2. States Parties shall accord to women the same rights as men with regard to the nationality of their children. In addition, the UN Human Rights Committee and the European Court of Justice have concluded that denying access to an abortion when necessary to guarantee other human rights, such as the life and well-being of the mother, may violate a state`s human rights obligations. The European Court of Justice found that Poland had violated the applicant`s right to privacy by failing to fulfil its positive obligations “to ensure the physical integrity of pregnant women” when the applicant was refused permission to perform an abortion, even though she had been informed that pregnancy and childbirth could endanger her vision, which she later did. See ECtHR, Tysiąc v. Poland, no. 5410/03, ECtHR 2007-I, judgment of 20 March 2007. The gender equality agenda is specified in fourteen following articles. In its approach, the Convention covers three dimensions of the situation of women.
The civil rights and legal status of women are dealt with in detail. Moreover, unlike other human rights treaties, the Convention also addresses the dimension of human reproduction and the effects of cultural factors on gender relations. Forced sterilization is another area where international human rights law protects women`s right to make informed decisions about their reproductive rights and health. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women found that Hungary had violated the complainant`s rights under article 10 (h) (right to information on family planning), article 12 (discrimination in the field of health) and article 16 (1) (e) (right to decide on the number and distance of children) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination to women when a public hospital forced her to undergo sterilization. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, A.S. v. Hungary, Communication No. 4/2004, opinion of 14 August 2006. Victims of trafficking in human beings are often victims of sexual violence and other serious human rights violations. In its Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking (“Recommended Principles”), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights emphasizes the primacy of human rights in the fight against trafficking in persons.
Both the Trafficking Protocol and the recommended principles emphasize the responsibility of the State to prevent and punish trafficking in persons. To protect the right to health, CEDAW recommends that all States enact and enforce laws to prevent the practice of FGM. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, general recommendation No. 24, Women and health, United Nations document A/54/38/Rev.1 (I), 1999; Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, General Recommendation No. 14: Female circumcision, UN Doc. A/45/38(SUPP), P. 438, 1990. The UN General Assembly, the Commission on the Status of Women and other UN bodies have called on the international community to take active measures to prevent the practice of FGM.
See, for example, UN GI Resolution 67/146, Intensifying Global Efforts to Eradicate Female Genital Mutilation, document A/RES/67/146, 20. December 2012; Commission on the Status of Women, End of Female Genital Mutilation, UN Doc. E/CN.6/2008/L.2/Rev.1, 2008. Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions also prohibits “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular degrading and degrading treatment, rape, forced prostitution and all forms of immoral bodily harm”. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts of 12 August 1949 (Protocol II) (adopted 8 June 1977, entered into force 12 July 1978), 1125 UNTS 17513, art. 4. Furthermore, the ICESCR recognizes the “right of everyone to the opportunity to earn his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts”. Article 7 of Article 6 of the ICESCR protects in particular the right to a fair and equal wage sufficient to enable workers and their families to live in dignity.
Regional human rights treaties also provide special protection for pregnant workers, women workers with family responsibilities and young mothers. See European Social Charter (revised) (adopted 3 May 1996, entered into force 1 July 1999) ETS 163, art. 8, 27; Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (“Protocol of San Salvador”) (adopted on 17 November 1988, entered into force on 16 November 1999) OAS Treaty Series No. 69, art. 6(2), s. 6(2), 9(2); Maputo Protocol, art. 13 Sexual violence against women is particularly prevalent in conflict zones. The army and rebel groups have used rape and other forms of sexual violence as a military tactic against civilians. In 2013, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2106, which recognizes the need for collective action by states, civil society and international actors to implement preventive measures, protect civilians in conflict and punish perpetrators. 2106, S/RES/2106, 24 June 2013. The protection and promotion of all political and civil rights is particularly important for the work of women human rights defenders. Recognizing this special relationship, the Committee on Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs of the United Nations General Assembly called on States to protect women human rights defenders from human rights violations and to protect themselves from impunity for offenders.