UN related

In an Amnesty International document a number of key human rights challenges are described that must be effectively addressed to ensure concrete improvements in the situation of human rights across Iran. These include discrimination against women and minorities in law and practice, as well as entrenched failings in the administration of justice leading to arbitrary arrest, torture and other ill-treatment, unlawful killings, restrictions on freedoms of expression, association and assembly, unfair trial, and the death penalty and other cruel punishments.

Coalition of Women for Peace have posted a call for Action to Mark the UN Goldstone Report Deadline. Friday, February 5th, marks the deadline given by the UN General Assembly to Israel and to  Hamas to launch independent committees to investigate the findings of the Goldstone Report. The Goldstone Report has concluded that Israel's offensive against Gaza during Operation Cast Lead was "a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population".

Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW): Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

تقارير الحكومة المصرية (التقرير الدورى السادس والسابع مجمع) أمام الدورة 45 للجنة متابعة تطبيق اتفاقية إلغاء كافة أشكال التمييز ضد المرأة (لجنة السيداو) فى يناير 2010، فضلا عن تقرير الظل المقدم من الجمعية المصرية للنهوض بالمشاركة المجتمعية

This essay argues that CEDAW’s concept of equality is what is needed to end discrimination against women. It first traces the background of the controversy over the use of the terms equity and equality in international human rights law. Finally, to further demonstrate the importance of CEDAW’s principles of equality, and particularly that of substantive equality, it provides some illustrations of the positive impact these principles have had on domestic gender jurisprudence.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in partnership with the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) and UNESCO, and in collaboration with the Observatory of diversity and cultural rights (Fribourg – Switzerland), proposes the holding of a seminar on the parametres of, issues arising from, and challenges posed by cultural rights.

Gender focused NGO's can find significant advocacy opportunities in the processes of the UN CEDAW Committee - Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. The Committee also makes recommendations on any issue affecting women to which it believes the States parties should devote more attention. For example, at the 1989 session, the Committee discussed the high incidence of violence against women, requesting information on this problem from all countries.

The United Nations called Switzerland's ban on new minarets "clearly discriminatory" and deeply divisive, and the Swiss foreign minister acknowledged Tuesday the government was very concerned about how the vote would affect the country's image. U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said Sunday's referendum to outlaw the construction of minarets in Switzerland was the product of "anti-foreigner scare-mongering."

The Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Rashida Manjoo, seizes the opportunity of the International Day on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November) to present her approach to the mandate, both in terms of thematic priorities and cooperation with other mechanisms, with a view to enhance efforts to eliminate violence against women.

Pakistani sociologist Ms. Farida Shaheed has taken office as newly appointed Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights, one of the latest areas earmarked for special monitoring by the UN Human Rights Council. My decades of work at the grassroots in promoting human rights leaves me in no doubt that the right to cultural life and cultural development is an essential and inherent right of all individuals and peoples, said Ms. Shaheed, who was appointed by the Human Rights Council in October 2009.

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