Trust Women Conference: The actions
The inaugural Trust Women Conference, held in London Dec. 4-5, 2012, brought together leaders from government, business, the legal world, civil society and the media to come up with concrete solutions to putting the rule of law behind women’s rights.
Jointly organised by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the International Herald Tribune, the conference ended with the following commitments and calls to action.
Raising awareness and making connections
- Thomson Reuters Foundation and the International Herald Tribune will continue to provide systematic media coverage of the issues, themes and debates highlighted at the Trust Women Conference.
- Thomson Reuters Foundation will continue to connect non-governmental organisations, social enterprises and pro bono lawyers involved in advancing women’s rights.
Women’s rights and the Arab Spring
- TrustLaw Connect, Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global platform for pro bono legal support, will launch a research programme to analyse different legal mechanisms to encourage women’s political participation – including quotas – in countries in transition. The research will allow Human Rights Watch to assess the success and failure of these tools.
- With the support of TrustLaw Connect, Aleya Hammad, former executive director of the World Health Organisation, will develop a network of pro bono lawyers dedicated to ensuring due process for women’s rights defenders under pressure in countries of the Islamic world.
- Aleya Hammad will also pursue the support of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces to intensify programmes to train security officers in Africa and the Middle East on gender sensitivity and how to deal with violence against women and other abuses.
- Thomson Reuters Foundation will conduct journalism training in Arab Spring countries on covering women's rights and constitutional rights issues.
- The Trust Women Conference calls on international donors to channel money to grassroots women’s rights organisations in the Middle East and North Africa region via such groups as the Global Fund for Women, Mama Cash and the Association for Women’s Rights in Development, which already have mechanisms to direct aid where it is most needed.
Female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage and gender violence
- The conference calls on governments and the United Nations to live up to commitments they have taken under the soon-to-be-adopted U.N. resolution banning FGM.
- The conference calls on all European countries to sign and ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
- The conference calls on the United States to renew the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.
- The conference calls on governments to give teachers, counsellors and health workers mandatory training to help them identify cases of FGM and other threats such as forced marriage and to ensure that school curricula include information to educate children on their rights.
- 28 Too Many, a London-based anti-FGM organisation, will build a shared online database of information on FGM prevalence and the best ways to tackle it. This action includes an open call to anyone with relevant research and data to submit it for sharing on the public website.
Trafficking and slavery
- The conference calls on all countries to ratify the International Labour Organisation Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers. Only three countries – the Philippines, Uruguay and Mauritius – have so far ratified it.
- The conference calls on major international banks to work with law enforcement agencies to use existing technology and data mining to identify financial transactions that may indicate trafficking and related crimes.
- The conference calls on companies and consumers to do due diligence about the origins of products and services to ensure that supply chains are free of trafficking and slavery. It also supports initiatives that encourage markets to reward supply-chain transparency.
- The conference calls on pro bono lawyers to take on and pursue individual lawsuits on behalf of victims of trafficking and forced labour.
- Thomson Reuters Foundation will launch a TrustLaw Connect research programme to analyse the legality of prostitution in different countries and its impact on trafficking.
- Thomson Reuters Foundation will launch a TrustLaw Connect research programme to analyse the legal status of people rescued from trafficking, focusing on issues such as the right to live and work in the country they were trafficked to.
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Monique Villa, Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO takes the stage at TEDx Houses of Parliament.
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