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Optional Protocol to the CEDAW Convention (OP-CEDAW)
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2010-9-7
Title: Optional Protocol to the CEDAW Convention (OP-CEDAW)
Keyword:

It is a human rights treaty that complements the CEDAW Convention. The human rights guarantees established by the CEDAW Convention are far-reaching. This treaty seeks to:

1.Eliminate discrimination against women in the exercise of their economic, social and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights

2.Eliminate discrimination against women in public and private or family life; and

3.Sanction discrimination perpetrated by both government officials and non-governmental individuals, groups or enterprises.

However, the gap between the promise of the CEDAW Convention and the reality of women's lives remains significant. Despite the challenges ahead, the OP-CEDAW goes a long way towards bridging this gap.
The OP-CEDAW creates access to justice for women at the international level. In itself, this treaty does not create new substantive rights. What it does is allow women who have been denied access to their rights as enshrined in the CEDAW Convention at the national level to have their claims reviewed by a committee of independent experts that monitors compliance with the CEDAW Convention.

The OP-CEDAW constitutes a separate treaty and must be independently ratified or acceded to by governments that are already CEDAW Convention States parties. As of 5 May 2009, there are 96 OP-CEDAW States parties. This means that out of the 186 States parties to the CEDAW Convention, 90 are not bound by the OP-CEDAW.

It is a human rights treaty that establishes two additional procedures aimed at addressing violations of women's rights.

The OP-CEDAW provides a mechanism through which the rights contained in the CEDAW Convention can be interpreted and applied. It establishes:
1.A Communications Procedure through which the CEDAW Committee can review complaints to decide if rights guaranteed by the CEDAW Convention have been violated and identify remedies for victims; and

2.An Inquiry Procedure through which the CEDAW Committee can launch an inquiry into grave or systematic violations on its own initiative.

Both the communications and inquiry procedures allow the CEDAW Committee to issue its views and recommendations for addressing women's human rights violations in particular contexts/situations as means to further promote the implementation of the CEDAW Convention at the national level. However, it is important to note that from the moment the CEDAW Committee receives a communication or initiates an inquiry, it works within a set of rigid Rules of Procedure.

 

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