Femicides: Different Approaches from the Regional Protection of Human Rights

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Isabel Anayanssi Orizaga Inzunza


Since the adoption of the term femicide for gender-based killings of women, the theoretical development and transition of this definition to a legal concept has contributed to the acknowledgment of this phenomenon as the most extreme manifestation of violence against women. In the international sphere, the regional systems of protection of human rights appear as fertile soil for victims of femicide to claim protection. Consequently, the European Court, Inter-American, and the ECOWAS Court of human rights play an important role in the investigation, prosecution, and reparation of femicide in their regions. Nevertheless, through their jurisprudence in the matter, regional courts of human rights have adopted different approaches for femicide. This shows striking differences in the recognition of the phenomenon of femicide, the development of State obligations, and the reparation for victims. The minimalistic approach applied by the European Court in its cases, as well as a single precedent of feminicide studied by the ECOWAS Court, makes us turn the view to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Based on its maximalist approach, the Inter-American Court has gone beyond its sister courts to establish a consolidated recognition of the phenomenon of femicide, and to develop in a wider and deeper way the scope of State obligations and reparations on femicide cases.

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