ON THE ELIMINATION OF
ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Discrimination against Women
The States Parties to the present Protocol,
Noting that the Charter of the United Nations reaffirms faith in fundamental
human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal
rights of men and women,
Also noting that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims
that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and
that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein,
without distinction of any kind, including distinction based on sex,
Recalling that the International Covenants on Human Rights and other
international human rights instruments prohibit discrimination on the basis
Also recalling the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women ("the Convention"), in which the States Parties thereto condemn
discrimination against women in all its forms and agree to pursue by all
appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination
Reaffirming their determination to ensure the full and equal enjoyment
by women of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and to take effective
action to prevent violations of these rights and freedoms,
Have agreed as follows:
State Party to the present Protocol ("State Party") recognizes the competence
of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women ("the
Committee") to receive and consider communications submitted in accordance
with article 2.
may be submitted by or on behalf of individuals or groups of individuals,
under the jurisdiction of a State Party, claiming to be victims of a violation
of any of the rights set forth in the Convention by that State Party. Where
a communication is submitted on behalf of individuals or groups of individuals,
this shall be with their consent unless the author can justify acting on
their behalf without such consent.
shall be in writing and shall not be anonymous. No communication shall
be received by the Committee if it concerns a State Party to the Convention
that is not a party to the present Protocol.
1. The Committee shall
not consider a communication unless it has ascertained that all available
domestic remedies have been exhausted unless the application of such remedies
is unreasonably prolonged or unlikely to bring effective relief.
2. The Committee shall
declare a communication inadmissible where:
The same matter has already been examined by the Committee or has been
or is being examined under another procedure of international investigation
It is incompatible with the provisions of the Convention;
It is manifestly ill-founded or not sufficiently substantiated;
It is an abuse of the right to submit a communication;
The facts that are the subject of the communication occurred prior to the
entry into force of the present Protocol for the State Party concerned
unless those facts continued after that date.
1. At any time after
the receipt of a communication and before a determination on the merits
has been reached, the Committee may transmit to the State Party concerned
for its urgent consideration a request that the State Party take such interim
measures as may be necessary to avoid possible irreparable damage to the
victim or victims of the alleged violation.
2. Where the Committee exercises
its discretion under paragraph 1 of the present article, this does not
imply a determination on admissibility or on the merits of the communication.
1. Unless the Committee
considers a communication inadmissible without reference to the State Party
concerned, and provided that the individual or individuals consent to the
disclosure of their identity to that State Party, the Committee shall bring
any communication submitted to it under the present Protocol confidentially
to the attention of the State Party concerned.
2. Within six months,
the receiving State Party shall submit to the Committee written explanations
or statements clarifying the matter and the remedy, if any, that may have
been provided by that State Party.
1. The Committee shall
consider communications received under the present Protocol in the light
of all information made available to it by or on behalf of individuals
or groups of individuals and by the State Party concerned, provided that
this information is transmitted to the parties concerned.
2. The Committee shall
hold closed meetings when examining communications under the present Protocol.
3. After examining a
communication, the Committee shall transmit its views on the communication,
together with its recommendations, if any, to the parties concerned.
4. The State Party shall
give due consideration to the views of the Committee, together with its
recommendations, if any, and shall submit to the Committee, within six
months, a written response, including information on any action taken in
the light of the views and recommendations of the Committee.
5. The Committee may
invite the State Party to submit further information about any measures
the State Party has taken in response to its views or recommendations,
if any, including as deemed appropriate by the Committee, in the State
Party's subsequent reports under article 18 of the Convention.
1. If the Committee
receives reliable information indicating grave or systematic violations
by a State Party of rights set forth in the Convention, the Committee shall
invite that State Party to cooperate in the examination of the information
and to this end to submit observations with regard to the information concerned.
2. Taking into account
any observations that may have been submitted by the State Party concerned
as well as any other reliable information available to it, the Committee
may designate one or more of its members to conduct an inquiry and to report
urgently to the Committee. Where warranted and with the consent of the
State Party, the inquiry may include a visit to its territory.
3. After examining the
findings of such an inquiry, the Committee shall transmit these findings
to the State Party concerned together with any comments and recommendations.
4. The State Party concerned
shall, within six months of receiving the findings, comments and recommendations
transmitted by the Committee, submit its observations to the Committee.
5. Such an inquiry shall
be conducted confidentially and the cooperation of the State Party shall
be sought at all stages of the proceedings.
1. The Committee may
invite the State Party concerned to include in its report under article
18 of the Convention details of any measures taken in response to an inquiry
conducted under article 8 of the present Protocol.
2. The Committee may,
if necessary, after the end of the period of six months referred to in
article 8.4, invite the State Party concerned to inform it of the measures
taken in response to such an inquiry.
1. Each State Party
may, at the time of signature or ratification of the present Protocol or
accession thereto, declare that it does not recognize the competence of
the Committee provided for in articles 8 and 9.
2. Any State Party having
made a declaration in accordance with paragraph 1 of the present article
may, at any time, withdraw this declaration by notification to the Secretary-General.
A State Party shall take
all appropriate steps to ensure that individuals under its jurisdiction
are not subjected to ill treatment or intimidation as a consequence of
communicating with the Committee pursuant to the present Protocol.
The Committee shall include
in its annual report under article 21 of the Convention a summary of its
activities under the present Protocol.
Each State Party undertakes
to make widely known and to give publicity to the Convention and the present
Protocol and to facilitate access to information about the views and recommendations
of the Committee, in particular, on matters involving that State Party.
The Committee shall develop
its own rules of procedure to be followed when exercising the functions
conferred on it by the present Protocol.
1. The present Protocol
shall be open for signature by any State that has signed, ratified or acceded
to the Convention.
2. The present Protocol
shall be subject to ratification by any State that has ratified or acceded
to the Convention. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with
the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3. The present Protocol
shall be open to accession by any State that has ratified or acceded to
4. Accession shall be
effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General
of the United Nations.
1. The present Protocol
shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit with
the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the tenth instrument of
ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying
the present Protocol or acceding to it after its entry into force, the
present Protocol shall enter into force three months after the date of
the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or accession.
No reservations to the present
Protocol shall be permitted.
1. Any State Party may
propose an amendment to the present Protocol and file it with the Secretary-General
of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate
any proposed amendments to the States Parties with a request that they
notify her or him whether they favour a conference of States Parties for
the purpose of considering and voting on the proposal. In the event that
at least one third of the States Parties favour such a conference, the
Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the
United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of the States Parties
present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the General
Assembly of the United Nations for approval.
2. Amendments shall
come into force when they have been approved by the General Assembly of
the United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of the States
Parties to the present Protocol in accordance with their respective constitutional
3. When amendments come
into force, they shall be binding on those States Parties that have accepted
them, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present
Protocol and any earlier amendments that they have accepted.
1. Any State Party may
denounce the present Protocol at any time by written notification addressed
to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation shall take
effect six months after the date of receipt of the notification by the
2. Denunciation shall
be without prejudice to the continued application of the provisions of
the present Protocol to any communication submitted under article 2 or
any inquiry initiated under article 8 before the effective date of denunciation.
Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States of:
Signatures, ratifications and accessions under the present Protocol;
The date of entry into force of the present Protocol and of any amendment
under article 18;
Any denunciation under article 19.
1. The present Protocol,
of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts
are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present Protocol to all States referred to in article 25 of the Convention.