Hammarberg highlights “enduring problem” of Iceland’s domestic violence

Domestic violence is an “enduring” problem in Iceland, according to human rights commissioner Thomas Hammarberg.

“Violence against women remains an enduring problem in Iceland,” Hammarberg said at the close of his two-day country visit. “The police, the prosecution service and the courts all have a central role to play in enforcing the current legislation against gender-based violence and bringing perpetrators to justice.”

After visiting the women’s shelter and the centre for victims of sexual violence in Reykjavik, the Commissioner noted the steady progress achieved in providing support services to victims of violence. “Unfortunately, there are indications that violence is now taking even more serious forms and further efforts are needed to combat trafficking in human beings and to identify victims of trafficking.” he said.

The Commissioner for Human Rights is also worried that the current non-discrimination provisions in Icelandic law do not protect all vulnerable groups of people to the same extent. People with disabilities, older persons, members of ethnic and religious minorities and transgender persons would benefit from stronger guarantees against discrimination, Hammarberg claims.

He added: “Equal treatment legislation should cover all the relevant grounds of discrimination in all walks of life.”

More information

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