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Pace University

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

International Law

1997

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The Utility Of International Law For Protecting Women's Health Rights, Vanessa Merton Jan 1997

The Utility Of International Law For Protecting Women's Health Rights, Vanessa Merton

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

There is one area, however, where international law seems to hold promise; certain cultural practices that pose special, direct threats to the lives and health of women (although male infants and children often share women's vulnerability in this regard). I have in mind sexual slavery, coercive prostitution and pornographic exploitation, rape, compulsory marriage, coerced impregnation and its converse, coerced abortion and sterilization; spousal abuse, dowry deaths and coerced suicide, female infanticide and sex-specific abortion. All of these practices are the product not of microbes, poor hygiene, or a lack of health care, but of deliberate human behavior. All these practices …