Ending violence against women and children
10 December 2009, Dili – On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Timor-Leste (SRSG) addressed the special session of Timor-Leste's National Parliament to commemorate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The special session was dedicated to consideration of the rights of women and female children in Timor-Leste.
SRSG Khare highlighted the importance of the role of the Government and civil society in ending violence against women. "This House has shown its concern for ending violence against women and children, in all forms, not only through lending its support to the public campaigns to stop violence against women, but also through its special session on 8 March of this year. This Parliamentary support should also continue, as it is through Parliamentary processes that any Government of the day is held to account, to its people, on human rights obligations enshrined in its Constitution," – he said.
Referring to the progress made by Timor-Leste, SRSG Khare mentioned the country's participation in trilateral discussion of the protection of women and girls in situations of armed conflict and in post-conflict settings as per the UN Security Council Resolution 1325. The Parliament has also supported the adoption of the new Penal Code, which makes domestic violence a public crime.
He underlined the need for the participation of women in all decision-making processes, the prevention and protection of women and girls from gender-based violence, and the promotion and protection of the rights of women. He hoped that the legislative process in this field will continue. "I hope that this House will lend its support and weight to the adoption of the proposed Domestic Violence Law that is to be tabled before it in the coming months," SRSG Khare said.