Bringing International Human Rights Law Home: Judicial Colloquium on the Domestic Application of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Bringing International Human Rights Law Home: Judicial Colloquium on the Domestic Application of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Bringing International Human Rights Law Home: Judicial Colloquium on the Domestic Application of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Bringing International Human Rights Law Home: Judicial Colloquium on the Domestic Application of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Synopsis

The human rights of women and girls are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights. However, finding a balance between women's claim for justice, and a community's desire to maintain its traditions presents a significant challenge. This publication comprises the proceedings of a judicial colloquium held in Vienna in 1999. It aims to further the quest for equality for women by using international human rights law in domestic decision-making to bring international human rights home. The publication covers three main themes: marriage and family relations, violence against women, and work-related rights of women and girls. Almost 100 judges and magistrates participated at the conference, making this publication an impressive work providing strategies for more creative and widespread use of international human rights norms

Excerpt

The twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1999 were celebrated by many Governments, nongovernmental organizations and women's rights activists in all parts of the world. The Division for the Advancement of Women, the substantive office within the United Nations charged with the development of policies for the promotion of women's human rights, and the Secretariat of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, sought to join these celebrations with an event of its own.

In recent years, judges in many jurisdictions based their decisions on the Women's Convention or the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while others have referred to these treaties in the course of their judgements. We thus resolved to invite senior judges and magistrates from around the world to join us for a discussion on how to use international human rights law, and in particular the two Conventions, in domestic decision-making to further the quest for equality for women. Almost 100 judges and magistrates from 65 countries and all regions of the world accepted our invitation to come to Vienna for three days of legal discussion. They, together with the six resource persons who guided us in our discussions, brought to the event a true spirit and commitment to women's and girls' human rights.

While the Women's Rights Unit of the Division for the Advancement of Women assumed responsibility for organizing the event, it would not have been possible without the support of many actors. My deep appreciation goes first and foremost to those whose financial contribution made the judges' participation possible. I would like to thank very warmly our colleagues in the United Nations system, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNDP, who supported the attendance of a number of participants from developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Particular thanks are due to the country offices of these organizations who worked with the staff of the Division so that critical logistical arrangements could be made. I would also like to express my gratitude to Ms. Angela King, Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women for supporting the Division in this endeavour.

A number of Governments deserve our special gratitude for their financial support, encouragement and positive feedback. They are Aus-

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