Approval of the Agreement on Protective Measures for Women in Situations of Gender-Based Violence in Mercosur and the Associated States - EL PAcCTO
Latin America / Cooperation between justice systems / Gender issues

Approval of the Agreement on Protective Measures for Women in Situations of Gender-Based Violence in Mercosur and the Associated States

13 June 2022

At the last meeting of Ministers of Justice of Mercosur and Associated States on 10 June, the agreement to extend the protection of women victims of gender-based violence to all the countries that have ratified this agreement was approved.

EL PAcCTO has collaborated and promoted this great progress by supporting a proposal based on experience in the European Union with this type of pact between jurisdictions. Two experts from the Spanish General Prosecutor’s Office and COMJIB  have been working together with members of EL PAcCTO and Latin American institutions for months. “We have worked with EL PAcCTO focal points to learn about local legislation on the protection of victims of violence and human trafficking to extend this protection not only in the country where the crime takes place but also in other Mercosur countries and Associated States” said COMJIB general coordinator, Tatiana Salem.

The Agreement on the Recognition of Protection Measures for Women in Situations of Gender-Based Violence has been approved under the Presidency of the Ministry of Justice of Paraguay and will now be circulated to all countries for signature, ratification and legislative approval.

A breakthrough in terms of gender-based violence in the region

The Minister of Justice of Argentina, Martín Soria, appreciates the great progress that the agreement represents for women and explains to EL PAcCTO that “when a judge issues an order, all the countries will recognise the judicial measure recognised by the judge of those countries. It is a very important decision on a sensitive subject like gender-based violence.”

“In a very mobile region within Mercosur and Associated States, this recognition was necessary and needed to be effective and efficient and not have to go through different validation instances” remarked Gastón Gianero, national director of constitutional affairs of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Uruguay.

“A Uruguayan citizen who travels to Argentina who has obtained a protection order in her country from the person who was denounced and proven to be the perpetrator has the right to demand that the restraining order also be recognised and executed in Argentina”, said the representative of Uruguay.

A great result for EL PAcCTO in terms of gender

The coordinator of the justice area of EL PAcCTO, Antonio Roma, said that “the signing of the agreement is a qualitative step forward for democracy in the region. As well as protecting victims of gender-based violence by giving cross-border enforceability to restraining orders issued by national judges, it incorporates a new cooperation technique based on mutual recognition. This positions the States of the region at the forefront of the world in terms of legal cooperation techniques. A large number of women are protected, a number we hope will grow, but one of the achievements to highlight is, without a doubt, the quality of the democracy involved”.

According to FIIAPP , the Spanish institution that leads EL PAcCTO with Expertise France, this agreement “helps to standardise legislation in the region. It also has European assistance, which guarantees a certain space for transregional dialogue that will lead to systems that guarantee protection for women in their countries, in regions and beyond their regions,” said Mariano Guillén, director of Justice and Rule of Law of the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP).