At a glance
Established: 22 March 1945
Current Membership: 22 states
Official language: Arabic
Official website: www.lasportal.org
Founding document: Pact of the League of Arab States
Core Human Rights Treaties: Arab Charter on Human Rights
VAW/Women’s Rights Treaty: None
- United Arab Emirates
- Saudi Arabia
Which bodies are most effective in tackling violence against women?
Each body within a system can contribute to gender equality and ending violence against women, however some have more opportunities to do so than others. Read the descriptions below for a quick introduction to the main LAS bodies relevant to violence against women or click the related link on the right-hand side of this page for more information.
The AWO is a specialised organ within the LAS dedicated to women’s empowerment and gender equality. Since its creation, the AWO has been active in efforts to tackle VAW through the development of regional strategies, including overseeing the development of the Arab Strategy for Combatting Violence against Women (2011-2020) and the Regional Strategy for the Protection of Arab Women: Peace and Security. The AWO also works to collect data and statistics on the status of women in the Arab region and builds partnerships at the local, national and international level to promote gender equality and the elimination of violence against women. [Read more…]
The Women’s Affairs Directorate is part of the General Secretariat. In recent years it has taken a lead role in tackling violence against women and is accessible to CSOs without formal LAS accreditation. The Women’s Affairs Directorate actively works with the AWO and helped develop the Regional Strategy for the Protection of Arab Women: Peace and Security – one of two strategies that make up the LAS action plan to end violence against women. [Read more…]
Arab Human Rights Committee (AHRC)
The AHRC is the LAS’s core human rights body responsible for overseeing member states implementation of the Arab Charter on Human Rights. It is unable to conduct inquiries and cannot receive individual complaints, however CSOs can engage with the states reporting procedure through the submission of shadow/parallel reports to raise awareness on violence against women in their respective states. [Read more…]
Arab Permanent Committee on Human Rights (APCHR)
The APCHR is responsible for establishing rules of cooperation among member states in the field of human rights. It is the first point of contact for the adoption of human rights mechanisms in the LAS and was primarily responsible for rewriting the 2004 Arab Charter on Human rights. CSOs are allowed to apply for observer status, however the restrictive criteria has resulted in very few attaining it. [Read more…]
The Human Rights Department is part of the General Secretariat. Its primary purpose is to provide technical and administrative support to the APCHR. In the past, it has also carried out a number of other activities – including thematic discussions with CSO participation.
The General Secretariat allows anyone to contact its departments, so the Human Rights Department can be a significant entry point for CSOs to access the APCHR and other decision-making bodies of the LAS. [Read more…]
The Arab Parliament was established to ensure economic, social and development cooperation towards achieving Arab unity between LAS member states and Arab people. This includes the development of Arab cooperation in the field of human rights. Its work is carried out by four main permanent committees – one of which is the Committee for Social, Cultural, Women and Youth Affairs – with support from its own General Secretariat and Parliamentary Bureau. There is also a President, who represents the Parliament during external relations. The Arab Parliament’s work has produced the Arab Principles on Women’s Rights, which was created as a guidance document for national legislation on issues related to women’s rights. [Read more…]