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First Extraordinary Conference of the Belém do Pará Convention in Mexico Approved the Second Follow-up report on the Recommendations of the Committee of Experts

  October 25, 2014

The First Extraordinary Conference of the States Parties to the Belém do Pará Convention of the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) of the Organization of American States (OAS), concluded Friday after three days of work in Mexico City, with the approval of the Second Follow-up Report on the Recommendations of the Committee of Experts, the Follow-up Mechanism of the Convention's Strategic Plan 2014-2017; and the presentation of the guide to the implementation of the historic document.

In fundamental terms, the Second Follow-up Report on the Recommendations of the Committee of Experts is a regional look at the progress and challenges of the States in their efforts to secure the right of women to live free of violence. The document describes the best practices of States Parties in the implementation of the recommendations and legislative analysis in the area of ​​violence against women from the 32 states parties to the Convention.

The report allows for promotion of the exchange of tools between states and visualization of a roadmap to advance in addressing the region's challenges and reduce the gap between the formal recognition of women's rights and their full realization.
The Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women was adopted in Belém do Pará, Brazil, in 1994, and is known as the Convention of Belém do Pará. The instrument proclaims that violence against women constitutes a violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The effective implementation of the Convention requires a continuous and independent evaluation process, which in 2004 led to the creation of the Follow-up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI), which is used as a systematic and permanent multilateral evaluation methodology that is based on exchanges and technical cooperation between the States Party to the Convention and a Committee of Experts.

During the Conference, the President of the Conference of States Parties, President and Delegate of the CIM and Minister for the Status of Women in Costa Rica, Alejandra Mora Mora, stressed the importance of the agreements reached at the meeting, and said that "we expect them to be made concrete with the will of all States Parties and members of the OAS." In this way, the President Mora Mora said the region can move forward and continue to deepen "the challenges imposed by the obligation to ensure a world free of violence for women."

At another point in her speech, President called Mora Mora calls to continue strengthening the MESECVI "as a reference body to ensure the rights of women in the region."

For her part, the Executive Secretary of the CIM, Carmen Moreno, recalled that since the Belém do Pará Convention took effect two decades ago, the Americas has emerged as the region with the highest level of policy development to protect women from violence, with strong comprehensive national laws that reflect, and in some cases exceed, the provisions of the Convention. "The adoption of ever more laws on various manifestations of violence against women -femicide, rape and sexual harassment, trafficking in women and girls, the political, economic and symbolic violence, among others - is an clear indicator of political will and commitment to strengthen the response to this violence from a human rights perspective," she said.

In relation to the current debate on a new global development agenda post-2015, Executive Secretary Moreno proposal to put back on the table the roots of the problem, and discuss "the issue of the power structures that perpetuate inequalities gender and which promote and encourage discrimination and violence against women." "In the last 15 years violence against women has been cited many times as the missing Millennium Development Goal because violence hurts the achievement of any of the other development goals we wanted to achieve," she added.

The Strategic Plan of the MESECVI 2014-2017 which aims to eradicate violence -in both the public and private spheres- against women, consists of four themes: Strengthening the institutionalism of the MESECVI; Strengthening the technical capacities of the national mechanisms on women’s affairs; Inter-sectorial response to the problems of violence against women; and societal awareness-raising regarding the problem of violence against women, as well as the promotion of the Belém do Pará Convention.

Meanwhile, the Guide o the implementation of the Convention of Belém do Pará is a document that intended to serve as tool to strengthen the knowledge, interpretation and application of the Convention in States Parties. Thus, looking to facilitate understanding of their commitments under the Convention and promote compliance with these obligations in addressing violence against women, and includes areas such as prevention, care, punish and eradicate such violence.

The event was co-organized by the CIM and the National Institute for Women (Inmujeres) of Mexico, and brought together authorities in countries that have ratified the Convention of Belém do Pará to analyze and discuss the progress and challenges in the field of violence against women.

The Belém do Pará Convention established for the first time the development of mechanisms for the protection and defense of women's rights in the struggle to eliminate violence against their physical, sexual and psychological integrity, in both the public and private spheres. MESECVI analyzes progress in the implementation of the Convention by the States Party, as well as persistent challenges to an effective State response to violence against women.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-461/14