In January 2022, RESURJ and Hidden Pockets Collective made a submission on “Violence and its impact on the right to health” to the United Nations Special Rapporteur (UNSR) on the Right to Health, pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 42/16 on 18 January 2022. These submissions will inform the SR’s next thematic report on “Violence and its impact on the right to health.” The thematic report will be presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2022.
In our submission, we talked about gender based violence in different contexts, countries, and regions. We shared ground realities from India, Egypt, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, and Rwanda, including different case studies about violence against people with disabilities and the multiple challenges they face in exercising their bodily rights and reproductive autonomy, including legal apathy.
From India, we talked about marital rape and how this form of gender based violence enjoys legal backing. From Egypt, we discuss testimonies from LGBTQ individuals facing state sponsored gender based violence. We also addressed the disproportionate impact the COVID pandemic has had on marginalized groups across regions by sharing our experiences from Chile, Rwanda, India, and Egypt.
It is important to evaluate and see whether the legal framework prohibits and sanctions these and various other forms of gender based violence, and what redress options are available for survivors of GBV, including access to comprehensive physical and mental care. From India, we talk about the criminalization of child marriage and how this criminalization does not factor in the social and economic conditions of the girls involved in these marriages. From Guatemala, we talk about the gap between the minimum age of marriage and the legal age of consent and how laws around it send out confusing messaging on adolescents’ sexual and reproductive autonomy.