Press Release

IACHR Welcomes the Approval of the Protocol for the Investigation and Litigation of Femicides in Argentina

May 29, 2018

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) welcomes the approval of the Protocol for the investigation and litigation of cases of violent deaths of women or femicides, by the State of Argentina. The IACHR considers that this is a fundamental measure for the prevention, punishment and eradication of gender-based violence against women in the country. Within the framework of its functions and mandates, the IACHR makes itself available to the State to collaborate and to offer the necessary technical assistance to strengthen the work carried out in the effective compliance with the guidelines proposed in the Protocol, as well as to support its dissemination and share this good practice in the Americas.

According to the information received, the Protocol was developed by the Special Unit for Violence against Women (UFEM, in Spanish) and approved by the Attorney General's Office on March 28, 2018. The General Resolution that approves it recommends its use to the national and federal prosecutors of the country for the investigation and litigation of all cases of violent deaths of women. It is a tool that offers members of the Public Prosecutor's Office simple and agile guidelines to act in this type of cases. It is also a tool for them to act with a gender perspective and in an efficient manner in order to ensure that the agency's intervention is developed in accordance with international standards related to due diligence and gender-based criminality.

The Protocol covers all stages of access to justice, from investigation, to sentencing and prison treatment, and analyzes in detail the crime of femicide, its different forms and contexts, contributing to the understanding and awareness of this type of crime. The Commission emphasizes that this instrument takes into consideration all women, explicitly including girls and adolescents, as well as LBTI people, promoting a comprehensive approach for this community. Likewise, the IACHR observes the efforts made by the State to harmonize this instrument with standards and the recommendations issued by this Commission regarding women's access to justice. The IACHR also notes that this Protocol is an adaptation of the Latin American Model Protocol for the investigation of gender-related killings of women - UN Protocol - prepared by the Regional Office for Central America of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and by UN Women.

"The approval of this type of instrument contributes to the visibility of the very serious situation of violence against women. It is a positive advance in the efforts of the Argentine State to banish deeply historically rooted patterns of inequality and discrimination against women in the country", said Commissioner Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva, Country Rapporteur on Argentina. "The protection of women's right to live a life free of violence must be a priority for the States, the adoption of this type of measures is one of the many ways States have to guarantee their effective exercise", said President Margarette May Macaulay, Rapporteur of the IACHR on the Rights of Women.

The Commission urges the State to adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the dissemination and effective implementation of this instrument, including through the systematic training of officials responsible for its application and the rendering of accounts on the fulfillment of its functions.

“The IACHR also urges the States of the region that do not yet have an adequate instrument, to adopt the necessary measures to ensure that the investigation and litigation of all cases of gender-related violent deaths of women have guidelines in line with inter-American recommendations and standards,” said the IACHR Executive Secretary, Paulo Abrão.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 119/18