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Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women

The post of Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences, was created by CHR resolution 1994/45. Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy (Sri Lanka), was appointed to the position and continues to serve as Special Rapporteur.

The Special Rapporteur's mandate is based on the substantive analysis of violence against women contained within the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women.

According to Article 2 of the Declaration, violence against women encompasses, but is not limited to, physical, sexual and psychological violence, which occurs:

(1) In the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation

(2) In the community, including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions and elsewhere, trafficking in women and forced prostitution

(3) Perpetrated or condoned by the state, including during times of armed conflict.

As of April 2000, the Special Rapporteur has produced eight thematic reports1:

(1) Preliminary survey of all forms of violence against women, E/CN.4/1995/42, issued on 22 November 1994;

(2) Violence in the family, E/CN.4/1996/53, issued on 5 February 1996;

(3) Violence in the community, E/CN.4/1997/47, issued on 12 February 1997;

(4) Violence by the state and during armed conflict, E/CN.4/1998/54, issued on 26 January 1998;

(5) An assessment of state responses to domestic violence, E/CN.4/1999/68, issued on 10 March 1999;

(6) Policies and practices that impact women's reproductive rights and contribute to, cause or constitute violence against women, E/CN.4/1999/68/Add.4, issued on 21 January 1999;

(7) Economic and social policy and its impact on violence against women, E/CN.4/2000/68/Add.5, 24 February 2000;

(8) Trafficking in women, women's migration and violence against women, E/CN.4/2000/68, issued on 29 February 2000.

1 Copies of the Special Rapporteur's reports, as well as model domestic violence legislation (E/CN.4/1996/53/Add.2, issued on 2 February 1996) and communications to and from governments are available on the OHCHR website (