It hasn’t been any different with regard to sexuality, reproduction and bodily autonomy. Advocating for punitive strategies has become a common practice for human rights organizations, social movements, women, decision makers, politicians and stakeholders, but this trend could strengthen and legitimize one of the worst practices of our brittle states: the punitive system. The excessive application of criminal justice takes place in the context of neoliberal structures, such as the global health economy and the medical and penitentiary industrial complexes, and in contexts of militarization, structural violence, human trafficking and escalating use of the criminal justice system as a state response to economic and social problems.
The overuse of criminal justice is driven by the argument of providing protection and preserving morals, but it is rooted in patriarchal systems and institutionalizes racism and oppression which support and strengthen transversal structures of inequality, including those based on race, ethnicity, class, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, location, legal status, (dis)ability, health, age and religion.
Despite the efforts to adopt laws that criminalize violations of sexual and reproductive rights, oftentimes the structural problems from which these violations arise lose priority. In our experience defending sexual and reproductive justice, criminal justice has not appropriately prevented impunity or put an end to, or fairly reduced, sexual and reproductive rights violations against adolescents.
The organizations and collectives that comprise Injusta Justicia believe it is necessary to broaden the discussion about sexual and reproductive rights violations. We believe it is necessary to create spaces to analyze, debate, and define a comprehensive strategy that doesn’t rely solely on criminalization to fight against sexual and reproductive rights violations. This is why the Injusta Justicia campaign seeks to invites reflection on the limits of criminal law, punitivism and protectionism as defense strategies for sexual and reproductive rights, particularly those of adolescents. Injusta Justicia aims to put the unforeseen consequences of punitive strategies and the unrestricted application of penal regulations under the spotlight to protect sexual and reproductive rights and to analyze the effects these have on the autonomy and the lives of adolescents.
In Injusta Justicia, we don’t have – or presume to have – all the answers. Our aim is to open the necessary discussions to propose transforming strategies. We also raise the question of whether it is possible to rethink the way we do justice, provide support, and seek remedy for the survivors. Injusta Justicia invites us to have these conversations, think about alternatives to the punitive and criminal systems, and create different ways to bring justice.
Injusta Justicia is coordinated by RESURJ, Vecinas Feministas and Balance AC, and it is promoted jointly by Aireana, BECA, Casa Rara, Intersecta, Las Ramonas, REDI, Surkuna, and Tik Na’Oj, feminist organizations and collectives in the region.