October 17, 2019

Manual for application of the Optional Protocol to the CEDAW

The Republic of North Macedonia is one of the countries that has ratified the Convention on the Elimination on all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)1, and its Optional Protocol, and as a signatory party it is obliged to guarantee, protect and advance the rights of women and girls, and particularly, prevent and eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and girls across its territory.

The most vocal proponents in calling on the state to fulfil its obligations arising from the Convention are the civil society organisations, legal experts and a small number of legal practitioners. We are witnessing daily persistent systemic discrimination and violation of the rights of women and girls in North Macedonia. In practice, before 2019 there has been no individual Communication submitted to the CEDAW Committee, invoking the Optional Protocol to CEDAW.

The Helsinki Committee and other civil society organisations (hereinafter: CSO’s) have comprehended the power of this mechanism, available to the state parties, and with the help of donor organisations and international experts they have started identifying cases which could be submitted to the CEDAW Committee as individual Communications.