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Gender and Human Rights in the Commonwealth

Some Critical Issues for Action in the Decade 2005–2015

image of Gender and Human Rights in the Commonwealth
The purpose of this book is to contribute to current policymaking, programme planning and implementation on gender and human rights. It is intended for a wide audience of policymakers, magistrates, judges and lawyers, academics and civil society organisations grappling with these issues. It is also intended as a conceptual and policyoriented resource for those committed to implementing and supporting the Human Rights Goals of the new Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality 20052015.



The papers address a wide range of gender and human rights issues, including the convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), genderbased violence, culture and the law, indigenous peoples, trafficking and migration, land and property rights, diversity and a life cycle approach to gender and human rights. This book brings together the papers commissioned for a PanCommonwealth Expert Group Meeting on Gender and Human Rights which took place at the Commonwealth Secretariat, London February 2004. These papers, together with other key background papers, represent much of the analysis and experience from Commonwealth member countries that informed the development of the Human Rights section of the new Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality 20052015.

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PanCommonwealth Expert Group Meeting on Gender and Human Rights

This Appendix contains a 'mini-report' of a pan-Commonwealth Expert Group Meeting on Gender and Human Rights, held at Marlborough House (Commonwealth Secretariat Headquarters i n London), 17-19 February 2004. The commissioned and background papers contained i n the main body of this publicat i on were the basis of discussion during the two-and-a-half day meeting. Although the Expert Group is not a decision-making body of the Commonwealth Secretariat, its members were asked to comment i n a personal and professional capacities on the seven critical issues before them. The issues had been identified by Commonwealth Heads of National Women's Machineries at their meeting held i n the wings of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women i n March 2003, as part of their brainstorming o n the new Commonwealth Plan of A c t i o n for Gender Equality 2005-2015. The format of the Expert Group meeting is reflected i n the Agenda below, and a list of Experts who participated is also given. Discussants were asked to comment on the papers presented, and a general discussion followed - either i n plenary or i n small groups. There were seven critical areas to address and limited time allocated to each area, so discussion was focused on generating agreement on some of the critical issues relevant for Commonwealth action, with recommendations for the human rights section of the new Plan of A c t i o n for Gender Equality. A l l the key issues addressed were finally included i n the Plan of Action, and this was adopted during the 7th Women's Affairs Ministers Meeting held i n Fiji i n May-June 2004. The final text of the Human Rights section of the Plan of A c t i o n for Gender Equality 2005-2015 can be found i n Appendix II of this book. We have included below the Discussants' comments, and have tried to capture the key recommendations made by Experts during the meeting. While the Commonwealth Plan of A c t i o n has not 'adopted' all of these recommendations, we include them as they may be useful for policy-makers and practitioners to draw upon i n the course of their work.

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