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2006

New Reporting Guidelines Adopted! Fifth Inter-Committee Meeting of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies and Eighteenth Annual Meeting of Chairpersons of Human Rights Treaty Bodies. 19-23 June 2006. This year’s Annual Meeting of Chairpersons and Inter-Committee Meeting of Human Rights Treaty Bodies resulted in the adoption of new reporting guidelines for treaty bodies! IWRAW Asia Pacific contributed to the dialogue by making an oral intervention at the meeting.

The Human Rights Council first session. 19 to 30 June 2006. The inaugural session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva focussed largely on procedures while addressing some substantive issues. IWRAW Asia Pacific strongly advocated extending the mandate for drafting the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR. The following NGO statements were made at this meeting:

  • Statement by IWRAW Asia Pacific on a Unified Standing Treaty Body and Treaty Reporting System. 23 June 2006. Details.
  • Statement by IWRAW Asia Pacific on Culture and Religion. 26 June 2006. Details.
  • Joint statement by NGOS, including IWRAW Asia Pacific, on Human Rights Defenders. 26 June 2006. Details.
  • Joint statement by the NGO Coalition for an OP-ICESCR, of which IWRAW Asia Pacific is a member. 27 June 2006. Details.
  • Statement by IWRAW Asia Pacific on Universal Periodic Review Mechanism. 28 June 2006. Details.

At the CEDAW Committee elections that took place on 23 June 2006 , 5 experts were voted into the Committee while 7 current members were re-elected. All 12 will serve four-year terms starting 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2010. More

Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture enters into force in June 2006.
The requisite number of State parties needed to bring the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OP-CAT) into force was attained when Honduras and Bolivia deposited their ratification of the OP-CAT with the UN in New York on 23 May 2006. The OP-CAT will enter into force thirty days after the date of deposit, almost 19 years after the Convention against Torture entered into force (26 June 1987). Upon coming into force, the OP-CAT allows in-country inspections of places of detention to be undertaken in collaboration with national institutions. A Sub-Committee will be established to carry out the functions under the OP-CAT. For information on how members of the Sub-Committee are elected, see Part II of the OP-CAT.

The Fifth Inter-Committee Meeting and the Eighteenth Meeting of Chairpersons of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies will be held on 19-21 June 2006 and 22-23 June 2006 respectively. On the agenda is a continuing discussion on the Harmonised Guidelines on reporting under the international human rights treaties, including guidelines on a common core document and treaty specific documents. Click here* for the latest draft. (*pdf format)

Outcome of the Human Rights Council Election. On 9 May 2006 , the UN General Assembly elected 47 members of the recently established Human Rights Council. The HRC will be based in Geneva and will hold at least three sessions a year (including a main session) for a total period of no less than ten weeks. It will also be able to hold special sessions when necessary through a request by a Member with the support of one-third of the membership of the HRC. The HRC will hold its first meeting in Geneva on 19 June 2006 . For more information on the recent elections, click here. For more information on the HRC, click here.

The end of the Commission on Human Rights, the start of the Human Rights Council. On 28 March 2006 , the UN Commission on Human Rights (CHR) came to an end. The final session, its 62nd, lasted only one day instead of the usual six weeks, and was marked by statements from the Chair of the Commission, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, various countries from every region of the world, and NGOs. The CHR will be formally abolished on 16 June 2006 and replaced by a new body, the Human Rights Council. This Council is to retain the function of reviewing the reports previously considered under the CHR, plus adopt new and improved methods for the protection of human rights everywhere.

OP-ICESCR NGO Campaign
Right now, there is an opportunity for you and your organisation to make a difference to the way in which economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights are thought about - locally and internationally. We need the voices of many to challenge governments who oppose a legal framework of redress for violations of ESC rights.

