Παρασκευή, 17 Απριλίου 2015

HOW TO PROVOKE CEDAW'S MONITORING ON YOUR COUNTRY ON ISSUES RELATED TO BIRTHRIGHTS


  • Check when your country's next Report is due. Create a time-schedule and work accordingly.
  • Get involved with an NGO promoting rights, improving birth
  • Get the NGO to create a profile in UN's Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) CSO Net database, with a corresponding login and password. You can create a profile here: http://goo.gl/8k9bL
        If you are close to a Session you wish to attend, in the above process, select "Special Event"/Apply for ECOSOC Status" when asked for your organization's objective. This will speed up your application. Approval will take up to 48 hours. You will receive an email with your login and password details.
        To register for a Session, you must first be logged in the above account and then visit the CSO Net meeting page of the Session, watching where to click "Conference Registration" and typing whatever is asked from you, including your proposed representative(s) to the event. Then you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for obtaining a ground pass. 

  • Send an email to the Secretariat of CEDAW, stating who you are (name of NGO, already in the database, and contact person), informing on your wish to be included in the catalogue of stakeholders providing information to the Committee on issues relating to ......... concerning (name of your country) and that you are at their disposal any time to provide information.
  • Keep contact with the Committee, through emailing the Secretariat or as else indicated to you by them, even "out" of the context of an upcoming event (pre-session, session, publishing of your State's report etc.). When something you perceive as a systemic violation happens (i.e. new law, new practice a.o.), you put it briefly and concisely in an email and inform them about it. 
  • Assume yourself, if the NGO cannot facilitate this further by involving experts, the work of substantiating facts and create a small report on the issue(s) you wish to tackle. Cross-check information with organizations and authorities, the official statistical authority, and perform further survey yourself if needed. Be absolutely certain that the information you collected is accurate.
  • Keep the text of the report short (not exceeding 3000 words), concise, well-documented, clear on what the problem is, informative. Stick to the facts. Do not exaggerate and do not involve what you think of the facts. Adjectives such as "this horrible dispeakable practice" are to be stictly avoided.
  • Include the NGO's name, address, scope and main activities (very very shortly, in 1 sentence if possible), the country which the information you include relates, and indicate whether the submission can be posted on the CEDAW website. In case you bring up more than one issues, indicate how you prioritize them.
  • Submit the report in pdf and word format, after checking on CEDAW's website for specific information regarding that Session, ie how many had copies are needed. If you are not certain, you can always contact the Secretariat by mail or even by phone. You also have the option of addressing IMRAW to make the submission on your behalf (see my previous blogspost for information).
  • Do not forget to check when your country's mid report is published and prepare a submission for noting and exposing possible inconsistencies that may be included in it. Note that there is a deadline for that, so be vigilant.
  • It is strongly suggested to actually go to Geneva when the hearing takes place. It is very good to, besides the report, also be heard orally before the session.
  • Bear in mind that you are invited publicly by the Committee to participate, that you are helping them be inform and add off their workload, which is really heavy. 
Thank you for "taking it personally", getting active, promoting social awareness and accountability for birthrights' violations. 
If most of us did that, this world would already be a much more humane place to live in .



For any question on the above, please feel free to contact me at electrakoutra@yahoo.gr 

Πέμπτη, 16 Απριλίου 2015

CEDAW - NGO Information Note


Since its early sessions, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has invited non-governmental organizations to follow its work.
In order to ensure that it is as well informed as possible, the Committee and the pre-session working group invite representatives of national and international non-governmental organizations to provide country-specific information on States parties whose reports are before it.
The Committee and the pre-session working group also provide an opportunity for representatives of non-governmental organizations to provide oral information.
The Committee encourages international non-governmental organizations and United Nations organizations, funds and programmes to facilitate attendance at Committee sessions by representatives of national non-governmental organizations.

NGO reports/information for the Committee at its sessions

The Committee welcomes country-specific information from non-governmental organizations, in the form of alternative or shadow reports.
NGOs can submit their reports to the Committee prior to or at the session concerned. NGO representatives attending the session should bring at least 40 copies to the session itself, so that they can be distributed during the meeting of the Committee with NGOs.
NGOs not attending the session should send 40 copies to the Division for the Advancement of Women, preferably so they arrive at least one week prior to the beginning of the session.
NGOs can also email their reports to IWRAW Asia Pacific, a non-governmental organization that has made arrangements with the Committee to distribute NGO shadow/alternative reports electronically and/or in hard copy directly to experts in advance of the session.  NGOs wishing to have their reports sent electronically to experts must email them to IWRAW Asia Pacific at least 3 weeks before the session. Those wishing to have hard copies of their shadow/alternative reports distributed to experts in advance of a session must email their reports to IWRAW Asia Pacific at least 7 weeks before the opening day of the session concerned so that IWRAW Asia Pacific can print and mail them to Committee experts. Please contact IWRAW Asia Pacific for more details. IWRAW Asia Pacific’s contact details are as follows:
Wisma Dicklin, 80-B, Jalan Bangsar, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: (603) 2282 2255, Fax: (603) 2283 2552.
Website: http://www.iwraw-ap.org
Email: iwraw-ap@iwraw-ap.org; iwraw_ap@yahoo.com

