United Nations

E/CN.6/1997/WG/L.1


Commission on the Status of Women

 Distr. GENERAL
10 March 1997
ORIGINAL: ENGLISH


COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN
Working Group on the Elaboration
of a Draft Optional Protocol to
the Convention on the Elimination
of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women


                      Note by the Secretariat


    The Chairperson of the Open- ended Working Group of the
Commission on the Status of Women on the Elaboration of a Draft
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women has prepared the text
contained in the annex to the present note, which is based on
proposals made by members of the Open-ended Working Group at its
first session (11-22 March 1996), on views submitted by
Governments and intergovernmental and non-governmental
organizations (see E/CN.6/1996/10 and Corr.1 and Add.1 and 2 and
E/CN.6/1997/5), and on the elements suggested by the Committee on
the Elimination of Discrimination against Women contained in
suggestion No. 7 (see A/50/38).



                               Annex

                  DRAFT OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE CONVENTION ON
THE ELIMINATION                   OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION
AGAINST WOMEN

     The States Parties to this Protocol,

    Reaffirming their determination to ensure the full and equal
enjoyment by women and the girl child of all human rights and
fundamental freedoms and to take effective action against
violations of these rights and freedoms,

    Recalling the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women in which States parties agreed to
pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of
eliminating discrimination against women,

    Have agreed as follows:

                              Article 1

1. a        A Stateb Party to the Convention on the Elimination
of All Forms of Discrimination against Women that becomes a Party
to the present Protocol recognizes the competence of the
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to
receive and examine communications.

    a"A State party to the     Convention that becomes a party    
to the present Protocol     recognizes the competence of     the
Committee to receive and     consider communications from    
individuals subject to its     jurisdiction who claim to be    
victims of a violation by a     State party of any of the    
rights set forth in the     Convention." (E/CN.6/1997/5)

    b"which has signed and ratified     the optional protocol"    
(E/CN.6/1996/10)

2.      No communication shall be received by the Committee if it
concerns a State party to the Convention which is not a party to
this Protocol.

                              Article 2

1. a        Communications may be submitted

    (a)     By an individual, group or organizationb claiming to
have suffered from a violation of any of the rights in the
Convention or claiming to be directly affected by thec failured
of a State party to comply with its obligationsc under the
Convention; or

     a"Individuals who claim that     any of their rights
enumerated     in the Convention have been     violated and who
have exhausted     all available domestic remedies     may submit
a written     communication to the Committee     for
consideration."     (E/CN.6/1997/5)

    b"groups or organizations with     specific interest in
women"     "groups of persons" or "groups     of individuals"
"groups acting     on behalf of individuals"    
"non-governmental     organizations" (E/1996/26,     annex III)

    c"alleged failure to provide     effective remedies to    
situations caused by violations     of rights under the
Convention"     (E/1996/26, annex III)

    d"deliberate, widespread or     systematic" (E/1996/26,    
annex III)

    cor facing a "threat of     violations or infringements of    
rights" (E/1996/26, annex III)

    (b)     By an individual, group or organizationf claiming
that a State party has violated any of the rights set forth in
the Convention or hasg failedh to comply with its obligationsi
under the Convention, if in the opinion of the Committee this
person, group or organizationf has sufficient interest in the
matter.

    f"groups or organizations with     specific interest in
women"     "groups of persons" or "groups     of individuals"
"groups acting     on behalf of individuals"    
"non-governmental     organizations" (E/1996/26,     annex III)

    g"allegedly failed to provide     effective remedies to    
situations caused by violations     of rights under the
Convention"     (E/1996/26, annex III)

    h"deliberately or     systematically" (E/1996/26,     annex
III)

    ior is posing a "threat of     violations or infringements of 
   rights" (E/1996/26, annex III)

                              Article 3

1.      Communications shall be in writing and shall not be
anonymous.

                              Article 4

1. a        The Committee shall declare a communication
inadmissible which it considers to be an abuse of the right of
submission of such communication or to be incompatible with the
provisions of the Convention.

