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Professor Roure Spearheads March 7 United Nations Panel on Violence Against Women and Girls in Latin America

Professor Jodie Roure in the Department of Latin American and Latina/o Studies organized and will present on the only panel on domestic violence and international human rights law and principles in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Diaspora at the United Nations 57th Commission on the Status of Women in New York. She gathered a spectrum of renowned speakers for the United Nations panel including Ms. Michelle Bachelet, former Chilean president, UN Women Executive Director (invited) and Ms. Rashida Manjoo (confirmed), UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and Minou Tavarez Mirabal (confirmed), daughter of Minerva Mirabal of the Dominican Republic’s Mirabal Sisters who were assassinated by the Trujillo dictatorship.

It is my goal at this panel to publicly persuade governments to take action on domestic violence policy recommendations I will make, which if implemented or at least committed to that day, could ultimately make a difference between the life and death of victims of domestic violence in countries around the globe,” said Roure.

To view photos from the event, click here.

Professor Roure is conducting research on domestic violence in Puerto Rico during her sabbatical year as an unpaid Scholar-in-Residence at the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico School of Law while she completes her book titled Domestic Violence in Latin America: Implementing International Human Rights Law and Principles for the University of Pennsylvania Press Human Rights Series. Her research fills the dearth in the area of domestic violence and the application of international human rights law and principles to eradicate violence against women, specifically in Latin America and the Caribbean and it aims to contribute the development of customary international law that acknowledges domestic violence as a human rights violation.

“I think it is extremely important for John Jay College of Criminal Justice to be the global and national academic leader bringing the topic of domestic violence to surface at the UN CSW 57 especially given that the College is a Hispanic Serving Institution,” said Roure.

“This type of panel is the global work that needs to be supported in order for us to argue that extreme domestic violence should be recognized as a human rights violation protected by customary international human rights law. The significance of this panel happening now, at the United Nations, and with this group of panelists is critical to assisting in the development of the recognition of extreme domestic violence as a human rights violation via customary international law.”

Roure has worked with legal scholar and academic leader in the area of Constitutional and Gender law, Professor Maria D. Fernos and eight law students in Professor Fernos’ law school seminar on Vulnerable Populations. She has observed cases in Puerto Rico’s Special Domestic Violence and Criminal Courts, spoken with judges about the cases observed, followed cases from their initial filings to trial, partaken in interviews with attorneys who represent victims in special domestic violence cases, and observed the legal development of high profile domestic violence cases. Roure’s primary research will facilitate in the analysis of the most recent profile of domestic violence victims, the courts’ handling of the case, and the type of sentences rendered in these cases.

The summary report she will present to the court will also examine possible obstacles to justice and recommend standards and best practices to the Puerto Rico Court System. Professor Roure has examined over 140 case files with the law students and is preparing a summary of the findings with Professor Fernos which will include recommendations to the Puerto Rico judiciary allowing for better service to domestic violence victims and their families in Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra.

She is also researching probono with the a faculty member of the Social Science faculty at the Institute of Labor Relations at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus supervising a group of undergraduate students who are assisting her in conducting research in the area of domestic violence and its economic impact on societies in Latin America and the Caribbean.

At the University of Puerto Rico School of Law-Rio Piedras Campus, she is serving as the onsite coordinator for the 2013 Northeastern People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference. She also serves regularly on the NEPOC conference planning committee. This year’s theme is “Vice” and the conference, open to all, will be held at the UPR Law School from December 5-8, 2013. For more details on the NEPOC conference, please email Professor Elaine Chiu at and click here.