The Australian Human Rights Commission recently released a guide entitled: Mechanisms for Advancing Women’s Human Rights: A Guide to Using the Optional Protocol to Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Other International Complaint Mechanisms. Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick stated that the purpose of the guide is to help and encourage advocates, lawyers and women to use international complaint mechanisms where domestic options fail or are exhausted.
The guide focuses on the Optional Protocol as a means to address gaps in implementation and the law. States which are party to the CEDAW and the Optional Protocol provide their citizens with an additional international remedial measure. Using the Optional Protocol, individuals may submit complaints to the United Nations committee responsible for monitoring their state’s compliance with CEDAW. So far, in Australia, no woman has used the Optional Protocol. The guide and its advocates hope to raise awareness about the availability and effectiveness of the Optional Protocol.
The guide provides a step by step description of how to use the Optional Protocol: (1) submission and registration of communications, (2) request for interim measures, (3) admissibility of the decision, (4) merits decision, (5) implementation and follow up. The guide also features a list of over 70 cases where other international mechanisms have been used by people in Australia to advance human rights. The guide is available for download here. The Guide can also be ordered from the Commission at email@example.com.
Compiled from: Australian Human Rights Commission; A New Guide for Women (19 August 2011)