"The landmark law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women was a huge achievement for all Afghans," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a release. "But implementation has been slow and uneven, with police still reluctant to enforce the legal prohibition against violence and harmful practices."
Over the past year, police officers have mediated more cases registered under the anti-violence law, but many of the cases were resolved using informal means, which often fails to protect women, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said.
In a sample of 16 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, police and prosecutors registered 650 incidents of violence against women from October 2012 to September 2013. Prosecutors used the law in 109, or 17 percent, of the cases and courts applied it in 60 decisions.
In the previous year, 470 reported incidents of violence against women were registered. The law was applied in 72, or 15 percent, with courts using it in 52 decisions.
The law, enacted in 2009 criminalizes acts of violence against women, as well as child marriage, forced marriage, forced self-immolation, rape, beating and other acts.
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