Expanding Due Diligence: Human Rights Risk Assessments and Limits to State Interventions Aimed at Preventing Domestic Violence
Much has been discussed about the consolidating due diligence doctrine in the field of international human rights law and how it applies to intimate partner violence (IPV) and other forms of violence against women (VAW). Due diligence obligations to prevent IPV contain programmatic elements, guiding States to intervene and prevent human rights violations arising from IPV. This article demonstrates that in the case of IPV, human rights violations can be primary and secondary. The article then discusses due diligence in the context of IPV prevention, revealing two important State conducts: anticipative prevention and escalation mitigation. The article explains that States’ due diligence obligations to prevent IPV contain obligations to address both primary and secondary human rights violations and introduce developments to the current prevention model. The article proposes that to prevent IPV and other forms of VAW, States should perform human rights risk assessments. However, deriving State interventions can be often limited by the right to private and family life, making it necessary to incorporate the victim’s agency, needs and wishes within the risk-assessment process as well as following intervention.
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