Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council – 17th Session

Annual Full-Day Discussion on Women’s Human Rights

Statement by Australia
10 June 2011

Panel 1: “Good Practices and remaining gaps in the prevention of violence against women”

Australia’s experience in preventing violence against women

Australia welcomes the opportunity to participate in this discussion. Australia recognises that reducing violence against women is crucial to fulfilling women’s human rights, achieving gender equality and improving development effectiveness.

One in three Australian women have experienced physical violence, and one in five have experienced sexual violence. Indigenous women and girls are 35 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence than other Australian women and girls. Women with a disability are more likely to experience partner or sexual violence.

The Commonwealth government has been working closely with State and Territory governments to develop the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 (National Plan). The National Plan includes best practice benchmarks for work in primary prevention in schools, community and sporting groups, local government agencies, and business groups.

One initiative under the National Plan is ‘The Line’, a social marketing campaign designed to engage young Australians aged between 12 and 20 through social media with a message about ‘respect’. Other initiatives include the establishment of a national telephone and online crisis support service and establishing a National Centre of Excellence to evaluate strategies to reduce violence against women.

The Australian Government will invest $96.4 million over four years for initiatives to eliminate violence against women in developing countries throughout East Asia and the Pacific. Activities will include establishing and improving crisis services, strengthening counselling and legal support, and sharing best practice approaches.

We would appreciate receiving information on any best practice national plans that have measurably increased the protection of women and their children.

Data and information collection by the Council

Collation of data and information on violence against women should form part of all Special Procedures mandate holders country visit and fact-finding mission terms of reference. The data and information collated should feature in Special Procedures mandate holders’ reports.

Monitoring and evaluation

Donors should ensure UN specialised agencies and NGO ending violence against women prevention proposals include a monitoring and evaluation component.

Better ensuring consistency of funding

Through the UPR, the Council should identify the capacity building required for the development of initiatives and policies aimed at preventing violence against women. The Council should then encourage relevant States to source monies for these purposes through the UPR Voluntary Fund for Financial and Technical Assistance.

Identifying and eliminating underlying causes including structural barriers

The Council could establish an Ending Violence Against Women Working Group or a Forum on Ending Violence Against Women whose terms of reference include identifying and eliminating underlying causes of violence against women including as it relates to structural barriers.