Update: 19.08.2011

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is responsible for monitoring the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women of 1979. It consists of 23 independent experts, currently 22 women and one man. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women met in New York twice a year from 1982 until 2007.

Monitoring Process

Compared to the other general human rights areas the Committee the on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has a substantially weaker monitoring mechanism. Since the convention has 186 contracting states, they have fallen thoroughly behind in reviewing state reports. 

General Comments

To date the Committee has delivered 26 General Comments («General Recommendations») to substantiate specific Convention rights. The most recent recommendations from 2004 or 2008 address the obligation of states to introduce special measures to achieve de facto equality (Art. 4 para. 1 CEDAW), and the implementation of migrant rights.

Optional Protocol 

In 1999 the Committee introduced the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, which enables its members to take on and review complaints from individuals or groups that have become victim of discrimination for the purpose of the convention. The Optional Protocol entered into force on December 22, 2000.

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