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State Responsibility Regarding Domestic Violence Against Women With a Focus on Turkey

Kaya, Cigdem (2009)
Department of Law
Abstract
Domestic violence is one of the biggest human rights violations that affect women all over the world regardless of their color, nationality, or age. This problem has reached such a degree that women appear to be more at risk of facing violence inside of the home by a husband or partner, than outside by strangers. However, the traditional view that the State cannot be held responsible for acts of violence inflicted by private actors has been the major impediment to the implementation of legislation that seeks to protect women from such violence. This thesis aims to challenge this view and examines the legal reasoning which demonstrates that the responsibility to protect women from domestic violence lies with the State itself. For that... (More)
Domestic violence is one of the biggest human rights violations that affect women all over the world regardless of their color, nationality, or age. This problem has reached such a degree that women appear to be more at risk of facing violence inside of the home by a husband or partner, than outside by strangers. However, the traditional view that the State cannot be held responsible for acts of violence inflicted by private actors has been the major impediment to the implementation of legislation that seeks to protect women from such violence. This thesis aims to challenge this view and examines the legal reasoning which demonstrates that the responsibility to protect women from domestic violence lies with the State itself. For that purpose, domestic violence is first defined in order to show that its scope is not limited to acts of physical and sexual violence only, and that it also encompasses economic and emotional violence acts. Even women themselves often ignore the real meaning of domestic violence, believing that they are being subjected to ''normal behavior''. After defining its limits, domestic violence is interpreted in the context of the right to be free from discrimination and the prohibition of torture. The association of domestic violence with concrete human rights is crucial since it helps to challenge the misunderstanding that such acts are private matters that have no consequences for State responsibility. The different international and regional human rights instruments that constitute a legal basis for State responsibility regarding acts of domestic violence are analysed in detail. This work uses Turkey as an example in order to give concrete insight into the size of the problem and to analyse the different legislative efforts aiming the implementation of international human rights provisions. Different challenges that preclude an efficient State protection are also pesented. The case study of Turkey reveals some realities that are also valid to a certain extent for other countries facing the same problem as well. In addition, the thesis explores the due diligence standard used to establish the responsibility of the state arising from acts of domestic violence committed by private actors. The purpose of this standard is to show that the State can be responsible even in the case of intimate partner assault. The emerging case-law reveals that courts tend to develop and push the limits of their reasoning on the due diligence obligation of the state regarding the protection of women from domestic violence. Finally, it seems that this whole theoretical demonstration of State responsibility is not enough to bring sustainable solutions to the problem. States need to focus their work on the economic, social and cultural rights in order to eradicate the root causes of domestic violence. They must give priority to the issue of development of women's rights in general with the aim of strengthening women and make them less vulnerable and less at risk of facing such problems. (Less)
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author
Kaya, Cigdem
supervisor
organization
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
International Human Rights Law
language
English
id
1555400
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:23:39
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:23:39
@misc{1555400,
  abstract     = {Domestic violence is one of the biggest human rights violations that affect women all over the world regardless of their color, nationality, or age. This problem has reached such a degree that women appear to be more at risk of facing violence inside of the home by a husband or partner, than outside by strangers. However, the traditional view that the State cannot be held responsible for acts of violence inflicted by private actors has been the major impediment to the implementation of legislation that seeks to protect women from such violence. This thesis aims to challenge this view and examines the legal reasoning which demonstrates that the responsibility to protect women from domestic violence lies with the State itself. For that purpose, domestic violence is first defined in order to show that its scope is not limited to acts of physical and sexual violence only, and that it also encompasses economic and emotional violence acts. Even women themselves often ignore the real meaning of domestic violence, believing that they are being subjected to ''normal behavior''. After defining its limits, domestic violence is interpreted in the context of the right to be free from discrimination and the prohibition of torture. The association of domestic violence with concrete human rights is crucial since it helps to challenge the misunderstanding that such acts are private matters that have no consequences for State responsibility. The different international and regional human rights instruments that constitute a legal basis for State responsibility regarding acts of domestic violence are analysed in detail. This work uses Turkey as an example in order to give concrete insight into the size of the problem and to analyse the different legislative efforts aiming the implementation of international human rights provisions. Different challenges that preclude an efficient State protection are also pesented. The case study of Turkey reveals some realities that are also valid to a certain extent for other countries facing the same problem as well. In addition, the thesis explores the due diligence standard used to establish the responsibility of the state arising from acts of domestic violence committed by private actors. The purpose of this standard is to show that the State can be responsible even in the case of intimate partner assault. The emerging case-law reveals that courts tend to develop and push the limits of their reasoning on the due diligence obligation of the state regarding the protection of women from domestic violence. Finally, it seems that this whole theoretical demonstration of State responsibility is not enough to bring sustainable solutions to the problem. States need to focus their work on the economic, social and cultural rights in order to eradicate the root causes of domestic violence. They must give priority to the issue of development of women's rights in general with the aim of strengthening women and make them less vulnerable and less at risk of facing such problems.},
  author       = {Kaya, Cigdem},
  keyword      = {International Human Rights Law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {State Responsibility Regarding Domestic Violence Against Women With a Focus on Turkey},
  year         = {2009},
}