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Call for papers: international conference "On women's rights: between violence and exploitation"

Call for papers

Three panels animated by scholars presenting their research will articulate the topics mentioned above. The provisional titles of the three panels are:

- Migrant women at the margin;
- Concepts and practices in intersectionality: human rights protection vs violence and exploitation;
- Justiciability of violence and exploitation.

Dates and instructions for contributors:

To participate in the Call for Papers, please send a pdf file including the following information:

a) name, affiliation and contact of author/authors (in case of more authors, please indicate the name of the corresponding author);

b) a title and an abstract of 250 words maximum and 4-6 key-words;

c) an indication of the panel (title and number) for which the paper should be considered to internazionalizzazione.spgi@unipd.it by 30th September 2019 (midnight).

Notification of acceptance will be sent by 10th October 2019. For accepted abstracts, the submission of a working paper before the Conference is strongly encouraged. This will also help the opportunities of publication.

There is no Conference fee


University di Padova, 11th-12th November, 2019

The assumption of this International Conference is that gender-based violence (GBV) perpetrated by males against women, women’s vulnerability, and women’s exploitation are inextricably linked phenomena.

To deal with worldwide violence and exploitation, largely means to tackle occurrences of violence and exploitation that affect women. Against this background some target of migrant women may be a special case.

On the one hand, GBV is one of the root causes of women’s vulnerability in that it directly contributes to it and explains some of its specific features; on the other hand, male violence is a crucial mechanism through which women’s vulnerability and subjugation are maintained, reproduced and reinforced. Both male perpetrators of violence against women and exploiters use similar power control tactics to dominate their victims.

For example, in the realm of trafficking in human beings and severe forms of exploitation at national and global levels (including in the EU), recent observations confirm that family members and other male people in intimate relationship with the concerned women play a crucial role in forcing them to migrate and expose themselves to extremely harmful situations. Indeed, the reason why young women leave their countries (in Africa, South-East Asia, Central America, etc) and enter or are driven into exploitation circuits is often because they are mandated to economically support their male partner or male components of their families. Violence by the intimate partner or other multiple forms of family violence against women and girls are not simply a by-product of poverty and labour exploitation. As fully recognized today, violence is related to the structural differences in terms of power between women and men, reproduced through a gender-based division of roles and reinforced by the persistence of stereotypes rooted in many social norms. For migrant women, in particular, involved in such dynamics, the outcome can be prostitution (irrespective of the policies of toleration or repression adopted at the national levels) or severe forms of exploitation in labour, or a variety of different forms of severe abuse, where gender plays a prominent role.

A correlation between GBV, migration and women’s severe exploitation is nowadays largely reported by any agencies dealing with victims of trafficking in human beings and more in general with the intersectional dimension of discriminations. Intersectorial analysis of violence and exploitation may indeed shed light on a variety of situations, only partially the object of public awareness and ad hoc policies. Violence erupts “unexpectedly” in the grey zones where public/private, identity/difference, material/cultural layers overlap and slip almost irretrievably.

In the 40th anniversary of the CEDAW, and the 30th of the CRC, the Conference holds to a human rights based approach to the issue of violence and exploitation, also in the light of the CEDAW General Recommendation n. 35 (2017), that sets new standards in combating male violence against women and in protecting the dignity and human rights of women and their children.

Adopting a human rights based approach implies that not only rights holders and honored, but also that duty bearers are identified and prompted to comply with their obligations. States, in particular, have to discharge their international obligations in good faith and with due diligence. The due diligence standard is particularly relevant – as the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human rights, the American Court of human Rights and other quasi-judicial bodies have largely proved – in cases of widespread situations of disregard and belittlement of gender-based discriminations and abuse. It is however important to reflect on how far can realistically be pushed the responsibility of States in connection with systemic injustice, and how such forms and accountability can be operationalized in order to enforce a substantial and not just cosmetic change. In this framework, normative reforms and judicial responses are crucially important. Trends in this connections are inconsistent. An increasing awareness of gender discriminations and gaps, is accompanied by tight measures on migrants, minorities, marginalized people.

These issues will be addressed in the key-note speeches that will introduce the conference: “On the struggle against male violence today: state accountability and the due diligence” and “Male violence against women: the challenge of intersectionality”. The final session will be devoted to the operationalization of anti-violence and anti-exploitation policies: contributions will be offered by representative of international bodies and organizations.


