WILPF’s Recommendations For The Pre Session Of The Universal Periodic Review Of Bolivia

3 November 2014

Femicide and Gender Based Violence

 A.   Follow up to the first review

At the first Universal Periodic Review of Bolivia in 2010, Costa Rica and the Netherlands made recommendations (n°33 and 31) to encourage Bolivia to adequately criminalise the crime of femicide and take measures to combat gender based violence.

Additionally, France and Azerbaijan recommended that Bolivia increase its efforts to combat domestic violence and violence against women (recommendation n°31).

All these recommendations were accepted by Bolivia.

B.   New developments since the last review

 The term “femicide” has recently become commonly used due to the worrying frequency of this crime against women.

In Bolivia, femicides have increased in terms of recurrence and cruelty. Such crimes reflect the asymmetrical power relations between genders, and constitute a social and security issue that the Bolivian state has not yet faced due to lack of resources and political will.

According to data gathered by the Center of Information and Development of Women (CIDEM), 110 femicides have been reported in 2013 in Bolivia. Between January and June 2014, 59 femicides have been reported, of which 36 were perpetrated by a husband or a partner. A woman dies every three days in Bolivia; yet, 97% of the femicides reported remain unpunished.[1]

In order to tackle this issue of femicide and gender-based violence, the Bolivian Parliament adopted in March 2013 the law n°348 that guarantees women a life free from violence by establishing mechanisms and measures for prevention of gender-motivated killings, protection and reparation for women victims of violence, as well as prosecution measures for those responsible.

WILPF welcomes this law that contains all the main elements to tackle femicide and violence against women. However, this law has yet to be effectively implemented in practice. Since its adoption last year, the implementation has been very slow: the specialised judges prescribed by the law have not been created as of today; the number of judges and forensic surgeons has to be increased to ensure prompt and effective investigations of femicide cases; programmes of attention to women, especially at the local level, have yet to be implemented; and local staff has yet to receive specific training.

Legislation without implementation is not enough to effectively and efficiently tackle the issue of femicide in Bolivia. To date, the law n°348 merely is a legal document that has not yet brought any real and concrete improvement for Bolivian women on the ground

C. Recommendations

In this context, WILPF suggests the following recommendations for the UPR of Bolivia:

  • Accelerate the implementation of the law n°348 at all levels, and provide adequate gender-sensitive training to local staff
  • Guarantee the protection of women who denounce violence against them
  • Present a complete and impartial follow-up report to assess the implementation of the law n°348, providing detailed information on the existing results of this law 

II. National Action Plan on the implementation of the UNSC Resolution 1325

A.   New developments since the last review

Women play an essential role in advancing peace, security, development and human rights. In this regard, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325 has a profound meaning for men and women in the world, as it urges Member States to ensure increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of conflict.

A national action plan for the implementation of the UNSC Resolution 1325 has yet to be developed in Bolivia. The Bolivian state has to demonstrate its support for this resolution and take into consideration issues of gender equality in relevant legislations to promote equality and justice.

B. Recommendations

In this context, WILPF suggests the following recommendations for the UPR of Bolivia:

  • Develop a national action plan for the implementation of the UN Security Council 1325
  • Bring the complementarity of the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the UNSCR 1325 to the attention of all the public institutions of Bolivia.

To contact WILPF International: Léa Kor at lkor@wilpf.ch or rights@wilpf.ch

To contact WILPF Bolivia: Maria Rita Patiño Uriona at rpuo9@hotmail.com

Recomendaciones para el EPU de Bolivia

[1] Datos de feminicidios y asesinato por inseguridad ciudadana, Años 2009-2014 (p), Centro de Información y Desarrollo de la Mujer (CIDEM)