This week in Chennai, the British Deputy High Commissioner Chennai, Bharat Joshi will release publications, in Tamil, ‘Locating the Survivor in the Indian Criminal Justice System: Decoding the Law’ & ‘Frequently Asked Questions: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Violence’. These publications are the result of the UK-supported project to provide women’s rights NGOs, activists, lawyers, prosecutors and practitioners with a hands-on guidance and context on the issue of sexual violence.
Bharat Joshi said:
I’m really pleased that the British government has funded Tamil translations of these important publications which offer practical guidance to the victims of sexual violence and to support those working to protect the rights of women and girls in India. We hope these documents will make a real difference, including by contributing to improving India’s ranking in the Global Gender Gap report.
In Chennai, the event will be presided over by senior personalities from Tamil Nadu including:
- Justice (Retd) K P Siva Subramanian
- Justice (Retd) Chandru
- Jayanthi, I.A.S Member, Tamil Nadu State Human Rights Commission
- Saraswathi Rangasamy, Chairperson, Tamil Nadu Child Rights Commission
The event is organised by Women’s Collective Chennai and Lawyers Collective New Delhi, both leading human rights practitioners.
In 2014, the British High Commission in India launched the English version of the publications. In collaboration with women’s rights institutions such as Women’s Collective and Lawyers Collective the English publications have been translated into Hindi, Marathi and Tamil to take messages and guidance to individuals and institutions working at the grassroots. The publications are meant to facilitate a co-ordinated, efficient and sensitive justice response system to survivors of sexual offences. The framework looks at providing assistance and support to the survivor through every step of the criminal justice process. The step-by-step guidance includes guidance for lawyers and prosecutors and offers comprehensive coverage of the survivor’s entitlement introduced by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013. It also discusses changes in the Indian Penal Code. It is hoped that the publication will help successful completion of legal proceedings in cases involving women survivors. The publications build on the high level of public interest around preventing sexual and other violence against women in India and builds on work that is already undertaken by the Government of India.
globally, one in three women is beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. Addressing violence against women and girls is a central development goal in its own right, and key to achieving other development outcomes for individual women, their families, communities and nations. Globally up to 50 percent of sexual assaults are committed against girls under 16. Violence against women and girls reduces progress towards the millennium development goals and violates women and girls’ human rights. Girls who experience violence are less likely to complete their education. It reduces women’s ability to earn a living. And it significantly increases the risk of maternal death and vulnerability to HIV and AIDS.
the UK is committed to improving the everyday lives of girls and women, by helping to challenge social norms and behaviours which perpetuate violence and inequality, to support girls’ and women’s ability to speak out safely and to strengthen legal frameworks which protect women’s rights. These are critical to preventing, and responding to, violence against girls and women. In the last 2 years the UK has greatly increased its work to tackle violence against women globally. The UK Department for International Development (DFID) is now working in 20 countries to directly address violence against women and girls and some of the most prominent work is in India. DFID is supporting the Government of Bihar to implement the 2005 Domestic Violence Act – putting in place and training new protection officers, improving help lines, and making homes and public spaces safer for women. The UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) also supports, with CARE India and Indian corporates, another project in India to strengthen private sector commitment to, and practice of, the women’s empowerment principles.
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