U.N. Expert On Violence Against Women Begins U.S. Fact-Finding Mission

January 24, 2011

ACLU Among Groups Meeting With Special Rapporteur

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 519-7829 or 549-2666; media@aclu.org

WASHINGTON– The American Civil Liberties Union will join other organizations today in meeting with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women. The Special Rapporteur, Rashida Manjoo, arrived in the U.S. Sunday on an official fact-finding mission to gather information on U.S. policies concerning domestic violence, sexual assault in the military and treatment of women in detention.

“The visit of the Special Rapporteur is a critical opportunity to shed light on violence against women in the United States,” said Sandra Park, staff attorney with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project. “We have made progress, but victims of domestic violence and sexual assault continue to encounter discrimination in employment, housing, education and the military. We hope that the Special Rapporteur’s visit provokes much-needed dialogue about protecting victims, including the steps that the government should take to stop the cycle of violence.”

The Special Rapporteur will meet with government officials, nongovernmental organizations and members of Congress during her two-week visit. She will also tour detention centers and shelters for victims of domestic violence. A report on her findings is expected later this year.

“In order to be a leader on global human rights, the U.S. must ensure that our own policies protect basic human dignity,” said Jennifer Turner, human rights researcher with the ACLU Human Rights Program. “We welcome the Special Rapporteur’s visit and look forward to working with her to ensure that federal and state governments provide protection and resources for victims of violence.”

More information on the ACLU’s work on violence against women can be found at: www.aclu.org/womens-rights/violence-against-women

More information from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights can be found at: www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=10668&LangID=E

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