Translating CEDAW into Law: Cedaw Legislative Compliance in the Cook Islands

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2008, pp. 1 - 99
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Research Background The legislative compliance of nation states to international conventions has been identified as an area of concern nationally, regionally and internationally. This publication addresses that concern in relation to the second most ratified convention in the world, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The project and subsequent publication, the first of its kind globally, was a response to a request from Pacific governments and civil society to develop a means to assess the level of legislative compliance to CEDAW. The research involved the development of 113 CEDAW legislative indicators and the application of the indicators to the legislative frameworks of nine Pacific Island countries (PICs). The indicators and the results of the application of the indicators to the nine PICs are contained in the 420 page publication. Research Contribution The publication provides an excellent example of active legal research in an unconventional form which contributes to social justice initiatives in our region. It is an example of the important work that can happen when governments, civil society, regional organisations and the UN work together towards the goals of universal ratification and implementation of CEDAW. Research Significance Translating CEDAW into Law is used extensively across the Pacific region by both civil society and governments and is being utilized as best practice in an increasing number of regions around the world. The indicators have been used by UNIFEM Bangkok to review ASEAN nations, by the UNDP Centre Colombo to review India and Pakistan, and by UNIFEM Middle East to review Arab states. Our research in this area is cited by UN agencies, academics and international experts and has been recognised as 'groundbreaking work, marking an important milestone in treaty implementation', (Dr Simonovic, Chair, UN CEDAW Committee).
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