  • Take the five-minute, thirty-minute, sixty-minute or half-day activism challenge for the OP to ICESCR. "A Quick Guide to the Kit" will help you work out, in a speedy fashion, which bit is right for you! Click here for details.
  • Join the Action Alert email list at http://www.nwjc.org.au/avcwl/lists/info/op-icescr.html
    Organised by the NGO Coalition for an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP to the ICESCR)

The third session of the Open-Ended Working Group to consider options regarding the elaboration of an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP-ICESCR) took place from 6-17 February 2006. The following statements were made by the NGO Coalition for the OP-ICESCR, of which IWRAW Asia Pacific is a member:

6 Feb
7 Feb
8 Feb
9 Feb

10 Feb

13 Feb
14 Feb

CEDAW Committee acknowledges role of NGOs and IWRAW Asia Pacific in the CEDAW process. More

The CEDAW Committee makes available summary records of sessions with States parties. More

At the Fourth Inter-Committee Meeting of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies in Geneva, Switzerland, IWRAW Asia Pacific made an oral statement on the proposed reforms to the UN treaty body system. More

New General Comment by the CESCR available. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights issued its latest General Comment No. 16 'Article 3: The equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights. Click here for more.

 

 

2005

UN Commission on Human Rights. 61st Session. 14 March to 22 April 2005. During this year’s CHR session, IWRAW Asia Pacific participated in several events and presented two oral interventions on Item 10 “Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” and Item 12 “Integration of the human rights of women and the gender perspective – Violence Against Women”. In addition, the NGO Coalition for the OP-ICESCR, which IWRAW Asia Pacific is a member of, also made a statement.
 

 

The CEDAW Committee has issued its first findings under the Optional Protocol Inquiry Procedure into the abduction, rape and murder of more than 320 women over the last 12 years in the Ciudad Juarez area in Mexico.

  • English *download pdf format
  • Spanish *download pdf format
 

 

The second session of the Open-Ended Working Group to consider options regarding the elaboration of an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP-ICESCR) took place from 10-21 January 2005. The following NGO statements were issued at this meeting:

  • Statement by the NGO Coalition for the OP-ICESCR. Details
  • Statement by IWRAW Asia Pacific 12 January 2005. Details
  • Statement by IWRAW Asia Pacific 14 January 2005 Details
  • Statement by IWRAW Asia Pacific 18 January 2005 Details
 

 

At the 32nd CEDAW Session in New York, NGO representatives from countries reporting made presentations during the Informal meeting with expert members. Their statements are available here.

 

 

At the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on the Advancement of Women that took place from 7-10 May 2005 in Putrajaya, Malaysia, delegates from 79 member countries endorsed the Putrajaya Declaration and Programme of Action. Click here for details.

 

 

2004

Condolences and update on the tsunami disaster
We at IWRAW Asia Pacific wish to express our deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones and livelihoods in the recent catastrophe in this region. While relief efforts are underway, news is starting to trickle in about the specific difficulties that women face during such times. For details of the experience of Sri Lanka, click here. We also wish to share, the experience of a women’s group in Turkey that provided support to victims in the aftermath of an earthquake there in 1999, in the hope that this will be useful to those of you wishing to engage in similar activities now. Click here for more. Also available is a statement by the CEDAW Committee.

 

 

In conjunction with the 25th anniversary of CEDAW, a roundtable session will take place in New York on 13 October 2004. More

 

 

During the 31st CEDAW Session in New York, NGOs from reporting countries had the opportunity to verbally present their issues to the CEDAW Committee during the Informal Meeting with expert members. For a copy of their statements, click here

 

 

New UN Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women appointed. More

 

 

At the CEDAW Committee elections that took place on 5 August 2004, 8 experts were voted into the Committee while another 3 current members were also re-elected. All 11 will serve four-year terms starting 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2008. More

 

 

CEDAW Committee elections coming up! 5 August 2004. For details on how to get involved, click here

 

 

At the recently held Day of General Discussion on General Recommendation 26 (CEDAW Article 2 on State Obligation), IWRAW Asia Pacific made a presentation to the CEDAW Committee, together with Madhu Mehra, Partners for Law in Development, India and Deepika Udagama, Sri Lanka. The first paper by IWRAW Asia Pacific discussed State obligation and its various components, while the other two papers highlighted State obligation in difficult situations, specifically, in times of internal conflict and sectarian violence, and during armed conflict.

 

 

Statement by IWRAW Asia Pacific at the Third Inter-Committee Meeting of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies. 22 June 2004. Geneva, Switzerland. Click here to read

 

 

Statement by IWRAW Asia Pacific at the Eleventh Annual Meeting of Special Rapporteurs, Representatives, Independent Experts and Chairperson of Working Groups of the Commission on Human Rights. 22 June 2004. Geneva, Switzerland. Click here to read

 

 

Statement by IWRAW Asia Pacific on CEDAW and Violence Against Women at the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights. 5 April 2004. Geneva, Switzerland More.

