International Legal Framework

Prominent Examples

There are a number of international legal frameworks that set out internationally agreed norms and standards in relation to the protection and support of women, some of which are legally binding. Some of the most prominent ones are set out in the table below; however other frameworks (including local frameworks), which are supposed to protect and support women and girls, exist.

Two extensive lists can be found here:

Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2015

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a key part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is the shared framework for inclusive and sustainable development adopted by all United Nations Member States at a special summit in 2015.


Istanbul Convention (European Legal Framework) 2011

On 11 May 2011, the “Convention of the Council of Europe on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence” was signed by 13 countries in Istanbul, and therefore carries the title “Istanbul Convention”. It is the first legally-binding instrument in Europe in this field, and in terms of scope, the most far reaching international treaty to tackle this serious violation of human rights.


Beijing Platform and Declaration for Action 1995

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is a visionary agenda for women’s rights. It is considered to be the most comprehensive global policy framework and progressive blueprint for action in the advancement for women’s rights internationally. It was developed at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995.


Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women 1993

The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in the 48/104 resolution of 20 December 1993. It contains the recognition of "the urgent need for the universal application to women of the rights and principles with regard to equality, security, liberty, integrity and dignity of all human beings".


Vienna Declaration and Platform for Action 1993

The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (VDPA) is a human rights declaration adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993 in Vienna, Austria. The Declaration affirms the commitment of all States to fulfill their obligations with respect to the principles of human rights, reaffirms that human rights are the birthright of all human beings and emphasizes that international cooperation in the field of human rights is essential for the full achievement of the purposes of the United Nations.


European Parliament Resolution on violence against women 1986

As early as 1986 the European Parliament issued a resolution concerning violence against women. Among other points, the Resolution recommends in article 26 EU Member States to provide sufficient places in women's shelters – the rate of one family place per 10.000 inhabitants:


Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 1979

The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, CEDAW, is a treaty codified in 1979. It is one of the most important legally binding instruments for ending all forms of discrimination against women.

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