    a"The communications procedure     should not be applied in
such a     way as authorizing anyone to     make unfounded
accusations     against a State party or     distorted facts."    
(E/CN.6/1997/5)

2.      The Committee shall not declare a communication
admissible unless it has ascertained:

    (a)     That all available domestic remedies have been
exhausted, unless it considers this requirement unreasonable;b
and

    bdelete "unless it considers this requirement unreasonable"
(E/CN.6/1997/5)

    (b)     That the same matterc/dis not being examined under
another procedure of international investigation or settlement,
unless that procedure is unreasonably prolonged.c 

    c"has not been, and is not     being, examined by another    
treaty body" (E/1996/26,     annex III)

    d"that the same matter has not     been, and is not being,    
examined under another     procedure of international    
investigation or settlement."     (E/CN.6/1997/5)

    cdelete "unless that procedure     is unreasonably prolonged" 
   (E/CN.6/1997/5)

    add:

    "(c) that it should be in     compliance with the principles  
  of objectivity and impartiality     and should include
information     of legal remedies or reparation     undertaken by
the respective     State party." (E/CN.6/1997/5)

                              Article 5

1.      At any time after the receipt of a communication, and
before a determination on the merits has been reached, the
Committee may request the State party concerned to take interim
measures as may be necessary to preserve the status quo or to
avoid irreparable harm.

    a"recommend" (E/CN.6/1997/5)

2.      The State party concerned shall comply with a request
made by the Committee under paragraph 1.

                              Article 6

1. a        Unless the Committee considers a communication
inadmissible without reference to the State party concerned, the
Committee shall bring any communication submitted to it under
this Protocol confidentially to the attention of the State party
concerned, but the identity of the author shall not be revealed
without the latter's express consent.

    a"The State party would be     informed confidentially of the 
   communication.  The author's     identity would also be
revealed     to the State party."     (E/CN.6/1997/5)

2.      Within [three/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
taken by that State party.

3.      During its examination of a communication, the Committee
shall place itself at the disposal of the parties concerned with
a view to facilitating settlement of the matter on the basis of
respect for the rights and obligations set forth in the
Convention.

                              Article 7

1. a        The Committee shall consider communications received
under this protocol in the light of all information made
available to it by or on behalf of the author and by the State
party concerned.  The Committee may also take into account
information obtained from other sources, provided that this
information is transmitted to the author and the State party for
comment.

    a"The Committee shall consider     communications received
under     the present protocol in light     of all written
information made     available to it by the     individual and by
the State     party concerned."     (E/CN.6/1997/5)

2.      The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining
communications under this Protocol.

3.      After examining a communication, the Committee shall
adopt its views on the communication and shall transmit these to
the State party and to the author together with any
recommendations.

                              Article 8

1.      The Committee may request from the State party concerned
specific measures to remedy any violation or failure to give
effect to its obligations under the Convention.

2.      The State party shall take all steps necessary to remedy
any violation of rights or failure to give effect to its
obligations under the Convention.  The State party shall ensure
thata appropriate remedy including, if need be, adequate
reparation is provided.

    a"relevant, proportional     measures" (E/CN.6/1997/5)

3.      Within [three/six] months, the receiving State party
shall submit to the Committee written explanations or statements
clarifying the matter and the remedy that has been taken by the
State party.

                              Article 9

1. a        The Committee may invite a State party concerned to
discuss with it the measures which that State party has takenb to
give effect to the views, suggestions or recommendations of the
Committee.

    a"The Committee shall forward     its views to the State
party     concerned and to the     individual." (E/CN.6/1997/5)

    b"concerning implementation of     such measures" (E/1996/26, 
   annex III)

2.      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 the Committee's views,
suggestions and recommendations.

                             Article 10

1.      If the Committee receives reliable information indicating
a serious or systematic violation by a State party to the
protocol of rights set forth in the Convention or of a failure to
give effect to obligations set forth in the Convention, the
Committee shall invite that State party to cooperate in the
examination of the information to this end and to submit
observations with regard to the information concerned.

