Violence against women and girls constitutes the single most prevalent and universal violation of human rights. The United Nations, in keeping with the spirit of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, works in many ways to eliminate this morally unacceptable scourge. One such effort in 1998-1999, focussing attention on the issue of gender violence, is the "UN Inter-Agency Campaign on Women's Human Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean" to combat violence against Women and Girls, under the slogan "A life free of violence: it's our right".
This public awareness and advocacy campaign draws upon the opportunities presented by the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is through the principles and challenges agreed upon by over 194 governments at the 1994 UN Conference on Human Rights, that a new global perspective was placed on the seriousness of the discrimination and injustice faced by women around the world. As a result of this commitment, as well as, two key international instruments, the Beijing Declaration from the 1995 Conference on Women, Peace and Development and the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), that we are now able to take bold steps and make wide strides in eradicating the most prevalent and universal injustice against women.