender and torture conference report. London: Authors.Google Scholar
- Beynon, J. (2012). ‘Not waving, drowning’. Asphyxia and torture: the myth of simulated drowning and other forms of torture. Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture, 22 (Suppl. 1), 25–29.Google Scholar
- Bunzeluk, K. (2009, November). Child sexual abuse images: summary report. An analysis of websites by cybertip!ca. Winnipeg: Canadian Centre for Child Protection.Google Scholar
- Burke, J., Gentleman, A., & Willan, P. (2000, October 1). British link to ‘snuff’ videos. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2000/oct/01/ameliagentleman.philipwillan. Accessed 31 March 2016.
- Clapham, A. (2006). Human rights obligations of non-State actors. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- CEDAW. (1992). General Recommendation No. 19 (IIth session) Violence against women.Google Scholar
- Committee against Torture. (2008, January 24). General comment No. 2 implementation of article 2 by States parties. (CAT/C/GC/2).Google Scholar
- Committee against Torture. (2012a, May 23). Summary record (partial) of the 1076th meeting. (CAT/C/SR.1076).Google Scholar
- Committee against Torture. (2012b, November 19). General comment No. 3 implementation of article 14 by States parties. (CAT/C/GC/3).Google Scholar
- Committee against Torture. (2012c, June 25). Concluding observations of the committee against torture Canada. (CAT/C/CAN/CO/6).Google Scholar
- Cribb, R. (2015, April 26). Underground child porn trade moving towards youngest victims. Torstar News Service. http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/04/26/underground-child-porn-trade-moving-toward-youngest-victims.html. Accessed 31 March 2016.
- Geneva NGO Committee on the Status of Women. (2014, November 3–5). Geneva NGO Forum—Beijing+20, Declaration and recommendations. Geneva: Author.Google Scholar
- ICCS. (2015, March). International classification of crime for statistical purposes (version 1.0). Vienna: UN Office on Drugs and Crime.Google Scholar
- International Forensic Expert Group. (2011). Statement on hooding. Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture, 21(3), 186–189.Google Scholar
- Internet Watch Foundation. (2013). Internet Watch Foundation annual & charity report. Cambridge: Author.Google Scholar
- Manjoo, R. (2014, November 10). Violence against women is a barrier to the effective exercise of all human rights. Geneva: International Service for Human Rights.Google Scholar
- Méndez, J. E. (2011, June 1). Female genital mutilation: progress-realities-challenges. Side event sponsored by Women’s UN Report Network, Worldwide Organization for Women and NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, CH.Google Scholar
- Nowak, M. (2008, January 15). Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak. Summary. (A/HRC/7/3).Google Scholar
- Nowak, M. (2010, September 15). Acid burning attacks-victimization, survivors, support. Side event sponsored by Women’s UN Report Network, Worldwide Organization for Women and NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva.Google Scholar
- OSCE Office of the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in partnership with the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights and the Helen Bamber Foundation. (2013, June). Trafficking in human beings amounting to torture and other forms of ill-treatment, Occasional Paper Series no. 5. Vienna: Authors.Google Scholar
- Phillips, B. (2011). Dignity and human rights: the missing dialogue? A report of a meeting at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, April 7–10, 2009, Bellagio, Italy. Programme on Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (PWESCR).Google Scholar
- Redress. (2013, October). Justice for torture worldwide law, practice and agendas for change. London: Author.Google Scholar
- Sarson, J., & MacDonald, L. (2009a, Winter). Torturing by non-state actors invisibilized, a patriarchal divide and spillover violence from the military sphere into the domestic sphere. Peace Studies Journal, 2(2), 16–38.Google Scholar
- Sarson, J., & MacDonald, L. (2009b, Winter). Defining torture by non-state actors in the Canadian private sphere. First Light, 29–33.Google Scholar
- Sarson, J., & MacDonald, L. (2012, July/August). Torture victimization—child to adult: flashbacks and connection with first responders, Part II. Sexual Assault Report, 15(6), 83–84, 86, 94.Google Scholar
- Sarson, J., & MacDonald, L. (2014, Winter). Torture victimization—child to adult: flashbacks and connection with first responders. Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly, 6(3), 47–56.Google Scholar
- Sofsky, W. (1997). The order of terror: the concentration camp (trans: W. Templer) Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- UN General Assembly. (2011, March 28). Resolution 65/205 torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. (A/RES/65/205).Google Scholar
- UN Human Rights Council. (2008, June 18). Resolution 8/8 torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. http://ap.ohchr.org/Documents/E/HRC/resolutoins/A_HRC_RES_8_8.pdf. Accessed 2 June 2016.