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(Adopted by the Human Rights Committee at the Sixty-eighth Session, CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.10, 29 March 2000)
1. The Committee has decided to update its general comment on article 3 of the Covenant and to replace general comment No. 4 (thirteenth session, 1981), in the light of the experience it has gathered in its activities over the last 20 years. The present revision seeks to take account of the important impact of this article on the enjoyment by women of the human rights protected under the Covenant.
3. The obligation to ensure to all individuals the rights recognized in the Covenant, established in articles 2 and 3 of the Covenant, requires that States parties take all necessary steps to enable every person to enjoy those rights. These steps include the removal of obstacles to the equal enjoyment of such rights, the education of the population and of State officials in human rights, and the adjustment of domestic legislation so as to give effect to the undertakings set forth in the Covenant. The State party must not only adopt measures of protection, but also positive measures in all areas so as to achieve the effective and equal empowerment of women. States parties must provide information regarding the actual role of women in society so that the Committee may ascertain what measures, in addition to legislative provisions, have been or should be taken to give effect to these obligations, what progress has been made, what difficulties are encountered and what steps are being taken to overcome them.
28. The obligation of States parties to protect children (art. 24) should be carried out equally for boys and girls. States parties should report on measures taken to ensure that girls are treated equally to boys in education, in feeding and in health care, and provide the Committee with disaggregated data in this respect. States parties should eradicate, both through legislation and any other appropriate measures, all cultural or religious practices which jeopardize the freedom and well-being of female children.