 

 

Joint statement by NGOs including IWRAW Asia Pacific on Human Rights Defenders. 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights. 14 April 2004. Geneva, Switzerland More.

 

 

At the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights, the chairperson recently nominated 14 human rights experts to fill positions in the fact-finding mechanisms of this body. Click here for more.

 

 

The advance reports of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health (Paul Hunt) submitted to the 60th Session of the CHR are now available. The main report includes a focus on sexual and reproductive health rights while the addendum reports on his mission to the World Trade Organisation in July 2003.

 

 

CEDAW Committee starting work on General Recommendation on Article 2 of the CEDAW Convention (i.e. State obligation to eliminate discrimination against women). More

 

 

New CEDAW General Recommendation Out!
At its 30th Session, the CEDAW Committee adopted General Recommendation 25 on article 4(1) of the CEDAW Convention, on temporary special measures. This General Recommendation explains the meaning and scope of temporary special measures in CEDAW, and includes a list of recommendations for States parties to pursue in relation to this matter.

 

 

2003

CEDAW Committee members in 2003. More

 

 

New UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime. Entry into force: 23 December 2003. For details and list of signatories/states parties, click here.

 

 

NGO paper in response to the UN Secretary-General's proposals for treaty body reform. Made at the Fifteenth Meeting of Chairpersons of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies. 24 June 2003. Geneva, Switzerland. Click here to read

 

 

Statement by IWRAW Asia Pacific at the Tenth Annual Meeting of Special Rapporteurs, Representatives, Independent Experts and Chairperson of Working Groups of the Commission on Human Rights. 24 June 2003. Geneva, Switzerland. Click here to read

 

 

Optional Protocol to ICESCR
Statement by IWRAW Asia Pacific on the question of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Presented at the Commission on Human Rights 59th session
. Click here to read

 

 

Statements by IWRAW Asia Pacific on how to enhance the effectiveness of the treaty body system. Made at:

  • The Second Inter-Committee Meeting of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies. 19 June 2003. Geneva, Switzerland. Click here to read
  • The Fifteenth Meeting of Chairpersons of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies. 24 June 2003. Geneva, Switzerland. Click here to read
 

 

Seven Women Judges at the International Criminal Court
In a historic development on 7 February 2003 , seven women were elected to serve on a panel of 18 judges at the International Criminal Court. They are:

  • Maureen Harding Clark ( Ireland )
  • Elizabeth Odio Benito (Panama/Costa Rica)
  • Fatoumata Diarra ( Mali )
  • Akua Kuenyehia ( Ghana )
  • Navanethem Pillay ( South Africa )
  • Sylvia Steiner ( Brazil )
  • Anita Usacka ( Latvia )
 

 

IWRAW Asia Pacific Statement on the War Against Iraq Click here to read

 

 

2002

States Parties to Women's Anti-Discrimination Convention Elect 12 Experts to Monitoring Committee
States parties to CEDAW have voted in 9 new Committee members, at the same time re-electing 3 current members. All will serve four-year terms commencing 1 January 2003. With this result, out of the Committee's 23 members, seven are from Africa, six from Western Europe and other states, five from Asia, three from Eastern Europe and two from Latin America. More

 

 

UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to draft General Recommendation on Caste-based Discrimination
At its 61st session held in August 2002, the UN CERD made a historic decision to draft a General Recommendation on caste-based discrimination. This will "specifically provide for those discriminated on the ground of descent, which has a social origin, wherein one is born into an identity that cannot be changed and there is an absence of social mobility." More

 

 

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Discusses Equal Right of Men and Women to Enjoyment of All Rights
The 28th session of the Committee on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 29 April to 17 May 2002. On 13 May 2002, a day of general discussion on the General Recommendation on Article 3 (i.e. on gender-based discrimination) was held. This dialogue session among NGOs and the CESCR Committee emphasised the need to promote substantive equality in the work of all treaty bodies. More

 

 

Nepali Women Win Again!
On May 2, 2002, the Supreme Court of Nepal ruled that marital sex without a wife's consent should be considered rape. More

 

 

Nepali Women Score Victory
Women's groups in Nepal celebrated a major victory when the nation's Lower House of Parliament passed the Country Code (Eleventh Amendment) Bill on 13 March 2002. More



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This page was last updated on December 4 , 2006

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