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The Inquiry Procedure

The Inquiry Procedure is a mechanism set-up under the Optional Protocol to the CEDAW Convention (OP-CEDAW), through which the CEDAW Committee can issue comments and recommendations on grave or systematic violations of rights contained in the CEDAW Convention. Alternatively, the CEDAW Committee may decide to initiate an inquiry that addresses grave and systematic violations resulting from acts or omission by the States party concerned. The Inquiry Procedure is a mechanism that enables the CEDAW Committee to initiate and conduct investigations on large-scale or/and widespread violations of women's rights occurring within the jurisdiction of a States party.

The Inquiry Procedure will permit the CEDAW Committee to respond in a more timely way to serious violations that are in progress under the jurisdiction of a States party (e.g. the mass rape of women during riots or the disappearance and assassination of women's rights defenders.) It offers a means of addressing situations in which individual communications do not adequately reflect the systematic nature of widespread violations of women's rights or individuals or groups that are unable to submit communications due to practical constraints or fear of reprisals.

In accordance to Article 10 of the OP-CEDAW, States may "opt-out" of the Inquiry Procedure at the time of signature, accession or ratification.

The Inquiry Procedure is set forth in Articles 8 and 9 of the OP-CEDAW. The proceedings under the Inquiry Procedure of the OP-CEDAW can be found in Section XVII of the Rules or Procedure (Rules 76 to 91).

The Inquiry Procedure:

Click here for the Practical Applicationof the CEDAW Convention and the OP-CEDAW.

Source: The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its Optional Protocol. Handbook for Parliamentarians. (UN, 2003) and Optional Protocol: Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, 2000)

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