Human Security and Women’s Human Rights: Reinforcing Protection in the Context of Violence Against Women

Date

2014-02

Authors

Estrada-Tanck, Dorothy

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The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice

Abstract

Considering the human security approach to critical risks and vulnerabilities, this paper explores violence against women as one of the most pervasive and widespread threats worldwide. While there is a general understanding that the human security analysis and the human rights legal framework intersect, so far the ways in which the two concepts can mutually reinforce each other has rarely been assessed. Thus, this paper looks more closely at the UN conception of human security in relation specifically to violence against women. It reflects critically on how a gendered human security would have to be shaped and studies its connection with human rights, covering the UN and regional normative landscapes and reviewing paradigmatic cases by the Inter-American and European Courts of Human Rights as exemplifying some of the potentials of the human security-human rights symbiosis. The concept of violence against women, strongly developed by international human rights law, has seldom been contemplated explicitly in human security concerns of violence. This text then examines the consequences of applying a human security lens to the legal analysis of violence against women and their human rights, and of including the human rights definition of violence against women within the human security sphere. In doing so, it spells out the added value of this dialogue and brings to light the synergies between human security and the human rights of women experiencing structural vulnerability in everyday life.

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