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Press Release

Message from EULEX Head of Mission Bernd Borchardt on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

25 November 2013, Pristina

Today, 25 November, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The aim of this day is to raise awareness of and emphasize fact that women around the world are subject to physical and sexual violence, both inside and outside the home.

This year's world-wide campaign highlighting violence against women is an opportunity to reflect on progress achieved, but also to consider how much remains to be done to further strengthen the commitment to women's rights, peace and equality.

The EULEX Mission supports Kosovo to build justice and security institutions that protect women and girls from violence and discrimination. EULEX is currently involved in more than 10 cases of investigation and prosecution of rape as a war crime, and also provide advice and support to Kosovo institutions in the fight against human trafficking.

Kosovo institutions should further be commended for establishing a legal framework for the safeguard of women, in particular, through the appointment of the National Coordinator on Domestic Violence and the adoption of standard operating procedures for protection from domestic violence. EULEX supports the Kosovo institutions in its efforts to increase the participation of women working within rule of law institutions: more women representation within their structures is crucial in responding to the security threats to women victims of gender based violence.

Violence against women and girls is both a crime and a human rights violation that touches every society throughout the world. Societies with less violence against women have been shown to be more equitable, more stable and more economically prosperous. In short, addressing violence against women means investing in the future of all citizens.