Re: Call for papers on harmful practices

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child both contain legally binding obligations in relation to the elimination of harmful practices affecting girls under eighteen that are based on gender stereotypes and prejudices grounded in patriarchy. By virtue of this shared mandate, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) have decided to elaborate a joint General Recommendation/Comment on harmful practices. General comments of the CRC and general recommendations of CEDAW are elaborated by these Committees with a view to clarifying the normative contents of specific rights provided for under the treaties that they respectively monitor or particular themes of relevance to the treaties, as well as offer guidance about practical measures of implementation.

The present General Recommendation/Comment will also aim at clarifying the obligations of States Parties to CRC with respect to harmful practices that affect the enjoyment of the rights of boys in a discriminatory manner, and of States Parties to CEDAW with respect to the elimination of harmful practices (as defined in the General Recommendation/Comment) that affect the rights of adult women, either directly or as effects of practices to which they were subjected when they were children.

The harmful practices covered by this General Recommendation/Comment include traditional or emerging practices, prescribed by social norms, which are often embedded in culture. As female genital mutilation, early marriage and forced marriage are practices that often come before the Committees, are well studied and have been gradually reduced with certain legislative and programmatic approaches, this General Recommendation/General Comment will use them as key illustrative examples. However, the General Recommendation/Comment will provide a conceptual framework and recommendations for State Party action that are applicable to all harmful practices that fall within its scope.

The CEDAW and CRC Committees welcome inputs on harmful practices affecting girls under eighteen years of age, in English, French or Spanish, particularly from interested organizations and individuals who have extensive experience or information on harmful practices affecting girls under eighteen. The submissions should be as concise as possible and sent to the following email address in Word format by no later than 31 August 2011: While the Committees generally seek inputs of no more than 12 pages, lengthy submissions will also be accepted but should include a table of contents and an executive summary. All submissions should be accompanied by a brief presentation (1 paragraph is sufficient) on the experience of the submitting individual or organization in the subject matter. The submissions received will subsequently be posted on a webpage dedicated to the joint General Recommendation/Comment. Please note that the United Nations does not offer remuneration of any kind for inputs into General Comments or Recommendations.

Allow us to express our appreciation in advance for your active support of the work of our Committees..


Silvia Pimentel
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Jean Zermatten
Committee on the Rights of the Child


Submissions received

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