2.      Taking into account any observations which 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.

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 shall, within [three/six] months of
receiving the findings, comments and recommendations transmitted
by the Committee, submit its observations to the Committee.

5.      Such an inquiry would be conducted confidentially and the
cooperation of the State party shall be sought at all stages of
the proceedings.

                             Article 11

1.      The Committee may at any time invite a State party
concerned to discuss with it the measures which that State party
has taken in response to such an inquiry.

2.      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 such an inquiry.

                             Article 12

1.      The State parties to this Protocol undertake:

    (a)     Not to hinder in any way the effective exercise of
the right to communications established in this protocol;

    (b)     To take all steps necessary to prevent any
individual, group or organization from interfering with the
exercise of the right of communication or victimizing any
individual for exercising this right or providing information to
or assisting the Committee in its inquiries;

    (c)     To assist the Committee in its proceedings under this
Protocol.

                             Article 13

1.      The Committee shall include in its annual report under
Article 21 of the Convention a summary of its activities under
this Protocol.

                             Article 14a

    States parties undertakeb to publicize:

    (a)     The contents of this Protocol and the procedures
established under it;

    (b)     The Committee's views, comments, suggestions and
recommendations concerning a communication received or an inquiry
conducted.

    a"The communication and inquiry     procedure should be made
public     as widely as possible"     (E/1996/26, annex III)

    b"to make the provisions of the     optional protocol widely
known     in their countries" (E/1996/26,     annex III)

                             Article 15

1.      The Committee shall develop its own rules of procedure to
be followed when exercising the functions conferred on it by this
Protocol.

                             Article 16

1.      The Committee shall meet for such a period as is
necessary to carry out its function under this Protocol.

                             Article 17

1.      This Protocol is open for signature by any State which
has signed the Convention.

2.      This Protocol is subject to ratification by any State
which has ratified or acceded to the Convention.  Instruments of
ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the
United Nations.

3.      This Protocol shall be open to accession by any State
which has ratified or acceded to the Convention.

4.      Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an
instrument of accession with the Secretary- General of the United
Nations.

                             Article 18

1.      This Protocol shall enter into force three months after
the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United
Nations of the [fifth/tenth] instrument of ratification or
accession.

2.      For each State ratifying this Protocol or acceding to it
after its entry into force, this Protocol shall enter into force
three months after the date of the deposit of its own instrument
of ratification or accession.

                             Article 19

1.      The provisions of this Protocol shall extend to all parts
of federal States and to all territories subject to the
jurisdiction of a State party without any limitations or
exceptions.

                             Article 20

1.      No reservations to this Protocol shall be permitted.

                             Article 21

1.      Any State Party to the present Protocol may propose any
amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of the United
Nations.  The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate any
proposed amendments to the States Parties to this Protocol with a
request that they notify her/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 State
parties favours 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 this
Protocol in accordance with their respective constitutional
processes.

3.      When amendments come into force, they shall be binding on
those States parties which have accepted them, other States
parties still being bound by the provisions of this Protocol and
any earlier amendments which they have accepted.

                             Article 22

1.      Any State party can denounce this Protocol at any time by
written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the
United Nations.  Denunciation shall take effect [three/six]
months after the date of receipt of the notification by the
Secretary-General.

2.      Denunciations shall be without prejudice to the continued
application of the provisions of this Protocol to any
communication or inquiry before the effective date of
denunciation.

                             Article 23

    The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all
States of:

    (a)     Signatures, ratifications and accessions under this
Protocol;

    (b)     The date of entry into force of this Protocol and the
date of entry into force of any amendment under article 20 and
any denunciations under article 21.

                             Article 24

1.      This Protocol, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English,
French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be
deposited in the archives of the United Nations.

2.      The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall
transmit certified copies of this Protocol to all States referred
to in article 25 of the Convention.

                                ----- 

 


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