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    For information only - not an official document

    23 November 2015

    Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Yury Fedotov:

    Statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

    VIENNA, 23 November (UN Information Service) - Violence against women and girls is a brutal fact in every country; it cuts across all cultures and every level of society.

    Forty-seven per cent of women murdered, in 2012, were killed by family members or intimate partners, compared to just six per cent of male homicide victims.

    But the problem goes far wider. Around the world women and girls are killed due to claims of witchcraft or die in so-called honour-related or dowry-related killings.

    Acts of violence kill people and devastate lives. However, the costs of violence are not just measured in appalling injuries and broken confidence; they increase healthcare expenses and lead to productivity losses. 

    The Sustainable Development Goals, endorsed in late September in New York, have specifically recognised the impact on development of violence against women and girls.

    Goal 5 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.

    No country can afford to ignore these crimes. Yet despite real progress, police and legal systems still fail women and girls around the world.

    To assist, and in line with human rights, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and its partners are stepping up their work, not only towards Goal 5, but also Goal 16, which calls for violence reductions, greater access to justice and effective, accountable and transparent institutions.

    UNODC is spearheading collective action together with UN Women, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, to encourage countries to ensure the investigation, prosecution and punishment of all those involved in these crimes.

    Our priority is to ensure the implementation of the two UN General Assembly resolutions, in 2013 and 2015, on gender related killings of women and girls.

    UNODC is also working hard on the necessary strategies to confront human trafficking, one of the causes of violence against women and girls.

    Our overall efforts will help develop stronger evidence-based crime prevention and criminal justice methods as well as international standards to halt the violence and to ensure women and girls are treated with respect and dignity.

    On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, I call on governments, international organizations and civil society to undertake the efforts needed to end this senseless violence.

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    For further information please contact:

    David Dadge
    Spokesperson, UNODC
    Phone: (+43 1) 26060-5629
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629
    Email: david.dadge[at]