The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: Review of China, Hong Kong and Macao

Ahead of China, Hong Kong and Macao's review by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in May 2023, ISHR has prepared an explainer summarising the Committee's work to oversee the implementation of women’s rights, and opportunities for civil society engagement in its review process. Civil society plays a vital role in informing the Committee's assessment, and pointing to key areas of concern.

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women is a UN committee of 23 independent experts in charge of supervising the implementation of women’s rights guaranteed in the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women  by the countries that ratified it, on a regular basis, usually every four years, through a dedicated review process that takes into account civil society reports. 

The CEDAW Committee is one of the ten so-called UN ‘Treaty Bodies’ – the guardians of the nine main international human rights treaties –, and is considered – alongside other Treaty Bodies – as a ‘quasi-judicial’ body, as it emanates from a legally-binding treaty. 

China became a State Party to the Convention after it ratified it in 1980. But Hong Kong and Macau are also represented by members of their executive branches, and their specific legal systems are taken into account during the review. 

The List of Issues for China, Hong Kong and Macao was adopted in March 2021: the government is now set for formal review during the Committee’s upcoming 85th session, on 12 May 2023. Civil society actors can send written submissions until April 11, and join briefings with the Committee.

Download our explainer in English or Chinese, to learn more.

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