NGO reports/information for the pre-session working group

NGOs are encouraged to submit their alternative/shadow reports or other country-specific information already to the pre-session working group that prepares the list of issues and questions for each reporting State scheduled to be considered at a session. NGO representatives attending the pre-session working group should bring at least 15 copies for distribution at the meeting of the pre-session working group with the NGOs. NGOs not attending the pre-session working group should send at least 15 copies of their information to the Division for the Advancement of Women, preferably at least one week prior to the beginning of the session of the pre-session working group.
NGOs can also avail themselves of the support of IWRAW Asia Pacific for advance dissemination, either electronically or as hard copies, of their alternative/shadow reports to the members of the pre-session working group. For details and deadlines, please contact IWRAW Asia Pacific.

NGO attendance at the Committee’s session or pre-session working group

The Committee sets aside time at each of its sessions, usually at the beginning of the first and second week of the session, to enable representatives of non-governmental organizations to provide oral information.
In the light of time constraints, oral interventions by NGOs must be very short: on average, not more than 10 minutes overall are allocated for all NGOs wishing to intervene on one particular State party.
The pre-session working group also provides an opportunity for NGOs to address it, usually on the first day of the pre-session working group. NGO representatives interested in addressing the Committee or pre-session working group are requested to submit the full title of their NGO, the names of their representatives, and the proposed dates of attendance to the Division for the Advancement of Women (changt@un.org) no later than a week prior to the beginning of the session or working group so that arrangements can be made for the issuance of United Nations ground passes to enter United Nations premises. To receive the grounds pass, all applicants are required to bring a valid national passport or government issued photo ID such as driver’s license or state non-driver’s ID bearing a photograph, and appear in person at the United Nations Pass and Identification Unit, located at 801 United Nations Plaza at the corner of 1st Avenue and East 45th Street. The office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
There is no need to send the oral statement in advance. Division for the Advancement of Women The Division for the Advancement of Women draws attention to its website for detailed information on past and upcoming sessions of the Committee, in particular States that are scheduled to report, as well as for session-specific information addressed to NGOs and others interested in following the Committee’s work (see “Participants Information Note” on the session page).
The Division does not send letters of invitation to NGOs or individuals to attend Committee sessions or pre-session working groups.
The Division makes available reports/information received from NGOs to Committee experts at the beginning of the session/pre-session working group.
The Division does not copy reports/information received from NGOs or distribute such information in advance of Committee sessions or those of the pre-session working group.
NGOs not attending a session/pre-session working group are urged to ensure that the requisite number of hard copies of their reports/information reach the Division in time for the respective session, i.e. at least one week in advance.
NGOs are welcome to email their reports to the Division. However, reports received electronically are made available to experts in a reference file only.

Internet location: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw 

Κυριακή, 12 Απριλίου 2015

First Regional Human Rights in Childbirth Conference to Explore Problems in Maternity Care in Central and Eastern Europe

First Regional Human Rights in Childbirth Conference to Explore Problems in Maternity Care in Central and Eastern Europe

Advocates, Researchers, Providers and Attorneys from 25 Countries in Europe and beyond are Gathering in Zagreb on April 16-17

Zagreb, Croatia (April 11) – More than a hundred attorneys, human rights advocates, researchers, midwives, doctors, students and parents will gather in Zagreb on April 16 and 17 for the first regional conference on Human Rights in Childbirth in Central and Eastern Europe. The conference will be held at Hotel Dubrovnik and is organized by RODA – Parents in Action, a Croatian consumer organization, and Human Rights in Childbirth, an international NGO based in The Hague.

A recent social media campaign in Croatia has highlighted the need for accountability for violations of women’s rights in childbirth. More than 500 women submitted testimonies of disrespect and abuse they suffered while giving birth in maternity wards. Similar campaigns throughout countries in Central and Eastern Europe have brought attention to the striking similarities in abuse and disrespect women face in childbirth. From restrictions on accessing healthcare for out-of-hospital birth, to the wide-spread use of informal payments to secure respectful treatment at birth, and the high incidence of Cesarean sections, the rights of women are at stake in every aspect of maternity care.

The conference will explore recent research that highlights the importance of placing the needs of women and their newborn infants at the center of maternity care and providing skilled midwifery care for everyone.  A representative of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics will present a new initiative on making hospitals mother-and-baby friendly. Advocates will discuss successful advocacy campaigns to raise awareness of violations of women’s rights in childbirth. Participants will also explore possible accountability mechanisms for violations on the local, European and international level.

WHAT: Human Rights in Childbirth Regional Conference

WHERE: Hotel Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Croatia or online at

WHEN: April 16-17

There are a limited number of press passes available for access to live streaming. Please contact the Hellnic Action for Human Rights - "Pleiades"  for more information.