EL PAcCTO has collaborated in the drafting and approval of the Agreement on Protection Measures for Women in Situations of Gender Violence
The last meeting of the Ministers of Justice of Mercosur and Associated States has served to approve the agreement, which promotes the extension of protection for women victims of gender violence in the countries that have ratified it.
The approval of this agreement has counted with the collaboration of the European program EL PAcCTO, which has promoted this advance with the support of a proposal based on the experience of the European Union in this type of agreements between different jurisdictions. Two experts from the Spanish Attorney General’s Office, the COMJIB (Conference of Ministers of Justice of Ibero-American Countries) and members of EL PAcCTO have worked on the agreement together with Latin American institutions. The general coordinator of COMJIB, Tatiana Salem, confirmed that they have worked with the focal points of EL PAcCTO “to learn about local legislation on the protection of victims of violence and human trafficking in order to extend this protection not only in the country where the crime occurs, but also in other countries”.
Of course, this agreement is a step forward in the area of gender-based violence in the region. In fact, the Minister of Justice of Argentina, Martín Soria, has recognized this and explained that, from now on, “when a judge issues a sentence, all countries will recognize the judicial measure”. And, therefore, “it is a very important decision in such sensitive issues as gender violence”, he declared.
In addition, Gastón Gianero, the national director of constitutional affairs of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Uruguay, recognized that “an effective and efficient recognition was necessary and that it did not have to go through different instances of validation”. This agreement means, as Gianero adds, that “an Uruguayan citizen who travels to Argentina, but who in her country has obtained a protection order from the person who was denounced and proven to be the aggressor, has the right to accredit that restraining order and have it recognized and enforced in Argentina as well”.
An achievement of cooperation
For EL PAcCTO, the signing of this agreement is “a qualitative advance for democracy in the region”, according to Antonio Roma, coordinator of the justice area of EL PAcCTO. The reason, he explains, is that “in addition to providing protection to victims of gender violence, giving cross-border effect to restraining orders issued by national judges, it incorporates a new cooperation technique based on the principle of mutual recognition.” Of course, this “places the states of the region at the forefront of the world with respect to legal cooperation techniques,” adds Roma. One of the achievements to be highlighted, Roma assures, is “the democratic quality”.
This agreement is also an achievement for the FIIAPP, which is co-leading EL PAcCTO program together with Expertise France. The FIIAPP’s Director of Justice and Rule of Law, Mariano Guillén, said that this agreement “helps to homogenize legislation in the region. It is done with European support, which guarantees a certain capacity for trans-regional dialogue that should lead to systems that guarantee the protection of women in their countries, in their regions and beyond their regions.