Global Resources

Thematic study on the issue of violence against women and girls and disability

Publisher: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Publication Date: Mar 2012
This report on the causes and manifestations of violence against women and girls with disabilities is based on a study involving a questionnaire to UN Member States, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders, as well as consultations with relevant Special Rapporteurs and committees. The report outlines the international legal framework regarding the rights of women and girls with disabilities. It also provides an overview of the kinds of discrimination faced by these individuals. Due to 'double discrimination’, women with disabilities are more likely to experience poverty and isolation, have lower salaries etc. They are also more likely to be victims of violence; women and girls with intellectual impairments are particularly at risk, including sexual violence. Under international law, states have clear obligations to criminalise all acts of violence against women and girls with disabilities. Many states fall short of these obligations, with concerns raised including inconsistencies in the implementation of monitoring and procedural safeguards. The report looks at four areas: legislation to address violence and risk factors; prevention and protection programmes and initiatives; prosecution and punishment; and recovery and rehabilitation. Conclusions and recommendations include: * More systematised and disaggregated data on violence against women and girls with disabilities is needed. * Failures in administration and policy have resulted in such violence remaining largely invisible. * Existing gender-based violence programmes often fail to consider disability; this can and should be rectified alongside the implementation of disability-specific programmes in a holistic approach. * A number of policy recommendations are made covering legislation, policy and services, such as ensuring adequate training for law enforcement officials.