Desk Review Report: "Beyond Criminalization - A Feminist Questioning of Criminal Justice Interventions to Address Sexual and Reproductive Rights Violations."
Mon 02/10/2020, 12:00

(We will soon be uploading the full report in Spanish, French, Portuguese and Arabic)

We are excited to share with you the launch of the Desk Review Report: "Beyond Criminalization - A Feminist Questioning of Criminal Justice Interventions to Address Sexual and Reproductive Rights Violations.

RESURJ’s justice approach to sexual and reproductive rights encompasses an understanding of the interlinkages between our bodies, our health, and our human rights, and other ecological, economic and social crises of our times. This intersectional analysis of sexual and reproductive justice also necessitates an interrogation of any intervention through its interaction with multiple power systems, including gender, class and race. In doing so, the contradictions of resorting to the criminal justice system as an intervention to protect rights whilst recognizing its historical use as an instrument of domination and marginalization, to silence dissent and imprison human rights defenders and close up public space, become obvious. Recognizing the limitations of criminalization as a solution, it is therefore very difficult to continue advocating nationally, regionally, and globally for states to resort to this approach - that penal response and criminalization is the most effective, just, and necessary response to SRHR violations.

This report is an analysis of findings based on a desktop research led by the global alliance of south grounded feminists RESURJ, as part of our thought leadership work on the shortcomings of penal policies in addressing sexual and reproductive rights violations.

Through the report we sought to answer; what are the shortcomings of the criminal justice systems in addressing sexual and reproductive rights violations based on research in certain topics/areas? And what else, besides penal provisions and criminalization, works? What are some measures that have been undertaken that have yielded results in addressing violations, both preventive and measures undertaken as redress?

The report also explores alternative, more comprehensive approaches to addressing SRHR violations, including preventive measures such as investing in root causes and look for an intersectional approach/solution, Comprehensive Sexuality Education, and community mobilization and advocacy, including by working with CSOs; and measures undertaken after the violations have taken place, such as restorative justice.

We hope that you find the report useful to your work and that you join us in the road towards exploring mechanisms that deliver justice and redress on the survivors’ terms and answer their needs, that are accessible and available to all without discrimination. If you have any questions or comments please reach out to us via 



This Analysis appears in South Feminist Voices and is tagged with #shortcomings #criminalization #globalsouth.