Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 1999
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ISBN / Resource ID: 

The Optional Protocol entered into force in 2000. States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women that also ratified the Optional Protocol recognise the competence of the Committe on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to receive complaints from individuals and groups within the State Party's jurisdiction, once domestic remedies have proven to be ineffective (So called Communication Procedure). The Communication Procedure is regulated by Art 1-7 of the Optional Protocol. The OHCHR prepared an information note on the submission of individual complaints under theCEDAW Optional Protocal, which can be found on the OHCHR website.

Check if your country has already signed and ratified the Optional Protocol, or has done it with reservations, HERE.

The Committe can also initiate inquiries into situations of grave or systematic violations of women's rights any time it receives reliable information, provided a State is party to CEDAW and the Optional Protocol (So called Inquiry Procedure). States, however, can opt out of this procedure. The Inquire Procedure is regulated by Art. 8 of the Optional Protocol. A first inquiry has been made in 2005 on cases of abduction, rape and murder of women in and around Ciudad Juárez, State of Chihuahua, Mexico.

Additional resources:

The International Land Coalition has published the following reports and briefs related to CEDAW:

The Australian Human Rights Commission published a guide to using the Optional Protocol to CEDAW and other institutional complaints mechanisms, "Mechanisms for Advancing Women's Human Rights" (2011), where you can find more information.


Authors and Publishers


United Nations

The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945.  It is currently made up of 193 Member States.  The mission and work of the United Nations are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter.

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