Below is an outline of the basic information that the CEDAW Committee would require before considering initiating an inquiry. It is important to bear in mind that the information submitted to the Committee need not be limited to the categories provided below.
1) Information on the author(s):
Although submissions of information may be made anonymously, it is recommended to include details of the organisations and individuals who have gathered the data and authored the letter addressed to the CEDAW Committee. This would allow the Division for the Advancement of Women, its secretariat, to check that the information is reliable and thus avoid unnecessary delays.
Contact details may include:
- Name of person/organisation
2) Information on the inquiry
- Indicate that the information being submitted is to be considered by the CEDAW Committee under the Inquiry Procedure
- Indicate the State party concerned
- Indicate whether the communication relates to (a) grave, (b) systematic or (c) grave and systematic violations of women's human rights under the CEDAW Convention
- If possible, include a one-page executive summary of the inquiry
3) Nature of the alleged violation(s)
Prepare a detailed submission to the CEDAW Committee. You may want to include the following:
- Description of alleged violation(s): dates, place, harm suffered or to be prevented
- Indicate the provisions of the CEDAW Convention that were allegedly violated. If the inquiry refers to violations of more than one provision, describe each issue separately.
- Information on victims and/or impact of the violations. Include as much detailed information as possible for the CEDAW Committee to assess the pattern or extent of violations. Alleged violations must be gross and/or systematic.
- Information on the alleged perpetrator(s)
- Include information about the steps taken by the victims or their families to obtain remedies, including complaints filed with the police, other officials or independent national human rights institutions. Include information about steps taken by officials to investigate the alleged violations and to prevent similar acts in the future. If a complaint has been filed, include information about the action taken by the authorities, the status of investigations at the national level at the time the information was submitted to the CEDAW Committee and/or how the results of the investigation are inadequate
- Information or actions or omissions taken by the State party to remedy the situation(s). If you are submitting information about violations committed by private individuals or groups (rather than government officials) include any information which might indicate that the government failed to exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate, punish, and ensure compensation for the violations
- Additional information such as statistics, information on discriminatory laws and policies. If your submission concerns a law or policy rather than a specific incident, summarise the law or policy and the effects of its implementation of women's human rights.
4) Recommended action to address and remedy the violation(s)
5) List of documents attached (do not send originals, only copies)
Note: Since the CEDAW Committee has not developed any guidelines for submission of information under the Inquiry Procedure, we have used the sample complaints forms developed by: (i) The CEDAW Committee (link unavailable) and (ii) The UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its Causes and Consequences as guidelines to develop this format.