With support from Hivos, two international watchdog organisations have published a new tool: “Claiming Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: A Resource Guide to Advancing Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Using the Optional Protocol and Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Optional Protocol and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights”. (Follow the link in the right sidebar to download the guide in pdf.)
With the adoption of international conventions as the Optional Protocol to CEDAW and Optional Protocol to ICESCR, women activists and lawyers have additional opportunities for legal action. These frameworks provide individuals an avenue to claim their rights as citizen and claim that these rights must be protected and fulfilled.
This Guide published by International Women’s Rights Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW-AP) and International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net) provides the do's and don’ts when using these Optional Protocols and CEDAW. It discusses how organisations and individuals can frame an Optional Protocol case and assists in determining the venue that is most appropriate for the claim. The process requires collaboration between the individual (or community), organisation and lawyers. Such a process can take more than two to four years and consequently demands endurance. Notwithstanding, cases on sexual rights violations have been successfully presented, raising awareness and contributing to government accountability.
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Hivos partner IWRAW-AP is consistently promoting the realisation of women’s human rights through mobilisation and capacity building of civil society, and in particular by supporting women’s rights organisations. It ensures women human rights activists’ voices are heard as they demand accountability for women rights nationally, regionally and worldwide.