Side event at the 65th session of the Commisison on the Status of Women

Enhancing police and justice responses to gender-based violence against women:  new tools and emerging challenges in times of the pandemic 


Monday, 22 March 2021, from 10.00-11.30 EST  

Please register here

Zoom link to join the webinar:

Passcode: GBVTool1@



Gender-based violence, including trafficking in persons, targets or affects women and girls disproportionately.  About 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced sexual and other forms of violence and this does not include  figures relating to sexual harrassment. Women are also much more likely than men to be killed by their intimate  partners or family members. Crimes involving violence against women are among the most under-reported and the  least likely to end in conviction. Survivors often face significant obstacles due to gaps in criminal law and procedure,  gender stereotypes, victim blaming and inadequate responses of criminal justice institutions and professionals,  leading to secondary victimization. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has further reduced access to essential police  and justice services for women, despite reports of increased levels of gender-based violence, especially in the home. 

To end all forms of gender-based violence against women and girls by 2030, in line with Sustainable Development  Goal 5.2, comprehensive and multi-sectoral solutions are required. The criminal justice sector plays a pivotal role  in protecting survivors of violence and preventing future acts of violence. UNODC has been supporting police and  other criminal justice institutions to ensure that this is done in a victim/survivor-centered, trauma-informed and  coordinated manner, in line with the updated Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of  Violence against Women in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress  and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and other related international standards and  norms. UNODC offers targeted technical assistance in collaboration with its UN partners such as UN Women, including under the UN-EU Spotlight Initiative and the Joint UN Global Programme on Essential Services for  Women and Girls subject to Violence.  

The event aims at sharing experiences and tools, such as the Handbook on Gender-Responsive  Police Services for Women and Girls subject to Violence, the Handbook on Effective  Prosecution Responses to Violence against Women and Girls and the Handbook for the  Judiciary on Effective Criminal Justice Responses to Gender-based Violence against Women  and Girls, and good practices on criminal justice responses to gender-based violence against  women, particularly in light of the impact of COVID-19 and in view of possible future  emergencies.  

In addressing the complexities of trafficking in persons, the analysis of existing case law and  sharing of promising practices and lessons learned is of utmost importance for practitioners. A  recent UNODC study on interlinkages between victimization, control methods of traffickers,  including GBVAW and the principle of non-punishment will be discussed. This event, which will  be moderated, will provide a space for learning and interaction among Member States, civil society  and UN partners.  

A positive initial contact experience with police is critical for survivors of VAWG. Having a  truly gender-responsive police and justice sector – where officials are fully trained, supported  by management, and enjoy the faith and trust of the communities in which they live and work,  is crucial to ensuring that women and girls remain safe, and that those who perpetrate violence  will be held accountable. Strengthening police and justice sector responses are firmly at the  centre of the SG’s Political Engagement Strategy on VAW and the Generation Equality  Action Coalition on Gender-based violence, and platforms such as this proposed side event  during CSW 65 will help amplify key messaging in this area and maintain high-level political  support. 

Read more here