16 November 2015

Oral Statement by Civil Society Coalition in Timor-Leste to Sixty-Second CEDAW Session November 2015



ORAL STATEMENT BY CIVIL SOCIETY COALITION IN TIMOR-LESTE (35 NATIONAL CSOS/NGOS)

62ND CEDAW SESSION, NOVEMBER 2015

Note: Please consider this email or this statement as final version and it’s the statement from Rede Feto, JSMP and ALFeLa and please ignore the previous email or statement that was not from the JSMP and Amnesty International. We apologize  for the inconvenience.

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Thank you Madame Chair,

On behalf of Timorese Women we are present our priority issues:

    Women’s leadership / decision making positions (Local Level)
    National Action Plan based on the Law against Domestic Violence
    Re – Entry School Policy

1. WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP POSITION

In rural areas of Timor-Leste, women as “leaders” are still restricted by social, cultural and political barriers. There is continued under-representation of women in public life and decision making processes. We have 442 (four hundred and forty two) village chiefs in Timor-Leste and only 12 (2%) are women.  Out of 65 Sub-Districts, only 5% of women only hold posts as Sub-District Administrators, and none of them are District Administrators. To ensure the involvement of women in this process, we urge the CEDAW Committee to recommend to our government to guarantee quotas for women leaders in the village election law which will be discussed by the National Parliament in 2016.

2. NATIONAL ACTION PLAN BASED ON THE LAW AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

While the National Action Plan on Domestic Violence and GBV requires appropriate provision for victims’ services, the government lacks the resources both financial and human especially in the rural areas. Additionally, as safe houses are limited, sometimes the victims still have to share the same shelter with the perpetrators. This National Action Plan has not been implemented effectively.  This action plan also does not enable additional services that allows for victims, including their children to recover from trauma and most victims end up in other vulnerable situations. The government needs to evaluate this action plan to ensure its policies, and provide economic initiative programs. This must include the implementation of the Civil Protection Order as a priority because it protects victims and witnesses in cases of domestic violence.

The Law against Domestic Violence that was enacted in 2010 is also not effectively implemented. To date, our monitoring shows that there is a lack of protection to access justice for victim of Domestic Violence and GBV.  Protection orders are also almost never applied and there is weak sentencing in cases of violence against women and girls.  From 2010 to 2013 our court monitoring shows that 52% court decision has been suspended and 24% decision resulted in the issuing of only fines to the perpetrator of domestic violence.


Related to the implementation of the national action plan, the NGOs currently depend mostly on international funding, that has an impact on the sustainable implementation of this action plan. We urge the CEDAW Committee to recommend to our government to allocate a permanent budget for NGOs and service provider Institutions

3. RE-ENTRY SCHOOL POLICY

Finally, the Re-Entry School Policy based on CEDAW’s 2009 Concluding Observation is still poorly implemented. In reality the number of girls dropping out of school continues to increase.  Many of these girls continue to face stigmatisation and often are transferred to different schools. In these new schools they face difficulties including lack of family support.

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS:

We urge the Committee to request the State Party to:

1.    Ensure the effective and timely implementation of the GBV NAP and Law against Domestic Violence.

2.    Ensure the effective implementation of the Witness Protection Law

3.    Adhere to the 2009 Concluding Observations on the re-entry policy on education

4.    Provide adequate resources both financial and human for work on women’s human rights as stated above

Thank you for your attention.

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