UN Resource

A Catalogue of International Human Rights Instruments for campaigners

Publication Date: 
June, 2010

In addition to the Bill of Rights, there are nine core international human rights treaties. Each of these treaties has established a committee of experts to monitor implementation of the treaty provisions by its States parties. Some of the treaties are supplemented by optional protocols dealing with specific concerns.

Through ratification of , Governments undertake to put into place domestic measures and legislation compatible with their treaty obligations and duties. Where domestic legal proceedings fail to address human rights abuses, mechanisms and procedures for individual complaints or communications are available at the regional and international levels to help ensure that international human rights standards are indeed respected, implemented, and enforced at the local level.

Afghanistan: Concluding Observations by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (3-21 May 2010)

Publication Date: 
May, 2010
Afghanistan: Concluding Observations by the ECOSOC Committee

Highlights from the Report

16. The Committee notes with concern that the traditional dispute resolution mechanisms which absorbs more cases of dispute that the formal judicial system, is not compatible with the human rights standards, including the Covenant rights. The Committee regrets the fact that the rights of women and children, as well as those of nomadic tribes and the poorest sectors of society, are particularly affected by the lack of access to formal justice mechanisms.

Algeria: Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (3-21 May 2010)

Publication Date: 
May, 2010
Algeria: Concluding Observations of the ECOSOC Committee

Highlights from the Report

8. The Committee notes with concern that, despite the amendments to the Constitution through article 31(bis) of Act No.08-19 of 15 November 2008, the Family Code and the Nationality Code, de iure and de facto inequalities continue to exist between men and women, in particular the persistence of stereotypes, attitudes and patriarchal traditions on family and societal roles of men and women. It is also concerned about discrimination against women, in particular regarding inheritance rights, a lower representation of women in decision-making and public positions, and wages that are nearly a third of those for men. (article 3)

Reparations for Women Subjected to Violence: First thematic report submitted to the HRC by Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, 19 April 2010

Publication Date: 
April, 2010
Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur on VAW

This is the first thematic report submitted to the Human Rights Council by Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, since her appointment in June 2009. In addition to providing an overview of the main activities carried out by the Special Rapporteur, the report focuses on the topic of reparations to women who have been subjected to violence in contexts of both peace and post-conflict. Most human rights and humanitarian law treaties provide for a right to a remedy. In the context of gross and systematic violations of human rights, the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and serious violations of International Humanitarian Law, adopted by the General Assembly in 2005, start with the premise that “the State is responsible for ensuring that victims of human rights violations enjoy an individual right to reparation”. 

First Annual Report of the Independent Expert in the field of Cultural Rights

Publication Date: 
March, 2010
Farida Shaheed, Independent expert in the field of cultural rights

In this first report to the Human Rights Council, the independent expert in the field of cultural rights develops preliminary views on the conceptual and legal framework of her mandate. Focusing on the challenges regarding the scope and content of cultural rights, she reviews the relevant existing provisions in United Nations human rights instruments, and develops her initial thoughts on the interaction among the principle of universality of human rights, the recognition and implementation of cultural rights and the need to respect cultural diversity (chap. II). Aware that many other United Nations mechanisms have received mandates which relate to cultural rights, the independent expert has committed to coordinating with other mechanisms (chap. III). The independent expert has also selected a list of priority issues she proposes to address. These issues relate to two main topics: (a) cultural rights, globalization of exchanges and of information, and development processes; and (b) participation, access and contribution to cultural life, without any discrimination (chap. IV).

Crimes of honour in UN General Assembly Resolution - now available in 19 languages

Publication Date: 
October, 2004

Crimes of Honor UN Resolution in 19 Languages - Working towards the elimination of crimes against women and girls committed in the name of honour.

Strengthening the Protection of Women from Torture

Publication Date: 
January, 2008

The Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment submits his second report to the Human Rights Council.

Intensification of Efforts to Eliminate All Forms of Violence Against Women

Publication Date: 
October, 2007

This Draft Proposal is to be reviewed by the full UN General Assembly-All UN Countries.

CEDAW Country Reports and Resources

Publication Date: 
September, 2006

Countries that have ratified or acceded to the Convention are legally bound to put its provisions into practice. They are also committed to submit national reports, at least every four years, on measures they have taken to comply with their treaty obligations. For an update on the status of submission by country, please download the status of submission and consideration of reports submitted by States parties, as at 31 August 2006

This section contains the most recent country reports submitted, under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, to the Division for the Advancement of Women. Not all documents are available in electronic format - we will add links as they become available. For reports submitted prior to 1995, please contact .

To Access the Reports: