Question of integrating the human rights of women throughout the United Nations system

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/48


The Commission on Human Rights,

Reaffirming that discrimination on the basis of sex is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and other international human rights instruments,

Recalling its resolutions 1995/86 of 8 March 1995 and 1994/45 of 3 March 1994,

Recalling also that in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23), the World Conference on Human Rights affirmed that the human rights of women and of the girl child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights and that the full and equal participation of women in political, civil, economic, social and cultural life, at the national, regional and international levels, and the eradication of all forms of discrimination on the grounds of sex are priority objectives of the international community,

Bearing in mind that, in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, the World Conference on Human Rights called for action to integrate the equal status and human rights of women into the mainstream of United Nations system-wide activity and for steps to be taken to increase cooperation and promote further integration of objectives and goals between the Commission on the Status of Women, the Commission on Human Rights, the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, the United Nations Development Programme and other United Nations agencies,

Welcoming the successful convening of the Fourth World Conference on Women: Action for Equality, Development and Peace, held in Beijing from 4 to 15 September 1995, and the significant contribution the Conference has made to the promotion of the human rights of women and the girl child, and encouraging all States to take practical measures to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (A/CONF.177/20),

Recognizing the major role of the Commission on the Status of Women in promoting equality between women and men, and recalling resolution 40/3 on mainstreaming the human rights of women adopted by the Commission at its fortieth session,

Welcoming the appointment of a high-level adviser on gender issues in the Office of the Secretary-General,

Bearing in mind that, in the Platform for Action, the Fourth World Conference on Women called on all relevant organs, bodies and agencies of the United Nations system, all human rights bodies of the United Nations system, as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to give full, equal and sustained attention to the human rights of women in the exercise of their respective mandates,

Recognizing the need to promote and strengthen national and international efforts to improve the status of women in all areas in order to foster the elimination of discrimination and gender-based violence against women,

Reaffirming the important role women's groups and non-governmental organizations play in promoting and protecting the human rights of women,

1. Calls for intensified effort at the international level to integrate the equal status and human rights of women into the mainstream of United Nations system-wide activity and to address these issues regularly and systematically throughout relevant United Nations bodies and mechanisms;

2. Encourages the efforts made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, within his mandate established by the General Assembly in resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993, to coordinate the activities of relevant United Nations organs, bodies and mechanisms dealing with human rights in considering violations of the human rights of women;

3. Encourages the strengthening of cooperation and coordination among all human rights treaty bodies, special rapporteurs, special procedures and other human rights mechanisms of the Commission and the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, and requests that they regularly and systematically take a gender perspective into account in the implementation of their mandates, including information and qualitative analysis in their reports on violations of the human rights of women;

4. Encourages the further strengthening of cooperation and coordination between the Commission on Human Rights and the Commission on the Status of Women and between the Centre for Human Rights and the Division for the Advancement of Women, and requests that the joint work plan of the Centre for Human Rights and the Division for the Advancement of Women be made available to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-third session as well as the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-first session;

5. Welcomes the report of the expert group meeting on the development of guidelines for the integration of a gender perspective into human rights activities and programmes (E/CN.4/1996/105, annex), and requests the Secretary-General to distribute the report widely, including within the Centre for Human Rights and to the special rapporteurs and experts;

6. Also welcomes the recommendation by the chairpersons of the human rights treaty bodies that each treaty body consider how it might most effectively integrate a gender perspective into its work and, in particular:

(a) Integrate a gender perspective into its pre-sessional and sessional working methods, and consider the gender implications of each issue discussed under each of the articles of its respective instrument;

(b) Amend its guidelines for the preparation of reports by States parties to include specific information on the human rights of women and gender-disaggregated data;

(c) Exchange information with other treaty bodies on the human rights of women and the use of gender-inclusive language in preparing reports of the sessions of the treaty bodies;

7. Urges States to consider the gender composition of the treaty bodies when nominating and electing candidates to such bodies;

8. Recalls that the Beijing Platform for Action urged States to limit the extent of any reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, formulate any such reservations as precisely and as narrowly as possible, ensure that no reservations are incompatible with the object and purpose of the Convention or otherwise incompatible with international treaty law, and regularly review them with a view to withdrawing them;

9. Notes that the meeting of the special rapporteurs and chairpersons of working groups of the special procedures of the Commission on Human Rights has begun to consider the question of integrating the human rights of women into their work, and stresses the need for further consideration and qualitative analysis of this issue at their next meeting and its practical application in their work;

10. Encourages improved coordination among the specialized agencies and funds of the United Nations system, particularly the United Nations Development Fund for Women, the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Children's Fund, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Population Fund, in order to promote the human rights of women through a systematic and periodic exchange of information, experience and expertise, and requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to bring the present resolution to their attention;

11. Urges the relevant organs, bodies and agencies of the United Nations system, all human rights bodies of the United Nations system, as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to provide training in the human rights of women for all United Nations personnel and officials, especially those in human rights and humanitarian relief activities, and promote their understanding of the human rights of women so that they recognize and deal with violations of the human rights of women and can fully take into account the gender aspects of their work, and, in particular, encourages the Centre for Human Rights to ensure that its information and training materials, including the Manual on Human Rights Reporting (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.91.XIV.1), incorporate a gender perspective;

12. Invites the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to consider assigning to a high-level post within his Office the task of providing advice on integrating the human rights of women throughout the Centre for Human Rights and liaising with other relevant United Nations bodies in this regard;

13. Requests States and the relevant United Nations bodies to include in their human rights education activities information on the human rights of women;

14. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the present resolution at its fifty-third session;

15. Decides to continue its consideration of the question at its fifty-third session.

52nd meeting 19 April 1996
[Adopted without a vote]


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