Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
The Optional Protocol entered into force in 2000. States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women that also ratified the Optional Protocol recognise the competence of the Committe on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to receive complaints from individuals and groups within the State Party's jurisdiction, once domestic remedies have proven to be ineffective (So called Communication Procedure). The Communication Procedure is regulated by Art 1-7 of the Optional Protocol. The OHCHR prepared an information note on the submission of individual complaints under theCEDAW Optional Protocal, which can be found on the OHCHR website.
Check if your country has already signed and ratified the Optional Protocol, or has done it with reservations, HERE.
The Committe can also initiate inquiries into situations of grave or systematic violations of women's rights any time it receives reliable information, provided a State is party to CEDAW and the Optional Protocol (So called Inquiry Procedure). States, however, can opt out of this procedure. The Inquire Procedure is regulated by Art. 8 of the Optional Protocol. A first inquiry has been made in 2005 on cases of abduction, rape and murder of women in and around Ciudad Juárez, State of Chihuahua, Mexico.
The International Land Coalition has published the following reports and briefs related to CEDAW:
- Rural Women’s Access to Land and Property in Selected Countries: Jointly published by FAO, IFAD and ILC, this report assesses progress towards achieving CEDAW articles 14, 15 and 16 (on rural women).
- CEDAW update: an update of the tables of the above-mentioned report on progress of CEDAW implementation (2010).
- CEDAW infonote and Q&A: a tool for CSOs interested in engaging with CEDAW (plus relevant links).
The Australian Human Rights Commission published a guide to using the Optional Protocol to CEDAW and other institutional complaints mechanisms, "Mechanisms for Advancing Women's Human Rights" (2011), where you can find more information.