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Planning and submitting a shadow report Charlotte Gage Women’s Resource Centre.

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Presentation on theme: "Planning and submitting a shadow report Charlotte Gage Women’s Resource Centre."— Presentation transcript:

1 Planning and submitting a shadow report Charlotte Gage Women’s Resource Centre

2 About Women’s Resource Centre National, capacity building, infrastructure body for women’s organisations Provide training, one-to-one support, policy consultations, acts as advocate and voice for women’s organisations Over 400 members working in a wide range of areas, delivering services to and campaigning on behalf of some of the most marginalised communities of women

3 Who is involved in the review process? Government United Nations (UN) Committee United Nations (UN) agencies Non Government Organisations (NGOs)

4 What are the steps in the process? Government submits report (every 4 years) Pre-session Working Group: - NGO submissions (list of critical issues/executive summary) - List of issues and questions NGO submits shadow report Examination: - Committee meets with NGOs - Committee meets with UN agencies - Government examination NGO submits shadow report Concluding comments/recommendations Implementation

5 About CEDAW

6 Purpose of government report Record of the government’s performance according to the standards of the Convention Identify problems and obstacles to women’s equality so they can be addressed Find solutions to the problems Identify best practices of the government Measure government’s progress in meeting its obligations under the Convention Provide an opportunity for the government to make a commitment to equality according to universal standards and identify priorities for the next 4 years Government can benefit from the Committee’s expertise and experience to get ideas for how to meet its obligations An accountability mechanism for the government to show good faith in living up to its obligation by agreeing to an open process of review and examination at the international level

7 Purpose of NGO report Helps Committee to: - Raise issues not presented in the government report - Cross-check validity of information in government report Helps NGOs to: - Agree on priority issues - Agree what is to be done - Develop research capacity - Adopt a rights-based approach to programme design and implementation, policy formulation and law reform Can be used by other human rights mechanisms and/or Committees set up under other treaties Can be used for community education – important to use accessible language and produce for widespread distribution

8 What the Committee would like to know What is the status of group/s in all fields in comparison to other groups? - Indicators - Actual rights enjoyed by group/s What are the obstacles to improving group/s equality status? - Lack of opportunity or lack of access - Why? What action has the government taken to remedy this? - Legal action: law, policy, programmes - Remedies provided, monitoring, institutional arrangements, set time bound targets and bench marks etc. What are the strengths and weakness of the government action? Who and how many group/s benefit and how (quality of results) etc.?

9 Planning a shadow report Opportunities Brings information together Evidence and report can be used widely Opportunity to raise issues internationally Can work with other groups/networks Risks Resource and capacity intensive Hard to prioritise issues Need to coordinate Difficult to fund

10 Outcomes of engaging in review process Network of NGOs aware of Convention and government’s obligations Shadow Report Concluding observations/recommendations UN press releases and summary records from examination HOW CAN NGOS BUILD ON THESE?

11 Steps for effective NGO participation and advocacy Step 1: Identifying issues and priorities affecting group/s in country that is reporting

12 Step 2: Gathering information Follow NGO report guidelines Timely Reliable Relevant Linked to Convention provisions, General Recommendations etc.

13 Gathering and prioritising evidence What type of evidence to include? Recent/since last report Robust Case studies What evidence best persuades Government? Financial implications Media What data sources are available? e.g. EHRC, national data, NGO and academic research, media stories

14 Template for gathering evidence for the CEDAW shadow report 2012 Thematic area/ CEDAW Article StatisticsCase studies ResearchHyperlinks to information NotesContacts Please send any information to

15 e.g. Questions for consultations What do you think the government/public authorities should be doing that they are not doing already? What are the issues under each Article that need to be raised? How can we use the opportunities under the Convention?

16 Step 3: Preparing NGO report Separate or joint report? Specific issues or general? Process – before, during and after

17 How can NGOs and others work together to take part in reporting? Form a network/working group e.g. CEDAW Working Group Share responsibility for producing shadow report Coordinate responses under different treaties Apply for joint funding to attend the examination Lobbying Committee members on different issues Joint lobbying using concluding observations

18 e.g. CEDAW Working Group Request from CEDAW conference March 2009 Currently 42 members from across UK Women’s and human rights organisations with diverse areas of expertise Training to capacity build around CEDAW Working towards a strategy for the next examination in 2013

19 Step 4: Sharing and using NGO report Pre-session Working Group: - List of critical issues - Executive summary of NGO report - Entire NGO report Examination session: - Submit shadow report - Use executive summary for talking points

20 How to influence the first list of issues and questions Find out timings and contacts Choose key issues Include evidence Include suggested wording for questions Attend Pre-session Working Group meeting to give oral evidence

21 Step 5: Participation in reporting process What to expect? - Oral (spoken) statements - Advocacy - Parallel events/meetings - Press statements - Lobbying Committee member for country - Concluding comments: ideas Best practices and examples

22 Lobbying the Committee NGOs can lobby the Committee in a variety of ways: - send key issues and questions for Pre-session before examination - ask to change the order and priority of articles during the examination - on priority observations and recommendations - during the examination e.g. correcting responses from government - for an independent expert on a specific issue - for a new General Recommendation

23 Step 6: Follow-up process Why are the concluding observations useful? How will they be disseminated? How will you lobby the government to ensure they are addressed?

24 Other ways to use information Optional Protocol cases Responses to other treaty bodies - Submit relevant parts of shadow report to other bodies as annex Use concluding observations from other bodies to support recommendations further Use treaties in combination as a stronger advocacy tool Campaigns

25 e.g. Using CEDAW to lobby in the UK Contact your MP or local authority to ask what they are doing to address the CEDAW recommendations Use CEDAW and this language in your campaigning and lobbying on specific issues e.g. specific Article and recommendation Raise awareness about CEDAW with your service users and members Raise the UK government’s obligations under CEDAW in any press work Recommendations can be used in National Courts

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