UN Women, 15 October 2012 This report outlines the findings of an online consultation that was moderated by Jo on behalf of UN Women, to support preparations for the 2013 Commission on the Status of Women. The discussion brought together the views of diverse respondents on the good practices and key gaps and challenges in presenting and responding to violence against women and girls. Participants included representatives from civil society, government organizations, research and leadership institutions and UN agencies in many countries from all regions of the world. The discussions will be taken into consideration in the development of the Secretary-General’s Reports to the Commission on the Status of Women. Download Report: To access a summary of the contributions to the online discussions, please click here.
Policy paper on reprisals against human rights defenders working with the UN, joint published with the International Service for Human Rights, Geneva
Respect and Protect? Exploring the need for the United Nations Human Rights Council to strengthen its response to reprisals - Jo Baker and the ISHR. As recently reported by the Feb 2012 issue of Human Rights Monitor Quarterly, this policy paper with the International Service for Human Rights, falls among an expanding body of concern about the reprisals that continue to take place against human rights defenders who cooperate with the Council's key mechanisms, and the Council's responsibilities in this regard. It was written in late 2011 thanks to input from a wide range of human rights practitioners working with and at the UN Human Rights Council. By addressing the extent to which the Council mechanisms rely on private actors and intermediaries, the study contends that it cannot effectively fulfill its mandate without better protecting them – and being seen to be ... Read the full article
This legal study explores the scope of the discrimination facing Sri Lanka’s largest group of war-affected survivors - Tamil women in the North and East of the country - and the need for gender-sensitive truth commissioning following the country's three-decades of conflict. It assesses key legal and practical obstacles to achieving this according to the international legal framework on non-discrimination, and briefly proposes ways to place Tamil women more centrally, and therefore legally, within the transitional narrative. The paper occupied the full December 2011 volume of Sri Lanka's Law and Society Trust Review, a monthly legal journal edited by renowned human rights lawyer, Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena (please see Editor's Note, below), but was featured in various potted forms, such as for popular Sri Lankan media site, Groundviews, and on Open Democracy. The former was cited, as a sound analysis, in the response ... Read the full article
Analysis of gender in Sri Lanka’s reconciliation commissions: published in Groundviews ‘Long Reads’; cited in TNA report
11 November 2011. Long Reads brings to Groundviews long-form journalism found in publications such as Foreign Policy, The New Yorker and the New York Times . This article was cited and quoted by the Tamil National Alliance, in its critique of the LLRC report, in Jan 2012. The power and promise of national exercises like the LLRC lies in the way that they can access the voices of those who have not traditionally been heard, and use them to build a more inclusive collective memory. Yet for Sri Lanka’s Tamil women, the LLRC simply reaffirms bad old habits, writes Jo Baker In the lead up to the release of the report by Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), strong concerns have been publicly raised about the value of a process that aims to build a clear picture of the conflict, without fully ... Read the full article
Jo presented research at the 16th UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva at the side event, ‘Evolution of the recent debate on defamation of religions‘, on behalf of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), and the SOAS Human Rights Law Clinic. The study charts the development of discourse on religious defamation at the United Nations, and analyses blasphemy cases in Pakistan, Syria and Algeria using the international human rights legal framework. It has been published by the Social Science Research Network (available to download here in full), and was well used by NGOs and delegates at the Session in the lead up to a groundbreaking draft resolution that better preserved the right to free expression. Also on the panel were the Director of the Human Rights Treaties Division at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ibrahim Salama ; Pakistan MP, ... Read the full article