Update: 30.10.2008

Women's Rights Convention: Switzerland Ratifies Optional Protocol

On 29 September 2008, Switzerland ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The protocol grants additional anti-discrimination protection by enabling individuals or groups to bring complaints before a UN committee for violations of their rights under the convention.

All the Way to the Parliament's Approval

The Swiss government had announced on November 2006 that it had decided to ratify the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (OP-CEDAW). During their Spring 2008 session, both Chambers of the Parliament had approved the ratification - almost unanimously. Indeed, After the consultation procedure concerning the ratification of the OP-CEDAW was closed on 30 April 2006 the Federal Council approved the report on the consultation on 29 November 2006 and decided to ratify the protocol. The Protocol was signed on 15 February 2007. During its Spring session 2008, both the National Council and the Council of States almost unanimously approuved the ratificationof the Optional Protocol.

The 1979 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) entered into force in Switzerland in April 1997 only. The Foreign Department said that the ratification of the Optional Protocol by Switzerland is a logical step in the implementation of the CEDAW. It follows the principles of the human rights active policy led by Switzerland as well as those of all EU states who already have ratified the protocol. A federal consultation procedure took place between 25 January and 30 April 2006, during which the International Law and Humanitarian Law Division of the Foreign Department received 56 answers, all but 2 in favour of the ratification.

Further information

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