Michael Platzer
Liaison Officer, ACUNS Vienna Liaison Office

Leah Norris
Collaborator, ACUNS Vienna Liaison Office

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In this Current Issues podcast, the ACUNS Vienna Liason Office shares their efforts in seeking to shape and influence thinking – and policy debates – around the issues of femicide; the death penalty in Europe; and the abolition of child brides, forced marriages and violence against migrant women around the world. ACUNS Vienna Liaison office director Michael Platzer and volunteer Leah Norris describes their team’s role in crafting a soon-to-be-adopted UN General Assembly Resolution on femicide that will require member states to take action on the prevention of violence against women and in particular the gender-related killing of women and girls. This has been supported by Asian and Latin American countries that have enacted model legislation to address femicide. The forthcoming draft Resolution will be the subject of a High-Level Panel discussion on October 18th in New York that will draw attention to effective programmes to stop femicides, including: improved methods of investigation, prosecution, and punishment of the perpetrators, awareness raising, and the introduction of new legislation. NB This event is open to members of the ACUNS Community.

Norris and Platzer also have supported the launch of the website Femicide News that provides educational resources on femicide and tracks the latest news and developments on femicide.

A second area of activity for the ACUNS Vienna office has been tracking the abolition of the death penalty in Europe and their reporting of executions and the related judgments in their UN Vienna Death Penalty Updates. Recently the updates have placed an emphasis on individuals executed due to convictions for drug related offenses. The updates focus on what efforts are being made by the United Nations, International Organizations, and states to abolish the death penalty. It also focuses on the reporting of executions in a state by state break down that is categorized via region.

Finally, ACUNS Vienna is tackling the issue of child brides/forced marriages and violence against migrant women. Every year an estimated 14 million girls are married before the age of 18.

The podcast closes out with a discussion of ACUNS Vienna’s upcoming conference “Facing Changing Realities – The Evolution of UN Policies” in Vienna.

Additional Resources

Michael Platzer, Background

Michael Platzer is Liason Officer for ACUNS and Chair of the Vienna NGO Alliance for Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

Leah Norris, Background

Leah Norris is a collaborater with ACUNS Vienna in Austria. Leah graduated with a B.A. from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in the United States of America and worked for the District Attorney’s office will in Law School. Later, she moved to Austria to work on her Master’s in International Relations at Webster University.