5 November 2020
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women this afternoon concluded its seventy-seventh session, which it held remotely.
The Committee adopted its report for the session, presented by Committee Rapporteur Lia Nadaraia, and the provisional agenda for the seventy-eighth session.
In her concluding remarks, Hilary Gbedemah, Committee Chairperson, said that since the offset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee had had to adapt its working methods as well as its agendas to the new exigencies of working online, including by holding virtual sessions under sometimes challenging conditions. The Committee had decided not to hold remote dialogues and to postpone the consideration of the reports of eight States parties initially scheduled for the seventy-seventh session, namely Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Senegal, South Africa, Sweden, Uruguay and Yemen. However, the Committee had been able to make important progress on other mandated activities and agenda items.
Ms. Gbedemah said that the Committee had adopted its General Recommendation No. 38 (2020) on trafficking in women and girls in the context of global migration, a long awaited document that would provide guidance to States parties and other stakeholders on their obligations under the Convention and recommend measures to prevent and protect women and girls victims of trafficking. She also spotlighted the statement calling for the release of all women human rights defenders that the Committee had adopted at this session in the wake of International Women Human Rights Defenders Day on 29 November 2020.
The Chair said the Committee had also made progress in drafting a guidance note for States parties, including a checklist for the submission of periodic reports to the Committee, on the implementation of their obligations and their accountability as set out in general recommendation No. 35 (2017) on gender-based violence against women, updating general recommendation No. 19. It had also worked on drafting a practitioners’ guidance for States parties and other stakeholders concerning responses to gender-based violence against women and girls during pandemics such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Committee’s next seventy-eighth session is scheduled to take place from 8 to 26 February 2021.
For use of the information media; not an official record