By Brunilda Dervishaj
Juriste ne Komitetin per Mundesi te Barabarta
Lawyer in the Committee for Equal Possibilities
The Additional Protocol of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Woman Discrimination
Albania adheres in the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Woman Discrimination since 1993, a year when the Albanian Parliament approved it by the Law 7767/1993 and thus this Convention was accepted as a part of the native legislation. According to the obligations taken by the party states, Albania, at last has presented to the Convention Committee in New York the initial and first report of the convention where it presents an analysis of the situation of women’s rights exertion in Albania and the administrative and legal measures taken by the Albanian state.
The International Documents on human rights are often followed by “Additional Protocols”, which foresee procedures connected with agreements they accompany. On the other hand these protocols themselves are important documents open for signing, participation in them, or ratification by party states in the respective convention. The complete text of the Additional Protocol of CEDAW was approved in the 43rd session of the Commission for the Women Status, which was held from 1-12 March 1999. According to article 16 of the Protocol, it will enter into force 3 months after its ratification by 10 party states in the Convention. Till 13 May 2002 the protocol has been signed by 74 states and 39 others have ratified it, which shows that the protocol now is in force and is obligatory to be applied by the party states.
According to article 17, in this protocol no reservations are allowed.
What is there in this protocol?
A - It gives the right to the individuals or groups of women to complain directly to the convention committee for violation of CEDAW Convention rights, that they might have experienced. This procedure in this protocol is known as “communication procedure”. According to procedures defined by the United Nations the complaint must be in a written form.
B – The right is given to the CEDAW committee to ask information for the heavy or systematic violations of women in countries, which are parties in the additional Protocol. This is also known as “data requiring procedure”. (Article 8 of the Protocol).
(Data requiring procedure) consists in:
1. Permitting investigations on abuse of women rights by an international expert team.
2. Becoming useful where the individual communications to reflect the systematic nature of the spread violence on human rights fail.
3. It allows the investigation of the violence spread where the individuals and the groups of individuals may not be capable to make communications (because of practical reasons or fear of punishment).
4. It gives the possibility to the committee to make recommendations, which belong to questions of violence structure.
5. It allows the Committee to address to a special state for a question of a large scale.
Why is this Protocol Needed?
1 – To create or improve the existing mechanisms for the application of human rights.
The protocols connected with various UN conventions have “complaints procedures” and “data requiring procedure” related directly to questions of sex belonging.
2 – To stimulate the party states in the CEDAW convention to undertake steps for the application of CEDAW and accept the complaints made by them. This would allow the party states in the convention to foresee more effective solutions in the presented problems.
3 - To stimulate the changes in the laws and the discriminating practices. This might summarise the taking of specific measures for changes in the legislation: the compilation of the amendments that prohibit the discriminating practices and the undertaking of positive actions.
4 – To make the public aware to a greater degree about the international rights and standards related to woman discrimination.
At last, every Party State undertakes to make known at large and publish the Convention and facilitate the entrance of information on viewpoints and recommendations of the Committee, in particular, on question where the Party State is involved.