Major United Nations Enforcement Bodies
last updated 28 May 2013
There are several UN bodies that are concerned with the enforcement of women's human rights, through both complaint and reporting mechanisms.  Additionally, other enforcement bodies monitor human rights broadly, but will address women's rights when applicable.  The major UN enforcement bodies and the mechanisms available under each one are summarized below.  More information is available by clicking on the specific body or mechanism.
Procedurally, many of the committees will not consider complaints if they have been submitted under another mechanism.  The term "multiple applications" refers to complaints based on the same facts that have been submitted to several mechanisms at close to the same time.  NGOs and advocates should consider all available options for redress, both domestic and international, before submitting a complaint.
Unlike the complaint mechanisms, NGOs are not limited in the number of UN bodies to which they can submit reports.  In fact, NGOs should submit relevant information to any and all Special Rapporteurs, working groups, or committees that are reviewing a specific country or rights violation.
United Nations Body
Individual Complaint
NGO Reporting Mechanisms
Complaint Procedure (for patterns of gross and reliably attested violations)
Optional Protocol on Communications (had not entered into force as of June 2013)
Article 77 (had not entered into force as of June 2013)