Our Work: Conventions and International Mechanisms: Convention on Civil & Political Rights and the Human Rights Committee

  • Oct 5, 2017 WEI Submission to the Human Rights Committee on its Draft general comment on the right to life, October 5, 2017. On October 5, 2017, Women Enabled International (WEI) made a submission to the Human Rights Committee on its Draft general comment on the right to life. WEI's submission focuses on personal autonomy and its integral part of ensuring the right to life with dignity, as well as on gender equality, sexual and reproductive rights, gender-based violence and how these issues affect the right to life for women and girls with disabilities. In addition to this submission, WEI also endorsed a submission drafted by the Center for Reproductive Rights and allies that focuses on sexual and reproductive health and particularly on abortion. The Human Rights Committee will be holding public discussions on this draft in Geneva in early November 2017, which WEI plans to attend.

    WEI Submission to HRC on Draft General Comment on Right to Life October 5, 2017 Final.pdf

    WEI Submission to HRC on Draft General Comment on Right to Life October 5, 2017 Final.docx

  • July 4, 2015 Women Enabled International made this submission to inform the drafting of a general comment on the right to life (article 6) under the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights by the U.N. Human Rights Committee. This submission urges the Committee to take into account the specific risks to the right to life of women and girls, and particularly women and girls with disabilities, as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. In particular, the submission argues that access to a full range of sexual and reproductive health care is essential to protecting women's right to life and that the right to life includes an implicit right to live with dignity.The submission also urges the Committee to uphold its existing jurisprudence and ensure consistency with prevailing international human rights standards by making clear that the right to life accrues at birth and not prenatally. Read WEI's submission here:

    WEI ICCPR Article 6 on Right to Life and Women Submission June 12, 2015.pdf

    WEI ICCPR Article 6 on Right to Life and Women Submission June 12, 2015.docx

  • The UN Human Rights Committee is preparing a General Comment on the "Right to life" (article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)). They invited written contributions and will hold a Half-day General Discussion on 14 July 2015.

    Invitation for written contributions on the "Right to Life" article 6 of the ICCPR web page

    Invitation for written contributions on the "Right to Life" article 6 of the ICCPR.pdf

    Invitation for written contributions on the "Right to Life" article 6 of the ICCPR.docx

    The Committee has adopted a note on the General Comment outlining its likely scope:

    CCPR Article 6 Right to Life Concept Paper.pdf

    CCPR Article 6 Right to Life Concept Paper.doc

  • April 15, 2014 Human Rights Committee Ignores Violence Against Women with Disabilities in U.S. ICCPR Concluding Observations Ignoring our advocacy, the UN Human Rights Committee in its Concluding Observations on its review of the United States under the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights (ICCPR) ignored violence against women and girls with disabilities. On March 27, the Human Rights Committee's Concluding Observations highlighted violence against women as a serious concern and stated:
  • "The Committee is concerned that domestic violence continues to be prevalent in the State party, and that ethnic minorities, immigrants and American Indian and Alaska Native women are at a particular risk. The Committee is also concerned that victims face obstacles to obtaining remedies, and that law enforcement authorities are not legally required to act with due diligence to protect victims of domestic violence, and often inadequately respond to such cases (arts. 3, 7, 9, and 26) The State party should, through the full and effective implementation of the Violence against Women Act and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, strengthen measures to prevent and combat domestic violence, as well as to ensure that law enforcement personnel appropriately respond to acts of domestic violence. The State party should ensure that cases of domestic violence are effectively investigated and that perpetrators are prosecuted and sanctioned. The State party should ensure remedies for all victims of domestic violence, and take steps to improve the provision of emergency shelter, housing, child care, rehabilitative services and legal representation for women victims of domestic violence. The State party should also take measures to assist tribal authorities in their efforts to address domestic violence against Native American women."

  • Despite the fact that the U.S. Government's own statistics highlight the fact that women and girls with disabilities are three times more likely than other women to experience such violence and despite the fact that the U.S. Government cut its inadequate funding for programs to address violence against women with disabilities under the Violence Against Women Act and despite the fact that most domestic violence programs and support services are inaccessible to women with disabilities, the Human Rights Committee did not include us in their list of groups disproportionately affected by violence. These facts about violence against women with disabilities were highlighted in a shadow report on the U.S. in which Women enabled participated. In that report, we stated:
  • "Additionally, it is critical for the United States to address how to end violence against women with disabilities because they are an increasing population and constitute a significant portion of the United States' populace. Women with disabilities are at a higher risk of being victims of violence. According to DOJ statistics for 2011, the rate of violence against women with disabilities was three times the rate of violence against women without disabilities: 53 in 1,000 for women with disabilities , compared to 17 in 1,000 for females without disabilities. Despite these shocking statistics, funding for disability-specific programs authorized under VAWA was reduced from $10 million to $9 million."

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For Microsoft Word files of the publications on our website, please contact WEI at:

Stephanie Ortoleva, Esq., President
Women Enabled International
1875 Connecticut Ave NW, 10th Floor
Washingon D.C. 20009

+1.202.630.3818