Ecuador: Update Response to Information Request ECU23549.E of 16 April 1996 on domestic violence, including the effectiveness of the December 1995 law on violence against women and the family, the number of reported cases, the number of cases investigated, and the mandate and effectiveness of "Comisarías de la Mujer"
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 March 1998|
|Citation / Document Symbol||ECU28826.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ecuador: Update Response to Information Request ECU23549.E of 16 April 1996 on domestic violence, including the effectiveness of the December 1995 law on violence against women and the family, the number of reported cases, the number of cases investigated, and the mandate and effectiveness of "Comisarías de la Mujer", 1 March 1998, ECU28826.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6abf81c.html [accessed 5 March 2015]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
A 11 April 1996 Boletín Red contra la Violencia report states that reforms to Ecuador's Penal Code and Penal Procedural Code needed to be carried out in order to implement the December 1995 Law Against Violence to Women and Family (10). The report adds that some concepts in those codes violated the spirit of the law (ibid.).
However, some positive initiatives, such as a delegation of Ecuadoran jurists to Philadelphia to visit its family courts, were carried out because of the law (The Legal Intelligencer 26 June 1996). The report adds that Ecuador was planning to reform its family court system in the summer of 1996 (ibid.). Another initiative involved the creation of a Gender Training Manual for court staff and lawyers (Boletín 13 Oct. 1996, 22). This initiative was instigated by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and was intended to aid the justice system in the prevention of violence against women (ibid.).
Other initiatives by Ecuadoran women included a nation-wide campaign launched by the Women's Studies and Research Center (Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones de la Mujer Ecuatoriana, CEIME) called Por el Derecho a vivir una vida sin violencia (which can be translated as "For the right to live a life without violence") to educate women about the law (Boletín Red contra la Violencia 14 Dec. 1996, 12). The Quito chapter of the World Association of Community Radios (Asociación Mundial de Radios Comunitarias, AMARC) was also planning a campaign to sensitize women to issues of violence (Boletín Red contra la Violencia 16 July 1997, 12).
In a September 1997 IPS report, a representative of Ecuador's National Office of Women, Elsa de la Torre, stated that the new legislation had had a beneficial influence on the self-esteem of battered women.
As indicated in Response to Information Request ECU23549.E of 16 April 1996, Comisarías de La Mujer y La Familia are police stations for women. This is corroborated in the 11 April 1996 Boletín Red contra la Violencia report, which states that these police stations for women, in light of the Law Against Violence to Women and Family, would have the jurisdiction to judge and punish aggressors of violence against women (20).
Another Boletin Red contra la Violencia report states there were five police stations for women in Ecuador and that funding for them had been secured for another three years; however, the report adds that more were needed and that their quality needed to be improved (13 Oct. 1996, 16). The same report states that the funding for the stations had been made possible because of an agreement signed between the Corporación de ONG de Apoyo and the Agencia Interamericana de Desarrollo (ibid.). Furthermore, the $620 million in funding would also be used for informing the population about the law, for training staff at the police stations for women and for strategy implementation to prevent violence against women (ibid.).
Specific information on the number of reported and investigated cases of domestic violence since December 1995 could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Boletín Red Contra la Violencia [Santiago]. 16 July 1997. "AMARC en campaña contra la violencia."
_____. 14 Decembre 1996. "Ecuador."
_____. 13 October 1996. "Ecuador: Training Manual for Judicial Staff."
_____. 13 October 1996. "Ecuador: Comisarías de la Mujer."
_____. 11 April 1996. "Ecuador: Aprobada ley contra la violencia."
InterPress Service (IPS). 5 September 1997. Estrella Gutierrez. "Women: Growing Awareness on Domestic Violence in Andean Region." (NEXIS)
The Legal Intelligencer [Philadelphia, Pa.]. 26 June 1996. Michael Riccardi. "Ecuadorean Jurists Explore Philadelphia City Courts; Bonavitacola Helps Lay Groundwork for New Family Court System." (NEXIS)
Additional Sources Consulted
Andean Newsletter [Lima]. 1996-1998.
Latinamerica Press [Lima]. 1996-1998.
Latin American Regional Reports: Andean Group Report [London]. 1996-1998.
Electronic sources: IRB Databases, Global News Bank, Internet, REFWORLD, World News Connection (WNC).