Shadow Reports for the UN Human Rights Council and UN Committee Against Torture on Sexual Violence in the U.S. Military
- Shadow Report to the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT)
- UN Committee Against Torture's Concluding Observations
- Shadow Report to the UN Human Rights Council
- UN Human Rights Council (Draft) Working Group Report on U.S. Universal Periodic Review
- U.S. Response to UPR Recommendations
- Submission to the UN Committee Against Torture to Inform its List of Issues Prior to Reporting
In September and October 2014, the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, together with the Global Gender Justice Clinic, submitted two shadow reports on the issue of sexual violence in the U.S. military to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT). The Center sought to build coalitions with peer civil society organizations and was able to gather support from SWAN with its UPR shadow report, and from the ACLU, Equality Now, SWAN and the Military Rape Crisis Center as they agreed to sign on to the Center's CAT shadow report. In June 2016, SWAN and Equality Now joined the Clinic in submitting an updated report to the CAT Committee for the United States' next CAT review.
The Center also engaged with many other U.S.-based advocates through coordinating a U.S. Human Rights Network CAT working group in preparation for the upcoming 53rd session of the Committee Against Torture reviewing the United States' implementation of the Convention Against Torture. To complement its advocacy efforts, the Center prepared further advocacy materials as Center faculty, students and a survivor of military sexual assault traveled to Geneva to participate and directly engage with key stakeholders at the Committee Against Torture's U.S. review session in November 2014. (To read a press release on the submission to and participation in the UN Committee Against Torture proceedings, please click here).
After the review session, the Committee Against Torture released its Concluding Observations, which included a specific paragraph on "Sexual violence and rape in the United States military" noting its concern about the high prevalence of sexual violence and recommending the United States to increase its efforts to prevent and eradicate sexual violence in the military by taking effective measures to ensure prompt and impartial investigations, protection from any acts of retaliation or reprisals, and ensure equal access to disability compensation to veterans who are survivors of military sexual assault.
The Center continued its advocacy efforts around the United States' Universal Periodic Review session in May 2015 and again traveled to Geneva to engage in advocacy with diplomatic missions and other stakeholders in March 2015. (To learn more about the March delegation to Geneva, please click here.)
During the UN review in May, two countries specifically raised the issue of sexual violence in the U.S. military, and recommended the U.S. to provide access to justice to survivors, prosecute offenders and provide redress to the survivors. Specifically, Denmark recommended that providing such access to justice included removing prosecutorial decision-making powers from the chain of command. For a further detailed report on the United States' Universal Periodic Review, please click here.