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Italy Ratifies Optional Protocol
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women adopted by the General Assembly on 6 October 1999, has been ratified by ten countries and will enter into force on 22 December 2000. Italy was the latest country to ratify the Optional Protocol on Friday, 22 September 2000.
During the Millennium Summit, ratifications were received from Austria, Bangladesh, Ireland and New Zealand. Other States which have ratified are Denmark, France, Namibia, Senegal and Thailand. There are a total of 62 signatories to the Optional Protocol, which was opened for signature on 10 December 1999.
Under the Optional Protocol individual women or groups of women may bring complaints to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women once all national remedies have been exhausted. The Committee may also conduct inquiries into grave or systematic violations of the Convention. This represents another milestone on the road towards the achievement for all women of their fundamental human rights and freedoms. It is also a recognition of the universality of human rights.