Our Global Initiative is a separate project organised by EgLex on protection of the rights of a woman-mother in cohabitation without marriage.
This initiative is closely linked to the obligations of the States to "take all appropriate and effective measures to overcome all forms of gender-based violence, whether by public or private act" (General Recommendation no. 19 CEDAW). The absence of laws protecting a weaker partner, caretaker of the house and kids, is the fertile ground for the incidents of Gender-based Violence (economic, psychological and physical). This is also one of the possible reasons for feminisation of poverty.
In the modern world, families are often created not as a result of a proposal to marry, but rather as starting to live together, and eventually having kids.
A few countries in Europe, like Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Scotland, Croatia and Slovenia, recognise de facto relationships akin or almost akin to marriage.
This gives protection to a vulnerable partner, most often a woman-mother in the family, which constitutes the right to equal treatment and non-discrimination as provided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention for Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Not giving protection to the weaker partner is contrary to the explanation of the CEDAW Committee in § 18 of the General Recommendation no. 21 (1994): “Moreover, generally a de facto union is not given legal protection at all. Women living in such relationships should have their equality of status with men both in family life and in the sharing income and assets protected by law”. This States' obligation under article 16 (1) has been reiterated in §§ 30, 31 General Recommendation no. 29 (2013).
Our Association advocates family values, recognises contribution of each partner in monetary or non-monetary ways, and promotes protection of economic rights of a weaker partner in a factual relationship upon a separation and determination of child custody. By doing so, we are also working against victimisation and discrimination of women whose biological role and attachment to children may lead them to a vulnerable situation.
If a factual informal partnership has lasted longer than 5 years (from the beginning of sharing a common household), or if the partners have or have had a common child, it should be treated as a marriage by Law.
If such partnership has been dissolved, the weaker partner who was contributing in a non-monetary manner shall be entitled to receive compensation from the other partner. The property regime for cohabiting partners shall be equivalent to the property regime for spouses.
How we plan to do this
- Making research on a legal and social reform necessary to achieve recognition of informal families (including translating national family law) across the World.
- Writing reports to UN monitoring bodies on all states coming up for examination: Committee on the Rights of the Child - Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women - Human Rights Committee - Universal Periodic Review - Regional human rights monitoring bodies.
- Preparing individual complaints to the UN quasi-judicial bodies.
- Lobbying national parliaments and governments.
We start from Europe, and have an ambition to expand globally.
As this work is very labor and time intensive, we are looking to raise FUNDS to order to ensure a team of qualified and enthusiastic people to work on the Initiative.