X-post # 16 [end-violence] Adoption of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW

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Subject: X-post # 16 [end-violence] Adoption of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW
From: Jyothi Kanics (jkanics@igc.apc.org)
Date: Tue Mar 16 1999 - 08:48:06 EST


Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 13:50:48 -0500
To: end-violence@edc-cit.org
From: End-Violence Moderator <end-violence-mod@edc-cit.org>
Subject: [end-violence] Adoption of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW

Dear Working Group Members,

Last Friday, March 12, 1999 the Commission on the Status of Women,
currently convening in New York, adopted an Optional Protocol to the United
Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women (CEDAW). This protocol will strengthen the possibility to use
CEDAW to end discrimination, including violence against women.

The Optional Protocol contains two procedures: a communications procedure
allowing individual women, or groups of women, to submit claims of
violations of rights to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
against Women; and an inquiry procedure enabling the Committee to initiate
inquiries into situations of grave or systematic violations of women's
rights. In either case, states must be party to the Protocol. The Optional
Protocol will be submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations
for adoption later this year, and should be open for signature,
ratification and accession in 2000.

The Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and
Advancement of Women, Angela King, said that "the adoption of the Optional
Protocol is particularly significant as 1999 is the 20th anniversary of the
adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women. Together with the achievement of the goal of
universal ratification of the Convention by the year 2000, the Optional
Protocol is a major step forward in Governments' commitment to the
realization of women's human rights".

In a press release human rights organization Amnesty International gave a
"cautious welcome" to the adoption of the Protocol, claiming that it has
not gone far enough in addressing the situation of women who suffer human
rights violations. "Despite the flaws, the Optional Protocol is an
important tool and Amnesty International will work together with other non
governmental organisations to promote a clear and grassroots understanding
of how it can be used to protect women's human rights."

The text of the Optional Protocol and the the resolution accompanying can
be found at <http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/protocol/adopted.htm>
(both in PDF format, which requires the Acrobat Reader software).

Warmest regards,

the Moderators


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