- Check when your country's next Report is due. Create a time-schedule and work accordingly.
- Get involved with an NGO promoting rights, improving birth
- Get the NGO to create a profile in UN's Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) CSO Net database, with a corresponding login and password. You can create a profile here: http://goo.gl/8k9bL
To register for a Session, you must first be logged in the above account and then visit the CSO Net meeting page of the Session, watching where to click "Conference Registration" and typing whatever is asked from you, including your proposed representative(s) to the event. Then you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for obtaining a ground pass.
- Send an email to the Secretariat of CEDAW, stating who you are (name of NGO, already in the database, and contact person), informing on your wish to be included in the catalogue of stakeholders providing information to the Committee on issues relating to ......... concerning (name of your country) and that you are at their disposal any time to provide information.
- Keep contact with the Committee, through emailing the Secretariat or as else indicated to you by them, even "out" of the context of an upcoming event (pre-session, session, publishing of your State's report etc.). When something you perceive as a systemic violation happens (i.e. new law, new practice a.o.), you put it briefly and concisely in an email and inform them about it.
- Assume yourself, if the NGO cannot facilitate this further by involving experts, the work of substantiating facts and create a small report on the issue(s) you wish to tackle. Cross-check information with organizations and authorities, the official statistical authority, and perform further survey yourself if needed. Be absolutely certain that the information you collected is accurate.
- Keep the text of the report short (not exceeding 3000 words), concise, well-documented, clear on what the problem is, informative. Stick to the facts. Do not exaggerate and do not involve what you think of the facts. Adjectives such as "this horrible dispeakable practice" are to be stictly avoided.
- Include the NGO's name, address, scope and main activities (very very shortly, in 1 sentence if possible), the country which the information you include relates, and indicate whether the submission can be posted on the CEDAW website. In case you bring up more than one issues, indicate how you prioritize them.
- Submit the report in pdf and word format, after checking on CEDAW's website for specific information regarding that Session, ie how many had copies are needed. If you are not certain, you can always contact the Secretariat by mail or even by phone. You also have the option of addressing IMRAW to make the submission on your behalf (see my previous blogspost for information).
- Do not forget to check when your country's mid report is published and prepare a submission for noting and exposing possible inconsistencies that may be included in it. Note that there is a deadline for that, so be vigilant.
- It is strongly suggested to actually go to Geneva when the hearing takes place. It is very good to, besides the report, also be heard orally before the session.
- Bear in mind that you are invited publicly by the Committee to participate, that you are helping them be inform and add off their workload, which is really heavy.
Thank you for "taking it personally", getting active, promoting social awareness and accountability for birthrights' violations.
If most of us did that, this world would already be a much more humane place to live in .
For any question on the above, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org