Sample Recommendations

As of May 2009, the CEDAW Committee has decided on 11 individual communications, and completed one inquiry.

Additionally, there are some sources that can be used to indicate the kinds of recommendations the CEDAW Committee is likely to make:

A. General Recommendations and Concluding Comments of the CEDAW Committee

The CEDAW Committee has given indication of some of recommendations for action aimed at implementing women's rights and address violations at the domestic level. General Recommendations and Concluding Comments by this expert body can be useful tools for identifying the kinds of recommendations for action aimed at the States party concerned.

For example, in General Recommendation 19 on Violence Against Women it is stated in paragraph 24:

"In light of these comments, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommends:

i) Effective complaints procedures and remedies, including compensation, should be provided; […]

ii) That States parties should take all legal and other measures that are necessary to provide effective protection of women against gender-based violence, including, inter alia:

     i) Effective legal measures, including penal sanctions, civil remedies and compensatory provisions to protect women against all kinds of violence, including, inter alia, violence and abuse in the family, sexual assault and sexual harassment in the workplace;

     ii) Preventive measures, including public information and education programmes to change attitudes concerning the roles and status of men and women;

     iii) Protective measures, including refuges, counselling, rehabilitation and support services for women who are the victims of violence or who are at risk of violence;

B. The views and recommendations of other treaty bodies that review communications

Of further assistance in identifying types of remedies the CEDAW Committee might recommend is an examination of the recommendations of other UN Treaty Bodies with a Communications Procedure: the Committee Against Torture (CAT), the Committee on Civil and Political Rights (hereinafter Human Rights Committee) and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). While, the CEDAW Committee is not limited to making recommendations within the categories selected by the Human Rights Committee or other UN treaty bodies, some of the remedies referred to in their final recommendations are likely to feature in CEDAW Committee jurisprudence, either individually or in combination.

The UN Human Rights Committee, for example, in responding to complaints made under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights can provide some further information as to the types of recommendations that might be issued in response to communications under the OP-CEDAW. To date the Human Rights Committee's recommended actions have included:

- public investigation to establish the facts

- bringing to justice the perpetrators

- paying compensation

- ensuring non-repetition of the violation

- amending the law

- providing restitution

- providing medical care and treatment [1]

C. The comments and recommendations of other treaty bodies that undertake inquiries

As the CEDAW Committee has yet to complete an inquiry and issue its recommendations, some direction can be gained from an examination of the views and recommendations of the Committee Against Torture which oversees an inquiry procedure, largely similar to that of the OP-CEDAW, established by Article 20 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. In 1996, in response to an inquiry into the systematic practice of torture in Egypt (A/51/44, paras.180-222), the Committee Against Torture stated:

"215. In the case of Egypt, the Committee finds that there is a clear contradiction between the allegations made by non-governmental sources and the information provided by the Government with regard to the role of the Egyptian security forces and the methods they use…

219. The Committee considers that the information received with regard to allegations of the systematic practice of torture in Egypt appears to be well founded. Its conclusion is based on the existence of a great number of allegations, which came from different sources. These allegations largely coincide and describe in the same way the methods of torture, the places where torture is practised and the authorities who practice it. In addition, the information comes from sources that have proved to be reliable in connection with other activities of the Committee.

220. On the basis of this information, the Committee is forced to conclude that torture is systematically practised by the security forces in Egypt, in particular by State Security Intelligence, since in spite of the denials of the Government, the allegations of torture submitted by reliable non-governmental organizations consistently indicate that reported cases of torture are seen to be habitual, widespread and deliberate in at least a considerable part of the country.

221. The Committee recommends that Egypt reinforce its legal and judicial infrastructure in order to combat the phenomenon of torture in an effective way. In this connection, the Committee wishes to emphasize that it had recommended to the Government of Egypt, in November 1994, that it should set up an independent investigation machinery, including in its composition judges, lawyers and medical doctors, that should efficiently examine all the allegations of torture, in order to bring them expeditiously before the courts. This independent group should also monitor the safeguards against torture guaranteed to persons deprived of their liberty under Egyptian law, in particular by having access to all the places where allegations of torture have been reported, by alerting immediately the authorities concerned whenever those safeguards are not fully respected, and by making proposals to the authorities concerned to ensure that those safeguards are respected in all places where persons are detained.

222. In addition, the Egyptian authorities should undertake expeditiously a thorough investigation into the conduct of the police forces in order to establish the truth or otherwise of the many allegations of acts of torture, bring the persons responsible for those acts before the courts and issue and transmit to the police specific and clear instructions designed to prohibit any act of torture in the future.

Further information and examples of jurisprudence, and the views and recommendations from all UN Treaty bodies, can be obtained at the website of the UN Treaty Body Database.

[1] Remedies in International Human Rights Law by Dina Shelton (Oxford University Press, 1999:142)