The International Conference is organized by the Department of Political Science, Law and International Studies and the Human Rights Centre “Antonio Papisca” of the University of Padova, in the framework of the project “Migrant Women at the Margin: Addressing Vulnerabilities in Intersectionality between Violence and Exploitation/Mwm”, funded by the Cariparo Foundation, Padova/Visiting Programme 2018.

The MwM Project is realized with the University of Wrocław, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of International Studies as leading foreign partner. The Conference is organised in cooperation with the Bachelor Degree Programme in "Political Science, International Relations, Human Rights" and the Master's Degree Programme in "Human Rights and Multi-level Governance".

Loghi International Conference

Conference Programme

Monday, 11th November 2019

Venue: Sala delle Edicole, Palazzo del Capitanio, Piazza Capitaniato, 3, University of Padova

8.45 Registration of participants

9.00 Welcome Addresses

Annalisa Oboe, Vice Rector for Cultural, Social and Gender Relations, University of Padova,

Gabriella Salviulo, Director, Human Rights Centre "Antonio Papisca", University of Padova,

Magdalena Ratajczak, Deputy Director, Institute of International Studies, University of Wrocław

9.30 - 11.30 Session – Addressing violence and exploitation: due diligence and intesersectorial analysis

Chair: Elena Pariotti, Director, Department of Political Science, Law, and International Studies, University of Padova

9.30 - 9.40 Paola Degani, Department of Political Science, Law and International Studies and Human Rights Centre, University of Padova. Introduction

9.40 - 10.20 Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons especially women and children. On the struggle against male violence today: state accountability and the due diligence standard

10.20 - 11.00 Rosa Logar, Co-Founder of WAVE, former member of GREVIO and director of the Domestic Violence Intervention Center Vienna. Male violence against women: the challenge of intersectionality

11.00 - 11.30 Break

Panel 1. 11.30 - 13.00 Migrant women at the margin

Chairs: Magdalena Ratajczak and Katarzyna Jedrzejczyk-Kuliniak, Institute of International Studies, University of Wrocław

13.00 - 14.30 Lunch

Panel 2.  14.30 - 16 Concepts and practices in intersectionality: human rights protection vs violence and exploitation

Chairs: Paola Degani and Pietro de Perini, Department of Political Science, Law, and International Studies and Human Rights Centre, University of Padua

16.00 - 16.30 Break

Panel 3. 16.30 - 18.00 Justiciability of violence and exploiation

Chair: Claudia Pividori, Anti-Violence Centre Padova, and Human Rights Centre, University of Padova

Tuesday, 12th November 2019

Venue: Aula Ippolito Nievo Cortile Antico - Palazzo Bo - via 8 Febbraio 2

9.00 - 11.00 Session – Operationalising the fight against violence and exploitation 

Chair: Paolo De Stefani, Department of Political Science, Law, and International Studies and Human Rights Centre, University of Padova

9.00 - 9.30 Paola Degani. Migrant Women at the Margin: Addressing Vulnerabilities in Intersectionality between Violence and Exploitation / Mwm: the Cariparo Project

9.30 - 10.00 Christina Olsen, Council of Europe, Member of GREVIO’s secretariat. The Istanbul Convention and beyond

10.00 - 10.30 Kristina Touzenis, Head of International Migration Law Unit at IOM. A rights based approach to addressing and avoiding the creation of vulnerabilities

10.30 - 11.00 Maura Misiti, Institute for Research on Population and Social Policies, National Research Council IRPPS-CNR. The multi-agency approach to tackle violence against women: the Anti-Violence Italian Plan 2017-2020

11.00 - 11.30 Break

11.30 - 12.30 Discussion and conclusion


Publication opportunity

Participants to the Conference are encouraged to submit a paper concerning the subject of their contribution/abstract for the consideration of Peace Human Rights Governance (PHRG) the University of Padova Human Rights Centre's (double blind) peer-reviewed journal (http://phrg.padovauniversitypress.it/).

PHRG is four-monthly and open access. It aims to present original contributions, both theoretical, methodological and empirical, to current human rights issues while actively favouring the development of a solid multi- and inter-disciplinary, and multi-level approach to human rights research and dissemination.

For those who want to be considered for this publication opportunity, the final version of the paper should be submitted at phrg.journal@unipd.it by 2 December 2019. The paper should be formatted according to the guidelines presented at https://phrg.padovauniversitypress.it/manuscript_submission_form (possibly using the word template provided in the webpage).


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