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Hungary women still subject to domestic violence: HRW

Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Wednesday criticized [report, PDF] Hungary for failing to protect the rights of female victims of domestic abuse. The report claims that women who were abused by their partners face difficulties in obtaining protection and other related services. HRW found that traditional social views of women's roles and the acceptance of domestic violence are among the obstacles that hinder successful prevention of domestic abuse. Moreover, the country's legal and political gaps have contributed to this problem. Until July of this year, domestic violence was not considered a separate criminal offense. It was handled like other violence categorized by the severity of the injury. Even with the new law, domestic violence will only be deemed as such if there are at least two instances of an assault by a intimate partner. The reporting numbers are low because of women's fear of further violence or their lack of confidence in the law enforcement. HRW stated:

Hungary has clear obligations under international human rights law to protect women from violence. However, the inadequate police response to domestic violence; the frequent failure to prosecute and punish perpetrators; and the lack of sufficient shelter spaces, services, and support for victims of domestic violence mean that Hungary is falling short of meeting those international human rights obligations and indeed its own guidelines on domestic violence.
HRW recommended the Hungarian government to amend its current domestic violence law to include additional groups of victims, such as rape victims. Moreover, the rights group urged the government to provide training for those who are responsible in enforcing and upholding law.

In September, the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) [official websites] issued a report [JURIST report] revealing that most countries still have legal disparities that prevent women from engaging in economic activity. In the same month, HRW urged [JURIST report] the head of the Rights and Freedoms Working Group for Yemen's National Dialogue to incorporate protections for women in the country's new constitution. HRW listed seven key issues affecting women's rights—equality, non-discrimination, political parties, violence against women, personal status law, child marriage and nationality rights. In May the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) [official website] called for the participation [JURIST report] of Libyan women in the Constitution Drafting Assembly. The UNSMIL noted that the preparation and drafting of the constitution is a significant part of Libya's democratic transition, and the representation and participation of women throughout the process will greatly contribute to the growth of the country. Also in May the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and UN Women [official websites] demanded [JURIST report] Afghanistan's government to fully respect and defend the fundamental rights of women and girls by ensuring the implementation of and respect for women's rights legislation.

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