WILPF’s recommendations for the pre-session of the Universal Periodic Review of Spain

February 2, 2015

WILPF’s mission is to end and prevent war, ensure that women are represented at all levels in peace-building processes, defend the human rights of women, and promote social, economic and political justice.

Gender based violence

Since the approval of the Organic Law 1/2004 on comprehensive protection measures against gender based violence, integral assistance to victims of gender based violence has been continuously jeopardised. Since the beginning of the economic recession, in particular since 2011, as no legal norm or political agreement guarantees minimum standards on availability, accessibility and quality.

Over the last few years, economic resources allocated to combating gender based violence have been drastically reduced, thus leading to the following consequences:

o the lack of guarantee in the continuity of care services to women victims of gender based violence;

o the decrease in quality of those services, taking into account the budgetary shortages that have particularly affected personnel working in those care and attention services;

o the absence of measures to guarantee the adequate training of all personnel working in courts dealing with violence against women as well as in other care services for victims, in particular referring to the elimination of prejudices and stereotypes that impede access to justice and protection for victims;

o the lack of guarantee for adequate investigation of cases of gender based violence by the courts in case victims face difficulties to provide evidence.

WILPF would like to suggest the following recommendation for the UPR of Spain:

• To assign sufficient resources for the implementation of the Organic Law 1/2004 on comprehensive protection measures against gender based violence, with special attention to the availability, accessibility and quality in all of Spain’s territory. 2.

Access to justice

We currently observe that not only civil rights and liberties are gradually being reduced, but also that a Law on judicial fees has been approved in Spain, thus weakening even more the most disadvantaged people, while other countries such as France have abolished such laws. Spanish society has shown its repulsion against this law that establishes partial justice, accessible only to those who can afford it, considering the high fees.

WILPF would like to suggest the following recommendation for the UPR of Spain:

• Abolish the new Law on Judicial Fees and fully eliminate such fees that impede equal access to justice

Universal Justice

The government of Spain has curtailed principles of universal justice with the aim of closing open cases in the National Court concerning genocide and war crimes. Reforms of the Penal Code and the Law on Civil Security are currently ongoing. These reforms aim at limiting even more the right of citizens to protest in the streets freely and peacefully, expressing their opinions in a peaceful manner.

The reform of the Civil Security Law empties of judicial control a wide array of light infractions that nevertheless do qualify as administrative. Hence, they are sanctioned by a high amount of economic fines, especially when it comes to civil protests, even when they are carried out in a peaceful manner.

WILPF would like to suggest the following recommendation for the UPR of Spain:

• That the Spanish State stops curtailing civil rights and liberties and does not carry out these bills.

Truth, justice and victims’ reparations

WILPF would like to highlight the situation of families who claim the right and the necessity to create a Truth Commission in Spain, particularly regarding crimes committed under Francoism, and that have created a Platform for the Right to the truth, justice and victims’ reparations.

WILPF would like to suggest the following recommendation for the UPR of Spain:

• To establish a Truth Commission for the crimes committed under Francoism.

Impact of Arms Trade on Human Rights

Respecting human rights is a universal obligation and also refers to the non-violation of the rights of citizens from other countries. It is necessary to ensure that Spain does not export weapons to other countries where there is risk of human rights violations, as stated in the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which is not yet in force, but its implementation is imminent.

WILPF is concerned about the secrecy of the preliminary “Arms Export Control Reports” from the Parliament and the general secrecy concerning everything related to the arms industry.

WILPF would like to suggest the following recommendation for the UPR of Spain:

• Strictly control arms sales to countries where there is risk of weapons being used to violate human rights. Additionally, the preparatory Arms Export Control Reports from the Parliament ought to be processed under the principles of openness and transparency.

Contact us:

Laura Alonso Cano, WILPF Spain, lalonso(a)ceipaz.org

María Muñoz Maraver, WILPF International: mmunoz(a)wilpf.ch

Access to Justice Arm Transfers Gender Based Violence Spain UPR Statement

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